Many businesses think creating an online social media presence will add value and improve their cash flow. When it doesn’t work, they say online marketing fails and go back to offline networking. What they fail to understand is the ‘profile’ alone isn’t the marketing tool, but what you do with it. Taking online marketing to offline networking is a key to that success.
I recently attended an expo for women called Success Women’s Network in Sydney. As I walked around with a friend of mine, Fiona Lewis from Mumpreneur’s Online we started commenting what stalls were successfully ‘networking’ and why. Just about every stall had the lolly bowl, flyers, biz cards, giveaways and draws. So why were some passed and others had crowded conversations at their stalls?
We soon discovered what it was as we ended up in the middle of it when we came across Pink Printing Supplies! I had never met Deb who owns this business – but I did know her – from interacting within a group on Facebook. Soon after that, I met Lorna from Paperbag Marketing, that I too had shared conversations on Facebook with and met at another networking event run by Mum Entrepreneurs.
So the key to the businesses that had crowds and those that didn’t was the the familiarity of their branding they had built around their business by interacting with others in social sites. Not just posting promotions, but supporting each others Facebook pages, sharing and friending, following on Twitter or connecting on LinkedIn.
This strategy of building your own referral networks is nothing new – it’s why traditional networking events exist. But establishing it in your social media is what a lot of businesses forget to do and it is why their social media marketing fails to deliver the extra business they hoped for.
Successful businesses will be those that take the online marketing to offline networking and not separate the two. My advice to you is establish a profile that takes 10 minutes a day to actively interact with the businesses and people you meet at offline networking events regularly by commenting and liking their posts or retweeting their tweets. Not only is this a better way to expose you and your business to new people (because there is already a connection) but the support you will receive back when you attend more of the offline networking events will pay dividends!
If you’d like to meet me and receive more information on how to improve your social media beyond just a presence, I am speaking on the 6th September for Mum Entrepreneurs Northern Beaches Network Group. Here, I will share more of the marketing strategies I use to manage my clients social media profiles. There is limited seats so click here to book.
You can also check out how my business team incorporates marketing strategies into the designs of your social media profiles by visiting my other fan page at Custom Fan Pages or the website and blog at: http://www.customfanpages.com.au/