Wednesday, October 2

#GuestPost - The Nature of Networking: Could your business survive without social media? by Netta Gaye

MissEarth 2007 (49)
MissEarth 2007 (49) (Photo credit: maxiadrian photography)
MissEarth 2007 (55)
MissEarth 2007 (55) (Photo credit: maxiadrian photography)

The Nature of Networking:  Could YOUR Business Survive Without Social Media?
By:  Netta Gaye

These days, many people take social media for granted.  Because networking sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, and especially Facebook are so omnipresent, users assume their own thoughts and ideas are no more important than anyone else's and neglect to go the extra mile that separates a memorable posting from a forgettable one.  Something as simple as incorporating photo or video content into a Facebook status – as the Global Glamour team often does – can make it stand out and cause its amount of likes and comments to double, triple, or even quadruple.

Another area in which many users fail to maximize their potential is in the relevance of their postings.  Let's face it:  human beings are, by their very nature, self-interested.  It's only natural – and perhaps even a bit inevitable – that people are going to post things about their own lives and experiences.  The trick, then, is to let one's audience participate as well.  Perhaps your trip to see the symphony orchestra was an absolutely breathtaking experience…for you.  But why should I, having little or no interest in classical music, care?  Why should anyone, really?  Therein lies the dilemma:  giving your audience a reason to become emotionally invested in your postings while still maintaining your own unique personality.

One technique we frequently use at Global Glamour is asking a simple, thought-provoking question and letting that stand on its own as a post.  Something as basic as "what's YOUR favorite fall fashion trend?" or "how can YOU improve your time management skills?" invites a plethora of viewer feedback, as everyone wants to contribute something to the discussion.  Whether you genuinely wish to offer helpful advice or you're simply competing for intellectual superiority, it's likely that you're going to post something in response to the original question.  As the original poster, however, it is important that you continue to monitor these conversations.  No matter how popular a topic is, it can get lost in the shuffle very easily, as the frequency of postings can cause an unmonitored discussion to get buried.  That's why our Global Glamour team pays close attention to these posts and adds brief follow-up questions or comments when necessary in order to keep the conversation flowing.
A prime example of how one can use social media to boost one's business is Global Glamour's participation in the Ford Focus Rally.  The Rally was a contest created by Ford in which the winners would receive a brand new Ford Focus; the objective of the contest was to use social media outlets to promote your brand as heavily and effectively as possible.  My partner, Esther Jazmin, and I did everything we could to improve our chances:  we took endless photos of ourselves at networking events; we filmed video footage of our staff and our talent at any gig with which we were involved, including some major New England boxing matches for which we casted models; and we made continuous postings on as many social networking sites as we could, monitoring our posts around the clock and reaching out to as many people as possible.  Despite our best efforts, we did not ultimately win the Focus Rally, but the experience proved invaluable.  We learned more about social networking than we could ever have imagined, and the fruits of our labor are still being harvested today:  at this very moment, all of Global Glamour's Facebook pages are maxed out with friends, and I personally have over 2,000 requests awaiting confirmation; as the company's owner, you can imagine how unbelievably happy this makes me!  Many of these people are from other parts of the country (and even other continents), and  we would never have connected with them had it not been for the Rally.  Some of these connections have become lucrative clients and business associates, showing that any opportunity not taken – even a seemingly unsuccessful one – is an opportunity missed.
Although online networking has existed for quite a few years now, the use of social media as a whole can still be considered to be in its infancy.  What social scientists call "the global village" continues to grow larger as more and more people around the world become technologically savvy.  Any business owner who is serious about developing his/her brand must not only remain aware of trends, but in some cases, anticipate them.  The Global Glamour team continues to brainstorm unique and creative ways to generate buzz, because once people start talking about your company, it's only a matter of time before they actively seek your products and services.  In today's fast-paced, constantly evolving society, what are YOU doing to stay ahead of the curve?
Netta Gaye is the president and founder of Global Glamour.  A lifelong fashion enthusiast, she has expanded her passion to incorporate various aspects of the entertainment business, and her company casts talent for any film, television, or music production necessary.  Netta currently resides in Boston and has earned her Bachelor's degree in Marketing / Communications from the University of RI and Master's degree in Business Management from Cambridge College; you may view her company's web site at

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