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  Anyware Insights | July 2009 | Tips for Marketing in Social networks...

Tips for Marketing in Social networks...

One of the most important rules in marketing your business is that you go where your target market is. With the growing popularity of online social networking websites, such as Facebook, Linked-In and Twitter, it's little wonder that more and more businesses are looking for ways to connect with the millions of members of these sites.

Social network services build online communities of people who share common interests and/or activities or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others. (See Wikipedia for more.)
With the right tactics and tools (and some good advice from your web designer), this medium can be an effective and successful addition to your marketing mix.

So where do you start - which social network is best for your business?
3 of the most popular are Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

LinkedIn is a networking site for business professionals to exchange information, ideas and opportunities.
LinkedIn is all about building connections with people you know and trust, and can recommend to others and is completely focussed on business. If your customers are business people then LinkedIn is a good choice (although plenty of business people hang out on Facebook too).

Facebook is a web site where you can connect and interact with other people, often finding them by city, region or school. There are dozens of different ways to interact with friends, from short 'I have a cold' & 'I hope you get well soon' types of exchanges, to comparing answers to quizzes and polls with friends, to playing sophisticated online games where you help each other by gifting items that help you in the game.
A significant gifting culture has developed within Facebook where friends often give each other virtual gifts as a kind of hello with implied good will. Marketers who tap into this culture in the right way can do very well.

Twitter is all about short messages, or 'Tweets', which can be up to 140 characters. This has made Twitter a natural fit with text messaging so a lot of it's users connect via cell phones. If your customers are young and mobile Twitter could work well for you.

How Do You Start?

The best way to start with any social networking site is simply to log in and follow the prompts. Find a few people you know and start interacting with them.
It's really important to understand how these web sites work by using them before you try to sell to their members.

We suggest you start with It's really easy and it's a great way to stay in touch with friends, especially ones you don't see much.

Watch out for more on social networking in the next Anyware Insights.

Social Networking for Small Business - Part 2: Facebook  



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