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Business Insights for Women
PNC INSIGHTS Magazine Spring/Summer 2014 Issue
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Social media can serve your business, if you know how to use it. This new book offers tips that simplify the transition from real-world communication to virtual networking.

If you find the social media world of Facebook, Twitter and other services confusing, you're not alone. These online services are evolving continuously, and the rules, from privacy issues to netiquette, seem to be in constant flux. But making sense of social media is worth the trouble as a totally new way to engage your customers and create a dynamic relationship with them.

In her new book, Power Friending: Demystifying Social Media to Grow Your Business, Canadian technology writer and television personality Amber Mac (the last name is short for MacArthur) explains that harnessing the power of social networking for your company or career needn't be complicated or expensive. It just involves the same rules your mother taught you about how to behave with friends:

  • Be authentic: Online communities rebel against companies that use social media for the hard sell. Social engagement is less about advertising than it is about being open and honest with customers. Sometimes this means admitting a mistake, other times it's opening up about the decision-making process within your organization.
     
  • Be helpful: Social media is a great way to interact one-on-one with your customers in a public forum that highlights your willingness to help them solve problems. Real information is the coin of the realm here. MacArthur and other experts recommend being generous with assistance and information even if the result doesn't sell a product or service.
     
  • Listen: Information sharing is a two-way street in social media, making it an excellent forum for hearing just what your customers are looking for from you (and your competitors). Think of it as a built-in advisory panel of your most engaged customers. Ask for their advice, and you'll definitely get it, but be prepared for brutal honesty.
     

Power Friending draws on real-life examples to help you create and maintain an online identity that can bring you closer to your best customers without a lot of time, energy and money.


 

The article you read was prepared for general information purposes by McMurry. These articles are for general information purposes only and are not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting or financial advice. PNC urges its customers to do independent research and to consult with financial and legal professionals before making any financial decisions.These articles may provide reference to Internet sites as a convenience to our readers. While PNC endeavors to provide resources that are reputable and safe, we cannot be held responsible for the information, products, or services obtained on such sites and will not be liable for any damages arising from your access to such sites. The content, accuracy, opinions expressed, and links provided by these resources are not investigated, verified, monitored or endorsed by PNC.