Social Media, The Five Legged Approach [Part 3]

In the last two posts (Part 1 & Part 2) we have proposed the idea of five-legged social media network to support your business and open up to inbound sales leads.  It is a mini network of sites, cross linked, each with you at the heart, but with different target audiences and different content.  Having addressed the broadest social media, the fifth leg of the approach includes the wide variety of other sites, many of which are unique to a given industry.

Each of these sites can be incorporated into your five-legged system.

Other Social Media Sites

There are a wide variety of sites that cater to business and other organizations.  Some are geographically oriented, some relate to functions while others are specific to certain industries.  It can be worth your while to find if any of these can expand your marketing reach.

A very limited sample of these social media sites are:

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has been described as a rolodex on steroids.  It is easy to accumulate hundreds of contacts, many around the world, and to join groups that relate to your business and interests.  And you can find contacts of contacts to expand your sphere.  It looks a little like a more formal Facebook for business people.

In keeping with out five-legged approach, you have the space to list up to three web pages – your primary site and Facebook pages are a start.

You can cross post between LinkedIn and twitter so that you will touch a larger audience every time you post.

And there are some other benefits.  It has become a primary site for posting job openings so that if you need to hire someone, it is much less expensive than going through the local newspaper.

Plaxo

While not a social media in the traditional sense, it offers you a way to keep all of your contacts organized.

SocialTract

Social tract is a site where many service firms, including contractors and others in the building trades can serve their blogs and describe their expertise.  It is a way for you to work their services into you overall marketing plan.

ActiveRain

Active Rain is a similar site for those in the real estate businesses.  Realtors, lenders, title companies, inspectors and a whole variety of people that are related to the purchase and selling of homes can find similar services here.

The five-legged approach creates for you a composite of social media outlets that promote you and your organization.  It is a mini-network of sites that drive visitors to each other, creating a stronger net of potential customers, whether you are selling actual products, services or ideas.

Each of the sites link to the others in a pattern that makes each stronger. 

Each site also is targeted at a different audience.  Facebook targets friends and acquaintances; twitter targets people that have shown an interest in the products or services that you sell; while a blog identifies you as an expert in the field.  Sites like LinkedIn open your sphere up to other business people, especially to those who have the same interests, and allow you to expand your reach with groups that exchange information and discuss common issues.

All of these link to your primary site where the products, services and ideas are presented in a way that will lead to sales.

The use of social media to create inbound business is a new phenomenon in today’s business world.  It is OK to make outbound cold calls.  It is even OK to advertise in local newspapers or send out printed mailers.

But, the most cost effective way to generate calls into your business from potential customers is an effective social media marketing plan that coordinates the benefits of several interconnected sites.

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