The Best of Both Worlds: How to Effectively Leverage Social Media Relationships with Real-Time Collaboration Tools
Forrester Research is predicting that social media spending will more than triple by 2014. Social media networks allow users to get their information from each other instead of from mainstream media outlets; users build relationships based on trust, over time. By participating actively and strategically in social networks, marketers can develop new relationships, nurture existing relationships, and gain a competitive edge.
Online, real-time events, such as online conferences and Webinars, connect you to your market immediately, directly, and globally. They provide you, as a marketer, with opportunities to collect registration data, present information about your products and services, take surveys and obtain other kinds of feedback, answer questions, and make sales. Social media networks such as FaceBook, MySpace and Twitter, combined with collaborative real-time conferencing, can be especially effective in marketing, sales, customer support, training, fund-raising, non-profit community, and other areas.
To participate effectively in social networks, don't hard-sell. Expand existing business relationships into the personal realm by connecting to people's passions and interests. Patience is important: "don't expect a one-night stand." Invite prospects to real-time events that you think will interest them.