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Selling Through Social Networking

http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~ncrochet/social_networking_sites.jpgSome of the most visited sites daily on the internet are various social networks. The largest demographic of these sites are the people who purchase the most tee shirts of any other group. There are many tee shirt brands that have launched to success with just a small beginning presence on a social network.

Depending on which network your strategy will differ according to their individual policies. Some networks allow open promotion of your product while others don’t. You can bring in external content to build up your profile on some networks but not others. They all have their own methods of keeping in touch with other people, whether it is through profiles, messaging or a blogging platform. It is impossible to provide a run down on just one way to use all social networking sites. Of course, you can build from a simple starting place that most incorporate:

Set up a profile with information about your brand and develop an authentic personality for the specific social network,

Search out and contact friends and associates you already know who are members of the network.

Explore their friends lists and look for others you may already have in common and invite those people to join you.

Get involved in the networking and keep your profile updated and fresh with new content. Add photos, videos and do blog postings.

Stay active, visit daily to answer any inquiries or requests and put in the effort to make new friends.

Join groups and make comments using a signature line to link back to your website

Network with as many people as you can and identify major players to connect with. Use the site’s tools to search for others who fit into your target market and make contact with them.

Check out any applications or features of the network that can be used for building more contacts and marketing your brand.

Develop strategies to funnel your friends and contacts to your blog or website if you are not allowed to openly market.

Even though social networking is a fancy term, exactly like in real life it’s still all about making friends and influencing people. There is a continually growing number of social networks. Myspace and Facebook may be the largest, other sites can also bring more sales for your brand like Bebo, Friendster, Hi5 and Orkut to name a few. There are also thousands of smaller sites that appeal to different niches and are also worth exploring if your shirt designs target those interests. One example would be if you sold t-shirts targeted towards dog owners then Dogster or Pawspot could be a good place to start a presence.

One of the ways to build a successful network is to constantly stay in touch with people. As your network grows, this task will become harder and harder to do if you belong to a number of social networks. This is where Twitter.com comes in. You can update your contacts and friends on a multiple number of social networking sites about your every activity if you want.

People have used Twitter at times when they were getting fired or laid off, giving minute by minute details of what was happening, and by the power of social networking had a job again or offers almost immediately. How can this happen? The people on the social networking sites found a persons story so compelling it caught the attention of others who wanted to help. Twitter has a way of engaging people with a constant stream of by the minute news, which many find intriguing and compelling.

Successfully using social networks to sell t-shirts isn’t instant and will not happen overnight. If you start now in building your presence, before you know it, you can have viable marketing channels hitting the right demographics that will produce sales for your shirts.

The more time you spend and explore each site, the more successful strategies you will come across that people have used to develop a strong presence. As with everything else you do to increase your tee shirt sales, always be sure to cross link all of your efforts to create a vortex that will eventually pull in customers and make sales.

By Anthony Marsh

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