If you are a frequent Internet user, most likely you are part of an online social network group. Be it Friendster, LinkedIn, MySpace or any other sites, there bound to be someone who has invited you to join their social network.
Other than participating in discussion, photo and video sharing, looking for partner and other mundane stuffs, how can you bring out the potential of your social network to the fullest to help you in your Internet business?
First, let take a look at the benefits of an online social network
It establishes your Web reputation We all know that a person’s reputation is more important than any other things in the World. By requesting testimonials from your clients, friends, colleagues, you are adding credential to yourself. With great credential, you can look for a better job (LinkedIn), find a partner easier (Friendster) or even attract more customers to buy your product.
Get connected to a bigger network instantly Just imagine: you have 10 friends in your network. Each of them has 10 other friends in their networks and each of their 10 friends has 10 other friends and so on. Now, by just getting 10 friends to your network, you are increasing your visibility to 100, 1000, 10,000 or even more. What other ways allow you to increase your exposure like this without any cost? This also explains why Network Marketing model is so successful. This is known as the power of Leverage.
Adding value to your network
A social network by itself has no value until you add value to it. You can do it by the following ways:
Be involved and express interest in other people
The best way you can market yourself is to be involved in other people’s life. Read their blog and leave positive comments. Take part in discussion and give useful advices. If you are truly impressed by a piece of work, article, photo or video clip, try sending the author an email to tell them how much you love it. I am sure they will be delighted. The more you give, the more you gain.
Do not hard sell your product
If you are running an Internet business, do not promote your product openly and aggressively. You will be blacklisted. What you can do is to write about your business, product and website in your profile. Then attract as many people to read your profile as possible. This can be achieved by expressing interest in other people’s work. As long as you are interested in other people, they will be interested in you too.
Be an asset, not a liability
Make yourself useful in the social network. Do not spam or talk negatively about others. Be an expert in your field and someone who others can look to when they need advice. Be an asset to your network, not a liability.