Sunday, 18 December 2016

Social Networking - The New-Age Enabler of Entrepreneurial Success Stories




If ideas, knowledge, and capital are the key components of an entrepreneurship, it is social networking that catalyzes the symbiotic consolidation of these elements to transform an entrepreneurial venture into a successful enterprise.

Yes, social media today is not just a mere technology or tool facilitating the discovery of any business venture, but an intrinsic constituent of every entrepreneurial space. Social media is indeed fast turning out to be every aspiring entrepreneur’s best friend as new opportunities and innovative approaches of social networking are being untapped every day.

From serving as a knowledge base to facilitating marketing through digital channels, social media has become an indispensable tool enabling entrepreneurs achieve success in innumerable ways, including providing support in:
·  Identifying funding options from investors
·  Sourcing talent for your entrepreneurial journey
·  Introducing your brand to your audience
·  Unearthing expertise that you can partner with
·  Providing platforms to test effectiveness of ideas
·  Bolstering customer interaction to create dedicated communities
·  Mobilizing marketing from persona definition to targeted, personalized interaction with your target audience

Social media thus plays a crucial role in today's entrepreneurial world, increasing visibility and credibility of organizations. However, despite the innumerable benefits of incorporating the new-age social media innovations into entrepreneurial initiatives, the road is not always smooth.

A clear lack of awareness is a primary reason for entrepreneurs not taking advantage of all the potential advantages that social media can offer. Half-hearted approaches lose patience as it takes time and effort to generate a solid following and to cement your place in the social world.

The key to earning a social capital is not just in the number of contacts made but in turning these contacts into long-lasting relationships.  Commitment and patience, as well as proper planning and strategy, strengthen social media networks and their contribution to every organization. As you adopt effective and profitable approaches to fulfill your organizational goals, here are a few suggestions to optimize your social media strategy in achieving them:

·  Find the right platform – All social media platforms are not the same. You need to choose the right ones for your products or services. Each business has a varied target audience and finding the best channel to reach your audience is crucial. You must carry out two essential steps before you choose your platform - identify your target audience by defining clear-cut personas and map these personas and their online behaviors to specific channels. Your business will then benefit from concentrating on these specific networks that are aligned to your solution or product, even if they generate relatively less traffic.

·  Create a social media strategy - Blind pursuit of latest social media trends often leads to disappointing results since these approaches are not backed by solid strategy that maps the organization's brand with the target audience and the desired consequence. The who, what, when, and how of the entire approach must be clearly defined in the road map. Most important, crystal clear means of measuring performance through trusted analytics must also be available.

·  Schedule and delegate – Create a social media schedule that drills down to the minutest of details. You might also need to hire a dedicated social media manager to manage your accounts, update your profiles, stay on top of trends, post great content, interact promptly with your audience, and monitor performance. 

·  Make use of the tools – As social networking gains importance in business world, a number of tools are available in the market to aid you in managing it. There are sites and tools that help you by sending updates to multiple social networking sites, with one click, that help you reach out to specific audiences, and that deliver critical data analytics on what works and what doesn't.  

·  Build a content plan – Every successful social media strategy depends on content that targets the right people with the right messages at the right time.  You need to have a continuous, relevant presence on social media, which can only happen through meaningful content that is channel appropriate and in tune with your marketing and business strategy. Consistency and fresh content matter thus help increase the popularity of your business. 

·  Follow-up – Purposeful, personalized conversations with your target audience are crucial for maintaining relations.  Social networking is about engaging with your audience - the first step in expanding this network is to build trust. Following up on complaints, constant monitoring of social media channels, prompt interaction with your audience, and immediate initiatives to resolve any issues are key to a successful social media strategy.

·  Keep updating – Like any other marketing strategy, your social media strategy needs to be constantly updated. You need to monitor the responses and look through your analytics every week to understand your performance. You need to refine your networking ideas to meet your goals.

Connecting with the rest of the world through networking and social media tools is a priceless approach that the entrepreneurial space should leverage. Riding this wave will boost all chances of your success. No matter where you are in your entrepreneurial journey, social media has grown to such colossal dimensions that its influence on your business cannot be overlooked. With far-reaching benefits that this road holds, entrepreneurs should harness every single advantage they can gain from embarking on the social media journey.

Start networking!