Why Small Businesses should Own Their Own Social Network Sites

social networking
Own your own social network
Having a website? A must if you don’t want your business to be obsolete. Running a company blog? Also a must if you want to access a larger market with personal touch. Getting involved in social media? Yes, a must if you want to embrace the power of buzz. Now here’s something you should consider about doing, the sooner the better: Social Media Marketing through the creation of a niche social network that endorse your business brand name.

Do you want an example? Consider American Express OPEN Forum (OpenForum.com.) Well, okay – maybe American Express is not a small business, but the essence here is to take your Social Media marketing campaign a step further: Gathering your business’ target market into a place, hosted and endorsed by you, in which you can share related articles, news, commentaries and more. This leads us to Social Network Marketing.

Let’s go back to the OPEN Forum example above. American Express embraces the power of Social Network Marketing by using it to gather great business people, such as Anita Campbell of SmallBizTrends.com, to share information, tips and idea in the social network. This way, American Express can turn these business people into evangelists (some maybe into customers) who will bring each of their or their business ‘followers’ into the social network site. The results are apparent: Powerful business branding, increased brand image, and… more customers.

Now, if you are enticed to my observation above, you might think, “Well, it’s easy for you to say – I am interested in creating a social network for my business, but the big question is “How to Build a Social Networking Website?”

I do understand your concern, but there are actually social media and networking consultants out there more than happy to help you. Whoever you choose to partner with, consider these tips to help you choose the right one:

  • Proven track record: Obviously, don’t partner with a consultant who never actually help small businesses build a social network.
  • Choose the one that will guide you hand-in-hand: Sure, building a social network site is the bread-and-butter for many Web Developers. However, creating it in such a way that it will directly improve your business is another story – you need someone who knows what he/she is doing and will guide you along the way and will let you go on your own when you are ready.
  • Offering free analysis: Most people love freebies – if a consulting company is confident of its business solutions, offering a free analysis, in this case free social media analysis for businesses, is a big plus.

Good luck on building a community who will actually buy from your business!

Ivan Widjaya
On Social Network Marketing