Business Plans

The main reason that some people take opportunities when they arise, and others do not, is that some people are ready.

They have their business plan ready and all they need to do is take advantage of the opportunities.

Where can you find the right business plan?

If your business is based in the United States - click here

U.S. Business

If your business is based in the U.K. - click here

U.K. Business

Ideas To Action.

Part 40 - Social Networking.

Technology insiders tend to throw around technical terms and business jargon, assuming people outside the industry understand what it all means. By its nature, technology vocabulary is often confusing and complicated, and insiders often add to the confusion by over-complicating things.

Social networking, also referred to as social media, encompasses many Internet-based tools that make it easier for people to listen, interact, engage and collaborate with each other. Social networking platforms such as Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs, message boards, Wikipedia and countless others are catching on like wildfire.

By its very nature, social networking is interactive. You can tell anyone (that you want to talk to, and that wants to listen to you) anything about your business, opinions and experiences - and vice versa - through blogs, Facebook pages, videos and tweets can build communities based on common interests, causes and concerns.

  • Blogs are sites that people and businesses set up to provide information and opinions about events, ideas or anything else they want to discuss. Blogs can include links to other related sites, photos, videos and sound as well as text.

  • Twitter is a micro-blogging site. Twitter members post text messages called “tweets”, using either an online device. Other Twitter users can “follow”” your businesses posts, but you can decide if you want to let them follow you or not.

  • Facebook is a social networking site where you can set up a profile for your business, join different communities, and connect with friends.

  • LinkedIn is a social networking site and while it shares a lot of the same features and capabilities you will find on Facebook, LinkedIn focuses specifically on helping people build career and business communities.

  • Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Articles provide links to related information.

  • YouTube is a site to share and watch videos. Anyone can record a video and then upload and share it via the YouTube site. Everyone can watch the videos on YouTube.

Social Media Tools for Business

Additional Help

Social Networking

The world of blogs, tweets and wikis can be confusing for many people. Even if you are comfortable using Facebook, YouTube and other services in your personal life, you may be wondering if social networking can be a useful tool for your business.

The answer is a resounding yes.

Small businesses can use social networking for many practical purposes. Your business can use these tools (which are usually free) to locate experts and find information, pose questions and get answers. Thoughtful use of social networking services can help your business move beyond conventional, one-way marketing, such as advertising, and tap into a more interactive marketing approach. For instance, you use social networking tools to:

  • Research ideas, and learn more about what customers and prospects are saying about their needs and experiences, and about your business and related areas.

  • Gain new market and competitive insights to improve your businesses products and services.

  • Create and join conversations with customers, prospects, partners and other constituents about key issues and concerns.

  • Create positive word-of-mouth about your businesses products and services.

  • Grow your businesses reputation as a thought leader.

Navigating through the social media maze can be overwhelming at first. If you’re just starting out, remember you can start small.

Here are a couple of easy ways to get started:

  • Monitor relevant online conversations in social media. Tuning into online conversations can provide your business with insights for marketing and new products and services.

  • Join conversations. You do not have to write you own blog; you can comment and respond or answer questions in other blog posts, or on Twitter.

  • Use relevant communities for market research. On LinkedIn, for instance, you can join relevant professional communities to discuss what is going on in your industry and ask questions.

  • As you get more involved, you will learn as you go about the different types of social media, how other small businesses use them, and approaches you can use to launch your own online community, blog or YouTube video.

Ideas To Action - next

A Great Business did not just happen - It was planned that way.

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