Some business owners arrive on social networking sites and immediately start working. They write hundreds of blogs, post many advertisements and start communications with many of the high profile networkers. They build huge networks within a couple of months.
After spending two or three months they suddenly start feeling disillusioned. They wonder why nobody has given them any business. After all they have made hundreds of new contacts haven’t they? A few then start criticizing existing members and with a bang and a puff of smoke; they leave. Just at the point that they are starting to make an impact… they quit.
Generating business from social networking sites works differently from most other forms of marketing. It is almost impossible to generate immediate results unless you are very lucky.
It takes time for people to start trusting your online persona. How do we know you are who you say you are, until you have been around for a while? It takes more time to build real relationships with people that you have never met face to face, then in real life. It takes time for the search engines to index your blogs and advertisements before they start ranking your website higher for your keywords. Once your website starts ranking higher it will take time for people to discover your site, read the content, get excited and then get in touch.
So if you are new to social networking then use a more softly, softly approach. Be in it for the longer term. Get to know the other real business people on the site. Meet them in real life. Hard sell will not work on these sites, neither will complaining nor arguing. If you have a big ego then prepare to have it deflated.
Plan your approach and strategy. Most new businesses do not make a profit in their first year. Why do people expect to get a return on social networking sites within the first few months? Building your own personal brand takes time. It is impossible to build a real internet presence overnight. First you have to establish credibility and then start marketing your wares.
Creating a profile that works takes research. You will have to figure out what people like. You will need to discover how to make your profile delicious for the search engines yet at the same time readable for your readers. You will need to learn how to fine tune the settings on your profile so that the spammers find it harder to get through.
The search engines love these sites. They crawl them daily. Soon your blogs and articles will start appearing for search terms that you did not even plan for. People will start getting in touch. Many might not even be members of the site that you have posted your content on!
What is the time frame for picking up real business from your marketing efforts? I would say that you have to be in it for the longer term. You will see results within 12 months. Generating real business might take slightly longer.