BBWO: BLACK BUSINESS WOMEN ONLINE

Do you need more exposure for your business? Do you want ways to connect quickly with many people? Then social networking is for you!

Many entrepreneurs, like myself, are on social network sites. The opportunity to expose our business is there, but do we understand how to use it to grow?

Web 2.0 has greatly changed the face of business – it is simply amazing! What you want to realize is that trusted friends – online and offline – refer and do business faster and more efficiently than, say, advertising.

Here are my tips on using online social networking to increase your business:

1. Join sites that interest you, so you will have fun participating. Pick sites that will you a chance to showcase your expertise. Being a member on several has allowed me to share my insights as an entrepreneurial woman which increases my business exposure.

2. When you sign up, make sure you are a REAL person! Don’t be “sxychk2008” or “businessmama.” Use your real name – NOT your company name because it feels like you are selling your business. After all, how can people do business with you if they cannot find you? As a small business owner, I need people to be able to get access to me easily – the harder I make it the less likely they are to do so. And your name should ALWAYS be search-engine optimized!

3. Actively participate by commenting on discussions and starting your own discussions. Be careful that you do not shove your business down everyone’s throat! A common mistake I see is someone joins the network then immediately posts a “discussion” about their business. Your profile is about what you do! When you can weave your expertise into a discussion, then you build your business credibility. Remember: you are there to be social first. Your business can grow because you “play” according to the site users’ interests!

4. Spell check all your posts! Type your posts in Word, and then copy and paste! Depending on how serious you are, I highly recommend an editor.

5. RSS your blog to your personal page if at all possible, and then people can learn more about you. If you cannot do that, at least post the link!

6. Get a quality picture of yourself and use it – it will go everywhere you post! People always tell me they can feel my positive energy from my picture. A good picture should showcase the “real you.”

7. Post comments on others’ discussions.

8. Be careful who you become “friends” with – do your homework first. I had one woman ask me to be her friend, and she turned out to be a card-carrying member of a cult-like organization! NOT the right connection for me!

9. Make sure you get e-mail reminders if people comment on your discussions or leave messages for you! You do not want to forget, you want to be prompt, and it’s a good way to remember to check out what’s going on on the site regularly!

10. Show up! Social networks will not help you grow if you do not show up! Plan to be on the site at least three times a week.

Happy networking!

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Great post, I also wrote a post on social networking, great minds thing alike right! -lhenry
Great advise.
Thanks for the tips girl... keep them coming!

Sunshine :)
Absolutely, it works for me well;

thanks for sharing;

Teresa
Hello,
This is a very influential post for all this advice is going to help me be more creative and forward in my approach to broadcast my little piece of the money world. The greatest tip I can take from this is to actively participate in discussions. Yes this is a helpful way into finding out who people are and ways to network, so maybe this can be my ticket to success in my business...if not money, at least more confidence in myself to be more sociable and have the ability to talk the business. Thank you for the insights!
Hi Lisa,

Thanks for the tips. I'm embarrased to say, but I don't have any good pictures of myself. I'm always the photographer in my family. I will have to get a picture taken real soon, so you guys can see the real me. LOL. I believe you are right. If I'm me with my real name instead of my company name, I bet I participate more. Huh... I'll try it. Photo coming soon!

Melvina Garcia
Hi Lisa,

I must agree with you. I don't appreciate members of the group continously prompting me to go to their website and purchase items or sign up to join and sell products. I am not a hard sell, but it is a complete turn off when you receive twenty emails a day all trying to get you to purchase this or that. I want to get to know who you are and what you are all about and if I want your product or service I will contact you.We all could stand to do a little "brand building." I really believe in niche marketing and everyone is not going to want what you have to offer; that's what makes these networking sites so fascinating.


Thanks for sharing these tips,,,awesome advice.

Denay
On a different note.....

This is a great post, which is why I have decided to feature it on 'The Business', a digital magazine featuring the best Small Business discussions and material on the BBWO Network. This is a new feature, so it is still being customized and I would love your feedback. Feel free to add comments on 'The Business' page. I've been wanting to set this up for a while now, especially after reading the responses I got from my post 'Putting the Business Back in BBWO.' As our community gets bigger, it is becoming a SPAM magnet, and I want to ensure that does not happen. We are experts in our own right with tons of info and experiences to share, which is what I want BBWO to continue to be about. If you feel as I do, great! Continue writing these wonderful posts and I will do all that I can to promote you and your business.

Quick tip: If you haven't already done so, feel free to include your web banner or business details at the bottom of this post. I hope that with the new Magazine page, more traffic will be directed to your way!

Take Care,
LaShanda

.... keep sharing ladies for the interrupt
Awesome tips!

Social media marketing definitely hot right now.Here's something that you might be interested in.

It's a free training site on using social media marketing to get 50-100 leads per day for your business. You can find out more at http://www.danawilliams.com/mlmtraining

Dana Williams
Internet Business Developer & Success Coach
Web: http://www.DanaWilliams.com
Skype: work.at.home.travel.diva
Great post! Social network marketing can be very effective but also extremely time consuming. One way that I found to be pretty time efficient is to maximize Firefox and Google.

I have my iGoogle page set up with RSS feeds to a bunch of popular blogs, as well as niche blogs that I want to follow. I use the tabs to separate the different types such as entrepreneur, SEO, web design, Internet marketing, local news, etc. That helps me keep in touch with what other bloggers are writing about and stay connected with them through commenting, digging, adding to stumble upon, technorati, etc.

Also, Firefox has a ton of free plugins that help you stay on top of your own networks. I have a Facebook plugin and Twitter plugin that lets me do status updates, as well as add blog posts to my blog without having to leave the website I'm on.

Getting to know the depth of what Firefox and Google can offer is a tremendous asset for entrepreneurs and small businesses because it lets us take advantage of social network marketing without having to make it another chore.

If anyone wants to see what I'm talking about, let me know. I'll send you screenshots of how tricked out I have my iGoogle and Firefox. And if you don't have a Gmail account, that in itself is another story!! Two words: Google Docs!!

-Vicky
Those are truly a lot of helpful tips... I am a writer. I just had my my first book published, and I honestly haven't had a clue on how to market myself or promote my book. I just like to write, so I guess I never thought about the amount of social networking that I had to do, especially since I'm not that social. Right now, I've been pulling a lot of "smart business sense" from sites such as this.
Thanks for the information I just opened a Lingerie store in Southside Plaza in Richmond Va and i am having a hard time getting the volume needed to sustain the business. I have been open for 3 months and my current sales are less than $30.00 per day. i am runnig out of money and fear I will be closed in 2 months. HELP!!!

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