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Thread: Becoming a Social Networking Butterfly

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    Registered User Seawall's Avatar Seawall is offline
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    Becoming a Social Networking Butterfly

    Bigging up GT Girl, Abiola Abrams. She's going to be in a reality show on VH1 starting this Sunday. Watch and support.

    BLACK ENTERPRISE Becoming a Social Networking Butterfly

    Becoming a Social Networking Butterfly
    Build your customer base with black social networking sites
    By Bridget McCrea - January 09, 2009

    Abiola Abrams may not have the deep pockets of a large publishing conglomerate, but what she does have is a powerful business-building tool: a presence on social networking sites that target the black audience. Using online platforms such as BlackPlanet, this Harlem-based BET host and author of the novel Dare, has been able to drum up publicity and attention for her book and for herself without breaking the bank.

    “When my book came out a year ago, there was no marketing budget for it,” recalls Abrams, who bills herself as a “smart, high-energy, big mouth” who likes to have fun. But getting the word out about a comedic retelling of a classic German fable is no easy task. Taking a page from comedian Dane Cook – who credits some of his success to his popular MySpace page – Abrams turned to social networking, a process by which communities of people with shared interests interact online.

    After learning about BlackPlanet, and its popularity among African American users, Abrams created an online, celebrity-oriented talk show that would serve as a publicity vehicle for her novel. Less than two months later, Abrams had about 300,000 friends. That number has since increased to 500,000 – all “with no marketing budget whatsoever,” Abrams says.

    Through the social networking site, Abrams also created a virtual book tour that resulted in 10,000 unit sales of Dare. “After those sales, the publisher took notice and developed a real, 5-city book tour for me,” says Abrams, who set up a dedicated social network page to market the virtual tour, which attracted 200,000 online subscribers. “Using the targeted social networking sites,” Abrams says. “I’ve been able to hone in on my audience and grow my business.”

    Strength in numbers

    In the past few years, a slew of black-oriented social networking sites have cropped up, and today include BlackinTouch.com, Tribefly.com, UpliftthePeople.com, AllUrban.com, and BlackPeopleOne.com, just to name a few. According to Keith Bowen, chief revenue officer for New York-based Interactive One L.L.C., which owns BlackPlanet, about 42% of all blacks online are using social networking. “That number is expected to grow as more and more people dive into online social networking and experience its benefits,” Bowen says.

    Small to midsized firms that lack the resources needed to market their products and services in more traditional ways often see the most gains from their social networking activities. By devoting just a few minutes a day to updating a blog, uploading a video clip (of a new product demonstration, for example) or responding to customer feedback, entrepreneurs can not only interact with potential customers, but also maintain ties with existing subscribers.

    Setting the stage

    To get there, users must first visit the site of interest, register, and then create a profile that others can access. Like any type of Web content, the profile should be updated regularly (at least daily, although weekly or monthly can also work, depending on the business, says Bowen), tailored to your audience and targeted at the site’s specific demographic. “Make sure your product and its message matches the environment in which it gets placed,” advises Marc Edwards, founder of black social networking site Tribefly.Setting the stage

    For example, Edwards says most mainstream advertisements rely on a “catch-all” messaging strategy that doesn’t translate well in the social networking environment. “With social networking, you’re not shouting to a large mass of potential customers, but rather you are communicating your point of view at a small, intimate gathering,” ” says Edwards.

    Also understand that social networkers are the consummate “flippers and skimmers” who spend just a few minutes or less on a site. Keep the message short, appealing and to the point, says Edwards, and don’t forget the most critical element of social networking: the bonds that you can establish – and maintain – with past, present, and future customers.

    To black entrepreneurs looking to tap the benefits of social networking, Abrams says to go beyond the “build it and they will come” mentality and really mix it up online in a way that helps grow your business. “Start with a simple blog on a social networking site, and update it daily,” Abrams says. “Then, make yourself available to interact with others online and become a part of the community.”

    Web Resource:

    Black Business Space

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    SAINTSational Nica's Avatar Nica is offline
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    Unique woman TriniTrini's Avatar TriniTrini is offline
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    Cool.....nice way to think outside the box
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    Spranga
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    take care yuh get ban boy

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    Spranga
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    Quote Originally Posted by TriniTrini View Post
    Cool.....nice way to think outside the box
    bring back ur eye avi nah

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    Unique woman TriniTrini's Avatar TriniTrini is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Bean View Post
    bring back ur eye avi nah

    I will look for it
    When You Get.. Give.... When you learn... teach (Maya Angelou)

    Be the change you wish to see in the world.
    Let us work with others to change our communities.

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    Spranga
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    Quote Originally Posted by TriniTrini View Post
    I will look for it
    lookin good

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    .................... sweetredbutta's Avatar sweetredbutta is offline
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    Unique woman TriniTrini's Avatar TriniTrini is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Bean View Post
    lookin good
    Thanks *blushing*
    When You Get.. Give.... When you learn... teach (Maya Angelou)

    Be the change you wish to see in the world.
    Let us work with others to change our communities.

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    Cervical Cancer MÉCHANT LOUP's Avatar MÉCHANT LOUP is offline
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    Registered User MR HYPE's Avatar MR HYPE is offline
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