My IABC/Washington Independents Group had a lively discussion last Friday about word-of-mouth marketing and social networking. We talked for a while about how to use these tools and tactics effectively, a conversation triggered in part by our speaker, who boasts membership in multiple social networks and over 6,500 contacts on LinkedIn alone. This broad-based approach to social networking works somewhat well for her business; it wouldn’t be effective for mine.
Following on that conversation, I found a great post from Brand Box blogger Amber Naslund about how to use social networks strategically. Here’s an excerpt:
Taking the time to understand your customers and how they’re using the Web to engage with businesses cannot be underestimated. Not every social site or network is going to be right for every business. And participating in one or two at a really engaged, invested level is much more important than having a face everywhere but a personality nowhere. It’s also important to recognize that just because I enjoy participating in a social community, it doesn’t mean that I’m connecting with a business audience of potential customers. They may be somewhere else entirely.