The 3C's of Social Networking

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For any small business to grow, it needs to continually extend its reach, enhance its relevance, and expand its relationships. Social networking is a critical tool that will help you do each of these things to build a "community of conversations" with your current and prospective customers.

Most entrepreneurs can identify with needing the 3C's of life - being calm, cool, and collective. However, these are not the only 3C's entrepreneurs need to be familiar with. The 3C's I'm talking about relate to the three positive benefits I have experienced since strategically incorporating social networking into my business activities:
  1. Connections - I can find and virtually "meet" more prospective customers in shorter amounts of time. I have also reconnected with many friends and acquaintances from high school and college who now are also potential customers.
  2. Communication - I can build my brand more easily, effectively and inexpensively through the key messages I disseminate to my target market by using these technologies. Also, because they are accessible from my Blackberry, I'm able to do it without being tied down to my laptop.
  3. Collaboration - I can brainstorm new ideas in real time with other entrepreneurs and individuals to develop new solutions and business applications.
The main social networking platforms I use are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I have had a LinkedIn profile for a couple of years, but I didn't fully leverage its capabilities until recently. I just started using Facebook and Twitter earlier this year. These tools have benefited my business tremendously in a short amount of time.

A social networking strategy needs to be in the toolkit of every small business owner. If you need some help getting started, check out these articles:
Don't underestimate the power of social networks to be potential launching pads for new business opportunities.

Dream B.I.G.,
Paul Wilson, Jr.

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