Social Networking in the automobile industry is starting to take roots and will propel the industry into the 21st century. Social networking is nothing new to anyone that has had an internet connection for more than 30 days almost all of our online activities incorporate some level of networking.
The core of any business is to attract more customers, while social networking by design is to start conversations. Using social networking to grow your business can come in many different forms.
One of the things that web 2.0 has brought to the world is transparency. It is not just a buzz word anymore. The exchange of information in our world today moves faster than it ever has and it will continue to pick up momentum. How that information about you and your business moves is your choice. People are going to spread the word about your company whether you want them to or not. Good or bad, you need to become part of the conversation to help maximize how others perceive your company online.
Industry leaders are learning to build their brand using social networking by allowing their people to connect with others and placing brand awareness where it belongs, in the minds and hands of the ones that represent them on a day to day basis with the people that use their products. It allows them to become the hunted not the hunter and capitalize on the Law of Attraction, while improving their competence at marketing themselves and their company's corporate brand.
Social Networking takes on many forms. Most people think myspace, facebook and linkedin, all valuable tools, on the surface when the topic of social networking comes up and they do provide a level of connection. However, there are many other ways to network online. Blogs, your website, review sites and industry specific networks just to name a few. These resources also will contribute to your Search Engine Reputation Management and off site Search Engine Optimization for your corporate website in addition to engaging others.
When you start to build your online networking brand you need to be very cautious on how you present yourself to these communities. Use your own picture, use a phone number where people can reach you directly and be respectful in your communications. Remember this, if you would not want your mother to see what you have said you are probably better off not putting something out there that someone else’s mother may see.
Having a space to call your on is as important as belonging in a space bigger than yourself and contributing, helping and seeking knowledge to build your business. This can be accomplished through the use of blogs, building your profiles at various networking sites and utilizing different forms of user generated content. This can be an arduous process, but the best analogy to use when starting on this journey is to remember “You can eat an elephant one bite at a time.”
Friendships and customers can be built through online interactions and your contributions to a community. Once you become an active participant in these types of communities you will be amazed at the number contacts you will receive, from people wanting your advice, giving you advice and seeking out your services. If you participate without the dollar signs as your motivation you be amazed at the real return on investment realized for your time.
The best way to build brand awareness online is through your people. The best way to keep your clients happy is to encourage the conversation. The best way to learn what others are doing to improve their business is a free flow exchange of ideas. The best way to learn online networking is to join the party!
Get involved and build your brand.