The history of social networking is longer than you might think. There are a number of people I know that started using the bulletinboard systems back in the eighties and say this is when it all began. I have been using social media since the nineties when I used Yahoo and MSN chat to talk to friends. In fact, I still have my yahoo account from the nineties, which I set up to do instant messaging. It is my oldest email address. The great thing is with the recent upsurge in interest about social media, the old school social networks are coming back in vogue. They are tremendous business development tools that can help you shape your social networking policy. Spending some time on these networks can help you gain some additional revenue. Let’s take a look at 5 web 1.0 techniques that work great in the web 2.0 space.
Craigslist is a great community for people looking to sell their wares online. It is a simple system that people have been using for over 10 years now. The great part about Craigslist is that it continually brings in qualified business for me to buy and sell products and services in everything from real estate to social media to my parents piano and that dry cleaner I bought at a steep discount last year. Just keep plying a few Craigslist ads and you will get a response from their large community.
Instant Messenger never went away, but it feels like with the addition of Facebook and Skype chat and a number of other video chat services (Chatroulette, Oovoo, etc) that instant messaging is making a big return. That is great for those looking to build the relationship online. You can now contact people at anytime and even cooler is that video instant message means that the relationships you make with these people can be. One note here: I have had some challenges with Facebook chat and spammers in the past. Check out Get To The Point for more on that.
Yahoo Groups are a great way to participate in a focus group that revolves around your ideal clients. I am part of a number of yahoo groups, including one for real estate investing (which I have been investing in real estate for the past 4 years) and also a number of internet marketing groups. A number of people will come onto these groups to learn how to use social media. Just like on Twitter and Facebook where you start seeing people time and time again, and after a while you start connecting with some of the people here offline as well and turn them into clients.
Yahoo Answers is great. Might as well call it finding Yahoo here is my target market. This is a great internet local to find people interested in the same topics as me. I am constantly answering questions about topics that relate to my business and am adding connections as a result. Additionally the people I meet on Yahoo answers are already interested in the products and services that I offer, so they are more eager to move forward.
Forums have always been a great way to discuss challenges and curent events with people in a similar field as you. Forums exist for virtually any popular topic from travel to business to internet marketing and more. It is a great way to gleam insight into a topic and also a terrific way to meet people in your industry online.
Amazon and Ebay are obviously more than just social networks. They are e-commerce portals. The great thing about these two sites is that they are built upon trust. Not trusting Amazon and Ebay, but the members on each site.
Whenever you sell something on Ebay you get rated for how well you did. Those ratings go with you, and the better you do with your ratings the easier it is for you to sell products on their site.
It is similar on Amazon, where readers evaluate the books they are reading and tell others what they thought. Therefore it is vital to make a great first impression, since those who the read books first can bless or kill your chances of large number of sales on Amazon.
It is great to use the new sites out there, but do not forget the old school social networks that have established user bases. While it might not have the 500 million users like Facebook, if you find the right forum you might only need 1000 users to increase your business.