The world is changing right before us, each day getting smaller. It's amazing how connected we can be today, so much then ever before. We can find people we haven't seen in 10 or 20 years and know everything about them in minutes by reading their online profile. As Social Networks online are changing the way we connect with friends, it is also changing the way business connect with current and potential customers.
So what's happening? People trust other people more then they trust marketing fliers and billboards. Social media, Blogs, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, all of these tools are empowering the consumer to share valuable information with their network of friends at light speed. So what should we as business owners do in response to this trend? We should embrace it. We should begin to blog, Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace. Why? Because it will allow us to get our message to our existing customers at light speed, who will in turn share it with their network of friends who trust them.
What then do we talk about using our Social Networking tools? Share your expertise. The goal is not to sell people on your product through Social Media. The goal is to use it to be deemed an expert and to create a following. As you create this following encourage dialog. Pose questions to your followers and get them involved in the conversation. Ask your exiting customers to "Follow You" on Facebook by becoming your "Fan". Have them leave comments about your service and your ability. Use this tool to build credibility.
The reality is that there are many who might propose to make you money with Social Marketing tools, but the most important function of Social Marketing is not the money that you can make directly using it, but instead the friends that you can make. Why? Because as I remember from my Marketing 101 class "People buy from people they like and trust". Get started today, create your following!