Why do I need Facebook? Why do I need twitter? I get all the referrals I need right now. This social media stuff is a waste of my time. Why do I have to network online? I get comments like this all the time from people who believe that they do not need social media, because at this point and time they are receiving business. That is great that you have a steady stream of referrals coming in right now. I still believe that you can use social networking to your advantage and get even greater rewards.

Whenever you are using social networking you have to think about the future. Social media allows you to create fuller business to business relationships.  Think about how you communicate with your current roster of clients. Do you contact them regularly, or is it every once in a while? Would you like to be there for them whenever they have a question, so they do not turn to your competitors for help?

Then start using technologies like Facebook and Twitter, so you can keep in touch with them everyday. A number of companies have been using Twitter as a customer service tool, because of the simple applications there that allow businesses to connect with their clients and provide them with directions and videos of how to use their products and services correctly. Additionally, people will contact you on Facebook with their questions about different matters. You can provide them a quick response or take the call offline where you can solve their challenges with some advice or maybe even another service of yours for an add-on sale. The possibilities are endless, and companies must start looking for ways to utilize these services better to stay in touch with clients. Otherwise, when unknown events happen they could lose their referral base.

I was in the mortgage business for five years. For a good portion of that time my business came from referrals from real estate investors. When the market changed and that referral source dried out, my business suffered severely. You have to have a plan B. It’s not enough that you get referrals now. It’s more about the fact that you want to make sure that you continuing base of prospects that will allow your business to succeed no matter the circumstances.

In the new economy we are in, where things continually shift, it is our job at entrepreneurs and small-business owners to go after new sources of revenue. The more steps you take to strengthen your position with your clients the more your competitors will stay away from stealing them from you in their desperate times of need. Also, building stronger relationships with customers will allow you to dominate your marketplace and create a strong niche for your business.

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