If you have not yet joined the millions that rank in the files of Facebook and other social networks, this segment will help you quickly acclimate to how the social networks work.
Here are some general, but helpful tips when setting up social network accounts for promoting your business.
- Set up your account in your business name, unless your own name is better known to your potential clients.
- If you set up your account in your own name, make sure you keep your account business-focused, and do not let your "friends" bait you into too much personal information.
- You can include personal information, as long as it is the "warm and fuzzy" type of information that helps potential clients like or feel close to you. Absolutely avoid any type of posting that airs your personal, family, business, or financial problems in the public forum of the network. Aside from being inappropriate, you will diminish your own public image to others in your network.The idea of joining the network is to enhance your public image, and that of your company.
- Focus on the positive. Regardless of the subject of your postings, make them positive in nature.
- Avoid silliness and online games. If you want to play an online game through the network, make sure you set your settings so that none of the announcements ever post to your network.
- In everything use discretion.
- Regularly remove anything posted that is hostile toward you, or directed to make you look like a jerk. If you have been a jerk, you know it – go to the person directly, discretely, and via phone or email. Regardless of your target market, your company will not benefit by keeping irrelevant postings on your page; and you have competition that sometimes will want to make you look bad. So, you must be diligent about watching the content on social networks.
Professional Networks – Online
Professional networks come in various forms, such as alumni associations through your college or university, or professional associations. Organizations, such as NAFE [National Association of Female Executives], have their own online social networks that cater to their specific organizational membership.
Your Community Networks
Regardless of your online presence, your community networks will likely serve you very well in terms of creating a regular, local clientele. While the online presence is vital in today's marketplace, it is your local connections, your local economy, and local clients that are most important in sustaining you against outside competitors. The national and international communities will sustain you in times of local economic troubles, but you will also need your local folks when going up against international competitors.
In the United States, most communities, and all large cities, have local networks and resources through the Chamber of Commerce. Within the context of most Chamber of Commerce chapters is an office that houses the area's SCORE [Service Corps of Retired Executives], http://www.score.org.The SCORE office houses local volunteers, who are retired executives capable of imparting wise business counsel to new and growing businesses. If the local SCORE office does not have someone in their ranks that can help you, they are connected nationwide and can refer you to appropriate mentors.
Additionally, the Better Business Bureau has local chapters in most metropolitan communities, and in the larger cities. You can find the BBB online. While you may or may not find it immediately advantageous for you to become a member of the BBB, it is in your best interest in the long haul. The Chamber of Commerce, as well as the BBB, is extremely helpful in making local connections. Both of these organizations sell their lists of local businesses, including contact information.These lists are accurate, available, and excellent resources for soliciting new B2B Virtual Assistant business for your company.
(B2B is a reference to the business term "business to business," and it simply means businesses soliciting business from other businesses.)