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Networking Groups Orange County – How Social Networking Online Ties In

Hey you crazy networking fans! I had the pleasure today of speaking for The Connectors Networking group about social networking. Thanks to Debbie Lewandowski of Your Spotlite for inviting me, and also thanks to Tanya @ Spassos Italian restaurant in Laguna Hills for feeding us πŸ™‚

It amazes me how many wonderful businesses I encounter while out networking, and it also baffles me that business owners and managers have a difficult time applying these networking philosophies to the cyber world. I know, the computer just trips everything up, huh!? What you do face to face can also be done computer to computer, I promise.

Secrets to Social Networking:

  1. Have a plan and a purpose – bumbling around online without direction will just frustrate you. *THINK* about who your target market is, and where they hang out. Strategically plan, and write it down!
  2. Focus on building relationships, not selling – nobody is going to buy from you right now in the social network. Stop trying, you look like a tool. What you need to do instead is become a tool of reference who people trust. Only THEN will they buy.
  3. ADD VALUE. Be the expert in your industry, but be yourself. This goes hand in hand with #2. Talk to your target market in their terms. Don’t talk down to them, network online to build them up. Provide quality, honest, information and add value to yourself as an expert in your industry. Everyone wants to work with the expert, right? You can easily become that expert online by social networking for your industry!

Now that you have the right philosphy about social networking online, where should you be doing this so-called “networking”? Glad you asked…that’s a longer list πŸ™‚

  1. LinkedIn
  2. Facebook
  3. Meetup
  4. Craigs list
  5. Blogs – and are our favorites. You MUST MUST have a blog.
  6. Twitter – see our SES blog post – many don’t get Twitter.
  7. Myspace
  8. Utube
  9. Y! answers
  10. Industry forums – ie ActiveRain for Realtors, etc.

Having profiles, presences, groups, or links on the above Social Networking websites will make you appear well connected online. Well connected people do better business, don’t they? You will get back what you give, so don’t just throw up a profile and wonder where your business and contacts are.

Still not convinced? Don’t think social networking works? LOOK AT THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN!!!!

Cal Coast offers businesses three solutions to close the social networking gap:

  1. Big business way – we’ll come in and teach your sales and service departments how to social network with a purpose. This will bring the company more reach, more business, and keep everyone’s job secure in today’s economy. Call 949-229-5932 for details.
  2. Small business way – we offer an affordable DIY program where we consult with you or your assistant a couple hours a month to ensure you’re networking like a pro without having to officially hire one. Call 949-229-5932 for details.
  3. Lazy business way – we can do it all for ya at our hourly rate πŸ™‚

So, I’ll see ya on LinkedIn, right? πŸ™‚ Feel free to comment your questions — we have answers!