Networking is certainly not new to business relationship building. The need for business relationships has been around as long as business transactions have taken place. The difference is now with social networking I can start relationships in minutes that typically took months or years before… if at all… anywhere in the world. Professionals and companies of all industries have adopted some sort of business networking integration with social media. They use these tools in a variety of ways to promote themselves, ideas and products.
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Highlighted below are some of the main social media relationship tools that I am personally having a tremendous amount of success with. Tying them to my specialized WordPress blog makes the whole concept cohesive.
Google Apps is such a no brainer! Startup costs for any new office with networking and computing equipment are crazy enough without even taking into account the software and maintenance pieces. Google Apps gives business owners a way to cut costs in email, calendaring and purchasing office suites. I use these powerful tools in all aspects of my social marketing business communications endeavors.
In building social media business relationships, you need to know what people are saying about your company as well as your competitors. An easy way to do this is through an aggregator. My favorite is TweetDeck by far. TweetDeck gives you an automatically-refreshing picture of what people are saying about your brand and/or competing brands. Doing it all from one app, makes this much easier to stay on top of your business relationships especially as your social network and business grows.
Linkedin is arguably the most powerful business networking, career tool, out there. It’s focused and purposeful. You create a “profile” which becomes a resume on steroids. Linkedin Groups are a focus point for relationships. News, Events, Discussions, Comments, and Job offerings. These can become tremendously useful resources of information. I share my articles and events in these groups which instantly promotes and relationships begin.
Joining specific groups like opennetworker.com you can increase your connections exponentially. I now have over 10,000+ LinkedIn connections.
With Twitter… tweeting inspiration, ideas, and thoughts can be extremely useful. Up-to-date company and product information is as well. One business idea that I use is taking the RSS feed of my main customers and tweeting them on twitter. Mitel, manufacturer my company represents, uses Twitter for sales engineering support. Check out Twitter’s own guidebook for businesses.
Note: Don’t just “billboard”. Interact with your twitter community and grow relationships quickly.
Let’s face it, everyone is attacking your customer base. How do you maintain your base and relationships? One great tool in accomplishing this is Constant Contact. Constant Contact’s email marketing tool helps you keep customers and prospects coming back. They offer attractive, professional-looking email communications (and templates) to stay in regular contact with your list which helps build strong customer relationships. I especially like their reporting.
Facebook and Facebook Pages
Facebook and Facebook Pages can be a tremendous tool in opening events and articles to even more users. There are literally millions of people that only use facebook for business relationships. Don’t underestimate this social networking powerhouse of 500 million users.
Rapportive – For the Gmail fans, I being one of them, shows you everything about your contacts right inside your inbox. A Gmail-only tool that replaces the unappealing ads on the right hand side of your screen with tons of useful information about the people you email. Just open up any message from someone and you will see information about their job title, latest tweets, and direct links to their social profiles.
Wisestamp lets users make better use of their daily emails – adding a whole new level of functionality and interaction – and also enables publishers (social services and brands) to distribute their content and engage users in one of the biggest online markets – email.
As I am becoming more proficient at using these new tools I am finding the power and purpose in them. They have become an integral component to my success online and my career locally as I am sure they will for you.© 2006-2017 SalesBlog! | Photos courtesy of 123RF