One of the easiest ways to stay in the forefront of customers minds, whether you have a product to sell or are providing a service, is through social networking. Louisville has not lost its edge in providing resources for businesses, new and old, large and small. There are plenty of resources here and they are easily accessible to those who are interested.
Whether you are interested in face to face networking or networking online via social media, you can find plenty of help and information locally. Gini Dietricht, president and ceo of a large corporation, referring to social media, recently stated on facebook and twitter that "...the bottom line is that [business owners] cannot afford to ignore this growing trend. As over your head as it may seem, it is not.
The point of social media is to build relationships...In the offline world, brands spend millions of dollars and create loyalty for years...In the online world, you no longer need to spend millions to engage."The success of social media on line sitesAccording to the New York times, (July, 2009), the reason why Social media networking is such a huge success is because of it's friend-of-a-friend (FOAF) trust model similar to word of mouth (WOM).
A recent study revealed that, while 14% people Trust Ads, 76% of people trust consumer recommendations for purchase decisions more. Since the FOAF model enables users to interact with network users to whom they are not otherwise directly connected, users can establish different rules of engagement for different types of connections in their networks. The closer the connection to a user in terms of degrees of separation, the more trusted that user is.
This is the key difference between Social networking and traditional SEO or PPC strategies. Users maintain direct connections to their friends, but they also have some level of access to the direct connections their friends maintain to other people. Public social networking services such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Friendster can be valuable sales, marketing and support tools if you know how to effectively apply them for your business*First in a series of articles on social networking.
For more information on social networking in Louisville:
Louisville Social Media Club
Social Media Explorer consultancy
Jay Lane MediaLouisville Business Exchange
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