Socialising with your clients is not as we know it any more. Instead of bar rooms we use chat rooms, instead of meeting up we use social media. Do you want proof? Flip through your digital equivalent of your address book and see just how many of your contacts you have never met in the flesh.
Mark, the copywriter and usability “scholar” at the office, pointed me to i-Tech’s latest piece about the applicability of social networking to businesses. Gege Gatt is one of the founders of ICON, one of the web solutions companies in Malta, and i-Tech’s interview with the man gives plenty of good advice to anybody who is thinking to put his business online. The article in i-Tech should in fact have spelt this clearer – do not go online just by having a website.
Social Networking is now essential to any business, not just those whose business channel is the Internet – like Ryanair, but also Ford and Coca-Cola. It’s also as valid for the very small companies. And, that’s why it makes sense for Malta-based companies to take the plunge. Plenty of Web-marketeers on the islands and, if you are reading this and you haven’t started looking, then you should. I just thought of telling you to go to yellow pages and type “Internet Marketing” but sadly, there is no such section (what??!!). So try Google.
I must refer you to a relatively old online post which talks about the full cycle of engagement in social networking. And, that is one written by Valeria Maltoni. It is based on the work that Gary Hayes and Laurel Papworth did in 2008 and I find it very useful as it tells you where to start and follows the path all the way to measuring how good you’re fairing. The steps are Involve, Create, Discuss, Promote, Measure and you should read more about them here and here.
Good luck :)