Guest post by Lisa Harrison
Even before the Internet, social networking existed. In a nutshell, social networking is when a person uses already existing contacts to meet new people creating potential social or business links. Such links, in turn, will help expand future connections. Small and local businesses may already do this offline simply by attending community events or participating in trade shows, etc.
Anything that gets your company name out there, or connects you to helpful resources, is considered networking. Technology has brought this essential activity online, giving businesses the opportunity to further develop network relationships in new ways.
Social networking can be compared to the concept of the six degrees of separation, based on the idea that any two people can be connected through a chain of five or less intermediaries. Through social media sites, people join, and then invite their established contacts to do the same. Those contacts will likewise invite other individuals.
Today’s approach to marketing, the approach that is infused with social media, leans heavily on the 4 Cs: Content, Context, Connection and Community.
Content + Context + Connection + Community = Social Media Marketing
Large quantities of relevant, education-based, and perhaps user-generated content is filtered, aggregated, and delivered in a context that makes it useful for people who are starving to make connections with people, products, and brands they can build a community around.
In order to fully leverage your social media networking opportunities, you need to:
- Use appropriate networking strategies to establish and maintain relationships that promote the development of business opportunities.
- Identify and pursue network opportunities to maximise a range of contacts.
- Communicate information regarding new networks to inform individuals, colleagues and clients of potential benefits.
- Participate in professional networks and associations to obtain and maintain personal knowledge and skills.
Lisa Harrison is an engagement and online media expert who has also written Social Media Mastery, an innovative new course which is being offered by AIM in Brisbane and Sydney in February. For information on how to book a place on this course please visit www.aim.com.au/courses/social-media-mastery