If your company is in the process of a Social Media Marketing (SMM) campaign, or you are planning one, include social networking in the marketing strategy for your business.

Social networking together with other social media tools and channels is the new frontier as blogging was a few years ago. Targeted traffic you can get from personal connections on social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace are just to big to ignore.

There are thousands of social networks available online, many with their own niches and specialities. The Auteurs is an online film website that integrates elements of social networking with video streaming. SocialVibe is a social networking website that aims to reward publishers of social media content through mechanisms such as donations to their charity of choice.

Which networks should I join?

The most effective and best way to use social networks in your marketing mix is to choose the ones that closely matches your niche and market. Research and find the networks that closely fits your ideal targeted customers and then dedicate some time to really network and become part of the group. Social networking really takes time and effort but if done correctly, the benefits will follow hugely.

How to utilize a social network

  • The best way to join a social network is to find the ones that closely matches your targeted demographics. Always remember that the smaller networks tends to be faster and easier to connect with.
  • Before you join a targeted social network, decide on what your objectives are and what people (level in the organization, industries) you would like to reach.
  • Never sign up and just visit occasionally. Dedicate and spend some time to interact and network with the members and become part of the group and community.
  • Don’t sign up looking for customers for a quick sale or business lead. Social networking is about building relationships. You can create many unexpected alliances with social networking that can cause your business to benefit in many unexpected ways.
  • On social networking channels, constantly adjust your approach and try new things to get better results.
  • The real benefits you will receive from social networking usually comes over a long period . Don’t expect an overnight success with social networking.

Social networking is a great way to build solid relationships and trust. By actively participating on discussions taking place on these social media channels, you can make other people aware of your business, products or services.