The Social Network

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Normally I write about mobile aps and website applications that can benefit your business or which you can use just for fun, but this time I would like to bring under your attention to Social networking.

Social networking is a recent invention that has the Internet still at the edge of its seat due to its popularity. This is mostly because it really is for the people. Bringing every kind of social group together in one place and letting them interact. So why is it so popular?

Low Costs

Definitely, it’s cheaper to use online social networking for you business because most of it is usually free. I must say that the business functions are underestimated by many. In a social networking site, you can scout potential customers and target markets with just a few clicks and keystrokes, adding a boost to your usual advertisements and promotional strategies. It lets you learn about their likes and dislikes, which is tremendous. If you want to fine-tune your business, then this is the way to go, whether on a budget or not.

Builds Credibility

You definitely can gain the customers’ confidence if you can connect to them on a professional level. Despite having to do a bit of work, it definitely pays off as you can be tapped for an offer if someone catches wind of your products or services.

Connections

You are friends with people who have other friends, and so on. There is potential in such a common situation. By using a social networking site, you can do what you can and get connected with these people to form a web of connections that can give you leverage if you play your cards right. As long as you give as well as you receive, then they will most likely stick with you. These connections are definitely valuable in the long run. There are some small disadvantages such as scams and harassment and it can be time consuming also.

How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Business

People are online talking about your company as you read this, whether you like or not. If you don’t engage in the conversation, you risk losing your customers. Gone are the days when having a highly ranked website was enough to make waves and attract new businesses. Just like people, company brands now need to communicate, to “network” and to reach out beyond their normal comfort zone. This shift means moving from the two dimensional aspect of a static website, to the three dimensional realm of engagement and interaction. It starts by identifying the type of social media sites that best reach your target audience…

There is more out there than Facebook

For business to consumer brands, it can begin with a presence on Facebook or Pinterest. For business to business brands, LinkedIn can provide fertile ground. For sole entepreneurs, authors, speakers and life coaches, developing a following on Twitter or Quora can prove effective. For blue collar trades, a YouTube channel can showcase your know-how and expertise. Find the site (or sites) that best match up with your customer base and focus your efforts there first.

Spreading yourself too thin can prove inefficient and actually weaken your brand image. Go deeper with fewer sites to create real traction with your customers. Once you have a firm command of that media, then feel free to move on.

What is Pinterest? www.pinterest.com

Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favourite recipes. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.

What is Quora? www.quora.com

Quora is a continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses it. The most important thing is to have each question page become the best possible resource for someone who wants to know about the question.

Go for quality not quantity

Sending out hundreds of random posts and tweets may seem proactive, but the point of social media is to be social – not profuse. Be generous in recognition and appreciation for those taking the time to interact. Your business brand is not just your name and logo — it’s the actions you take, the words you speak and the tone you set that determines how people feel about your company. Give them a reason to share by creating an inviting and rewarding experience.

Finding the right balance

Extending your business brand from your home page into the social media mainstream can seem overwhelming. By identifying the sites that best match up with your core customers, and creating a clear, consistent presence, you can glean new customers, as well as new insights and feedback about your products and services. Slow and steady wins this race, so make the commitment to leave “home” and connect in new and potentially rewarding ways.

How big is the market?

How many users are on facebook or better how many users does Indonesia have as of today? As the numbers grow everyday it is hard to say where we stand at this moment of time but worldwide Indonesia ranks 4th with 45 million users under India with 50 million users , Brazil with 52 million users and America as the big number one with 150 million.

LinkedIn in Indonesia does not have as many users as Facebook but according to the statistics of LinkedIn the country with the strongest growth in 2011 was Indonesia with a staggering 110% growth followed by Turkey with 97%. LinkedIn is one of the fastest growing social networks in Indonesia reaching 1 million users whereas the USA has over 58 million.

So get in there and get social.

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Juan G. Leysner lives and works in Jakarta for over 10 years and is the founder of 2 db.mobi. www.2dbarcodesolutions.com