There is a whole technological Ecosystem developing before our eyes, that we can either ignore; adapt to slowly at our own pace (recommended!); or race to embrace. These new methods of network marketing provide us with everything from enhanced lead generation, to high level CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Knowing that many industries are slow to move in the technological arena, I am confident that this “Snapshot” will be eye-opening to many of you!
Our Top 5 Sites for Social Networking and Micro-Blogging
These are not just communication devices to chat from, they generate leads and help close sales by increasing exposure and developing relationships. Another purpose they serve is to improve your organic ranking, as search engines are now sending traffic to your site based on these social networking “traffic sources”. Here are just a few to consider…
1. LinkedIn – Use LinkedIn for business referrals and leads. A great way to introduce men to your business. This business-oriented site is used for professional networking and has a primary demographic of males averaging 41 years of age. Your developed “connections” are people you know and trust in the business. Your connections, connections & their connections (called second degree and third degree connections) allow you to be introduced to possible business opportunities. You can join relevant alumni, industry, or professional groups of your choice.
2. Twitter – Use Twitter to notify your clients of latest business developments; promotions and business initiatives. Demographic of 35-49 is biggest. This “follow-me” site allows you to put in up to 140 characters which are displayed on your profile page and delivered to those who have subscribed to, or are following you. You can restrict or allow open access to your “tweets”. It’s free unless you use SMS (short message service). 6 million unique visitors monthly. Currently the fastest growing site in the Member Communities category for 2009. Although discovered by the media, still under 7% of the population uses it, but growth over last year was a whopping 1,382% .
3. BizNik – Use BizNik to establish yourself as an expert in your industry through articles and content. BizNik is for people building real businesses. It’s a good place to go to share conversation about your business and entrepreneurial endeavours. The site is based on relationships, not referrals. You can teach a seminar; post on the boards; download your articles; host an online event; attend an online event, etc.
4. Facebook – Use Facebook to “tap into the fountain of youth”. Join in by city; workplace; school, etc. You can choose your friends and use privacy settings which allow you to control what type of information is automatically shared. The most popular application is the ability to upload unlímited photos. You can now also send “gifts” for $1.00 with a personalized message to your friends; and post free classified ads to those in your network. 228% growth year over year, with the fastest growing demographic being those 25 years and older.
5. MySpace – Use MySpace to recruit, educate, introduce and boost awareness of your business and industry as a whole. One of the fastest growing websites of all time, with the primary user being 18 years of age and older. This interactive network is a user-submitted site of friends, groups, videos, musicians, photos, blogs, etc. You can use “bulletins” to deliver your message; designated groups can share a common page and message board; full service classified listings are available; you can upload recordings, and much more.
More options… bebo.com; care2.com; classmates.com; del.icio.us; digg.com; flickr.com; friendster.com; meetup.com; orkut.com; ryze.com; stumbleupon.com; yahoo!360; xanga.com; to over 100! And once you have made those decisions, consider these next two systems that are here and should be “coming down your pipes” SOON…
This is the ability to reach consumers on their mobile devices, “where they are”, with incentive advertising and email campaigns. Still in its early stages, perfecting mobile-friendly formats and savvy ways to deliver your message to this captive audience will require a unique approach and your research. Studies show that ad agencies big and small are all rushing to develop mobile-based promotional tools – it’s going to be huge and it’s coming fast. It’s time for you to catch up with exploding consumer online demands. Still only 19% of mobile users have used mobile marketing, but critics say that it increases consumer awareness by up to 24% and increases intent to purchase by almost 5% – that’s good… Start capturing new data, preferences and interest levels from clients now! Some stats: 3.3 billion people worldwide have mobile phones. Over 200 million operate phones with text messaging capabilities in North America. Over 174 million have phones capable of browsing the web in North America Check out: www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/lib/1718.pdf
The Virtual Office
Your office must be wherever you are – you can conduct business from almost anywhere today. If you’re on the move, you’ll need a cell phone/smart phone/personal digital assistant with wireless web. While on the go, use instant messaging and social networking sites to alert, modify, and monitor staff and client wants and needs, on the spot. Your virtual office might consist of some, or all of these:
• Videoconferencing and/or teleconferencing combined with presentation software that will allow you to communicate with several people in real time, worldwide;
• Live streaming video enables the user to view in real time, anything from a demonstration of services, to an onsite, hands-on educational program;
• Web-hosted scheduling and booking tools will allow you to manage appointments online;
• Blogs, eNews and Forums are important informational tools to help endorse your brand;
• Web conferencing (webinars) make it simple to hold live interactive seminars with anyone at any time;
• Podcasts are great marketing tools as well as a great educational means for teaching and training staff and your target markets;
• Online video has climbed 340% in recent years, as a means to introduce; learn; and sell from;
• Online sales (shop with us) are fast becoming necessary as a passive, supplementary revenue stream in the business environment.
If necessary, consider hiring a Virtual Assistant/Cyber Assistant (VA/CA – just Google) and get help with new ways on getting things done in a cyber-environment. Enjoy!