New social networks are surrounding you on a very regular basis. Sometimes it is difficult to know which ones are worthwhile for your business and which ones are not. Don’t compare them to a large network, such as Facebook.
Just because a social network is new and relatively small doesn’t mean that it isn’t valuable and that it won’t be advantageous for you to be a part of it. Many times, companies are connecting with niche social channels, depending on the types (and quality) of interactions that are taking place. If the results are good, you should seriously consider being a part of some of them.
Some of the new ones that are worth considering are Pinterest, Houzz, Tumblr, IntoNow, and PlayUp. Each one focuses on something different and as a business owner, you need to decide which one (or ones) are right for you. It is definitely advisable to do your research before you sign up for any of them. Before you move ahead in full force, you may want to start small by posting something as a guest so that you can see what kind or reaction from the readers you receive. If you find that certain small social networks are working well for your business, you should then create more of a presence there so that you can start to interact with other people.
There are some fundamental questions that you should ask yourself before you sign up for any of the social networks.
Are the members of the social network that you are considering also members of your target audience?
If you do some research, you will be able to establish whether your target audience is involved with that particular network. If your goal is to engage with specific people (who are either prospective or current clients), it is important to understand how important the focus and quality of the network is to you and your business.
How much time and effort are you planning to devote to that particular channel?
As you are aware, in order to make social media work effectively, you need to put time and effort into it. Before you start interacting, you need to figure out (and commit to) how much time and effort you plan on investing. It is important to remember that you will need to put more effort into it in the beginning. Once you have laid the groundwork, you may not to devote as much time and you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. It may take you between 10 and 12 hours to create a new profile, write and post content on the new social network, and start to really make your presence known. If you see that that particular network is good for your business, you may want to devote more time to it than you would otherwise. In many cases, you will get out what you put in.
How will you be using this particular social network?
Before you get started, you should figure out exactly why you want to be involved with that particular social network. Once you have established that, you will have a clear understanding of exactly how you will need to approach it so that you get the most out of it for your business. It is very important to bear in mind that if you are working with a small social network, your results may take longer to show up than if you were working through a large social network (such as Facebook). Of course, that doesn’t mean that you won’t realize positive results. It just means that you need to have a little more patience.
Will the chosen social network exist in a few years?
There are many that people have started and have not been able to succeed at. A great deal of factors go into whether a social network will have longevity. It is important that the network constantly makes efforts to improve and offer new and exciting innovations along the way. It is a good idea to have a wish list before you get involved with any social network. This will help you to determine right away if that particular network that you are considering is right for you and your business.
New social networks can be deceptive at times. They look very appealing when they are new and you may think that you should get involved; however, make sure to do the research so that you don’t waste time later. In addition to connecting with new (smaller) social networks, you should always keep abreast of new offerings within the social networks that you already have profiles for. Social networks are here to stay and it is up to you to figure out the right ones for you and your business. If you ask the questions that were presented here, you will be able to make informed decisions that will help you in the beginning as well as along the way.
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Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.
Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).