The startup guide to Social Networking

This, in turn, gives you a good opportunity to positively influence how people feel about your brand or business, and can provide the means to develop advocates, people who support your business and give their friends a positive view of it.

Highly interactive social networking tools like Twitter can produce instant reactions and results that can be incredibly useful for marketers, giving them concise and honest feedback quickly and across a broad range of customers. In fact, customers are frequently using Twitter to make complaints about products and companies, and get their voices heard.

Can negative feedback be good for business?

Negative feedback should not be feared, because it can help businesses to improve their offerings. It can also give companies the opportunity to address the concerns of an individual, and stop them from spreading a bad report about the company to other existing or potential customers.

However, one thing to note is that customer comments on social networking sites are not necessarily always negative. Companies are now using positive comments from customers and posting them on their blogs and community forums to serve as testimonials. Truthful and honest feedback can be a powerful marketing tool.

Marketing via social networking

Thirdly, social networking can be used as a cheap or free marketing tool, highly effective in reaching a broad range of customers, or linking with partners through business social networks.

Some business social networking sites do have a fee attached, but it can still be a low-cost way of making contact with the most appropriate people, and building close links with them. In addition, social networks such as Talkbiznow offer free tools to facilitate networking, collaborating, and doing business online. So, for example, Talkbiznow has free voice conferencing services, webinars, blogs, and advert creation tools.

Social networking can be a powerful and cost-effective way to extend the business's marketing reach, improve customer service, and reduce business costs for communication and collaboration. But the one major caveat is that can involve a lot of time and creativity, in order to find fresh ways of communicating about the business, its products, services and brands. However, businesses that have done it successfully will tell you that it's all worth it.