Businesses find a world of opportunity awaiting them and their products online, which they try to avail of, by setting up ecommerce websites. With their virtual stores accessible globally, they can reach out to customers across the globe in various ways, the most effective out of which is through social networks. Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn and others offer businesses an opportunity to have business pages and develop networks. Any information sent to a section of the network spreads virally, and happy customers also help to spread word, which works as the biggest advertisement and promoter of the business. However, social networks have to used in the right manner or else the desired results may never be seen. It takes time to create an online social presence and get noticed, and it is inappropriate to use them for online marketing as soon as the network is joined. The first step is to develop social connections and relationships casually, sharing news, information, perhaps even product related inputs, but without letting the connections know one’s business intentions. Most people who could be potential customers are on these sites for friendly exchanges, interaction and communication and would be rather dismayed to know that are being targeted by businesses. Hence it makes sense to start on a friendly note, and over time use this personal relationship to push products. What people dislike on social networks
- Being a bad listener- it takes a lot to be a good listener, and most people are put off by a bad listener. They want participation in conversation with inputs at the right time. Not paying attention or passively waiting for a pause to speak out on something entirely unrelated to the conversation, does not impress others. In social networks listening is important, dominance is unwelcome and engagement with the flow of conversation very important.
- Switching the subject of conversation- people are equally appalled when a member rolls into a conversation and tries to switch subjects just when the conversation is becoming interesting. Social networks are the place where you move with the flow and not try to change the course. Trying to do the opposite will alienate you from the group, which can be especially damaging for your business.
- Pushing marketing tactics towards people- Social networks are a place to slowly gain access to more people. Trying to push marketing tactics for business promotion will just push people away. Promotional tactics have to be brought in gradually, long after a reputation has been built.
- Being discourteous- Even when you are not face to face, courtesy needs to be displayed at every step. Being discourteous, rude or abusive is not going to be well received or taken lying down-it can make you into a social outcast online.
- Blowing your trumpet- No matter how highly you think of yourself but social networking is not letting others know how great you are, but more about reaching out to others and getting to know more about them. So blowing one’s own trumpet will have a negative impact on business.
Social networking needs to be carried out with grace and dignity, courtesy and respect. Any other arm twisting tactic or aggreesive demeanor can throttle the chances of a business before it even takes off.