There has been a huge buzz surrounding the advantages of using social networking websites to promote your home business. Websites like Twitter and Facebook have been hailed as the latest, greatest way to gain more traffic to your website, and promote business programs that you are involved with. But, did you know that there are ways that social networking can harm your efforts at running a successful business?
That’s what this article is all about. Hopefully, many readers will already realise the importance of this, and will have taken action to avoid having social networking harm their business efforts. For those readers that think I must be off my rocker, this is a must read! The first and most common way that social networking websites like Twitter can harm you business is by simply overdoing it.
Because of it’s ease of use, many home business owners have become so caught up in using Twitter and other social networking sites for their promotion that they have abandoned other proven methods of business marketing. Rather then spend their business day writing articles, working on SEO for their website, etc., they will spend a few minutes on Twitter, promoting their business, update their Facebook Status or Notes for something to do with their business, and call it a day. This is the old saying about putting all your eggs in one basket, and it simply won’t work.
Another way social networking promotion can hurt your business is by using these sites as an updated way to spam. We are all familiar with the Junk folder in our email accounts, and how quickly it will fill up with unsolicited ads promoting everything under the sun. With the dawn of social networking, those who make spam a part of their business have found a new outlet.
I can’t count how many times I see one person put up 4-10 posts in a row, and all of them are advertising something! I have received messages on Facebook, from people I barely know, selling me the latest “Get Rich Now” marketing gimmick. This does not make anyone want to buy into something, and may even make them angry enough to report you. If you spam consistently on Twitter, you can kiss your account goodbye, so why waste your time?
The final harmful social networking factor that I will mention here applies more to Twitter than any other site. This is the use of programs that will automatically post tweets for you, all day, everyday. The idea of these programs is itself not a bad one. The problem lies in the fact that many business owners use them as a “set and forget” type of marketing.
If I see someone on Twitter making the same posts at the same time, week after week, it becomes obvious that this person has no interest in the social aspect of the site. I personally am more inclined to be interested in someone if that person shows an interest in me. After a few days of seeing the same tweets over and over, I stop viewing that person’s tweets altogether, and if they’re really overdoing it, I will unfollow them. So good job, instead of making a sale, you lost one more.
If you partake in any of the methods I have mentioned here, I have a bit of advice for you:
1. Do not treat social networking sites as the ultimate advertising tool. While Twitter and others are useful, and do work well for business promotion, you need to use other methods too. The tried and tested marketing methods still work, and should be applied to your campaigns as well.
2. Do not spam your friends/followers. You are guaranteed to lose more sales than you make if you employ this method. It has been said that only 10% of your social networking time should be spent actually promoting. That means that 90% of the time, you should be adding something of value to your network. This way, when you do mention your business, people will be more inclined to pay attention.
3. If you use autoposting software for Twitter and other sites, keep it fresh. I personally try to use these programs only when I am away for a longer period of time. If you use these programs often, change your posts on a regular basis, to avoid having your message become old, stale, and ignored.
If you use common sense, manage your time well, and stick to these guidelines, you can have a lot of success promoting your business through social networking. If you can’t do this, then you might be better off forgoing this marketing method altogether. At least don’t add me!
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