Larry BraunerWhile building my online presence and working on small client projects over a three year period, I devised, tested and evaluated a wide variety of web-based marketing, branding and communication strategies and techniques, and discussed them on Online Social Networking.

In November 2010, I seized an opportunity that arose to join a major luxury goods company and test my strategies and techniques in a competitive real-world environment. The results were outstanding. Not only was enormous buzz created, the business was able to dramatically increase its authority and credibility within the trade and with the media.

I credit just five very simple ideas with our success:

  1. Building a core group of websites around which the company’s entire web presence was built.
  2. Fully aligning web content with the company’s mission and message.
  3. Creating a great quantity of top quality, expertly edited and search engine optimized content.
  4. Using plenty of images and videos to enhance our written content.
  5. Leveraging numerous online and offline sources, such as SEO, social networking sites, social bookmarking sites, email, print ads and word-of-mouth, to generate a flood of targeted traffic to the company’s web content.

Of course the details of implementation were far from trivial. They needed to be worked out along the way, and yours will too.

I shall elaborate on these five web strategies in future articles.

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Larry BraunerI’m still fatigued from My Social Media Mission Abroad in Basel, Switzerland and bruised from my tumble in the Rolex booth but please, don’t get me wrong. Baselworld 2011 and my meetings with the company’s watch brands were a total blast!

Content in social media is essential. My plan, you may recall, was to ask each of our watch brands to supply me regularly with content for our web site that features and promotes their watches.

My Meetings at Baselworld 2011

Baselworld 2011I’m writing a short blog post this evening to provide you with a tiny bit more information about these meetings at Baselworld.

I had four objectives in meeting with the marketing people from the watch brands:

  1. Build rapport and create a feeling of partnership between us
  2. Discuss the types of content they could provide that would be useful
  3. Request quality links from their sites to ours
  4. Explain my planned social networking site for the watch industry

Building rapport and relationships, were more important than all other objectives combined. The brands and I can now work together throughout the year to make our social media projects successful. That’s what made the Baselworld trip and my meetings with the watch brands such a blast.

Baselworld 2012

Needless to say, I’m hoping to be able to attend Baselworld 2012.

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Larry BraunerMy new free open business networking site, containing both offline-online and educational components, has opened using the Ning social and business networking platform. This networking site serves entrepreneurs and small businesses worldwide.

Business NetworkingA unique aspect of this business site is that they’ll help connect offline networking groups, facilitating communication among group members and attracting new group members online.

You do not need a business to join.

Business Networking Site

This is the new business networking site with its .Co domain name. Click on the links to join:

Small Business Networking - http://www.SmallBusinessNetwork.Co

Group owners will be site ambassadors and promote their groups and hopefully conduct business with complete transparency and integrity.

You too can help spread the word about these new business networking sites, if you like. ;-)

Most Popular Social and Business Networking Sites

Also, I’m now frequently updating my blog post on the Most Popular Social and Business Networking Sites that has already been accessed more than 8,000 times since July 2009. If you have any suggestions for that article, please comment there.

If you own a social or business networking site and would like to sponsor that blog post, you can contact me directly.

I recommend that you subscribe to Online Social Networking and “Like” me on Facebook, so that we can stay connected. Comments are welcome, as well. :-)

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Larry BraunerI asserted in Social and Business Networking Evolving that the integration of offline and online social and business networking, along with mobile technology, will dominate the social space for years to come.

Since business networking sites first appeared back in 2003, offline and online business networking have remained dichotomous. Generally, we’ve networked either offline or online. Business networking participants who wisely bridged the offline-online networking gap were in the small minority. However, all that is changing.

Those people doing their business networking online have been learning the importance of connecting offline for building trusting relationships. At the same time, people doing their business networking offline have been looking online for ways to nurture relationships once a business event or meeting is over.

Still a Long Way to Go

Nevertheless, although we’re headed in the right direction, we’re a long way from from overcoming skepticism and from seamlessly joining offline and online business networking.

If you and I meet online, we can communicate by phone or by Skype. This type of offline contact can greatly improve the quality of our interaction. Then, if we’re not too separated by distance, we can meet face-to-face. We can also stay in touch online. This is the approach I take.

However, if you and I meet offline, we might never connect online. Neither LinkedIn, Facebook nor any other social or business networking site is open enough or prevalent enough for us to easily follow up after an offline business networking event or meeting. One or both of us might never even go online nor see the merit in keeping in touch online except for the use of email.

I’m confident we’ll gradually close existing business networking technology and credibility gaps. While we’re waiting, why not subscribe to my blog and leave me a comment? ;-)

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Larry BraunerBusiness social networking flourished in ancient times. Anything you might have called technology had to have been very primitive. The now quaint Rolodex wasn’t invented until 1956.

With the invention of personal computers in the seventies,  people began storing contact information electronically using increasingly sophisticated software programs, such as Act!

Online Networking Emerges

Online social and business networking as we know it emerged in March 2003 when Friendster went live. I became a member of Ryze, my first business networking site, in November of that year. At age 51, I had become an early adopter of online social and business networking.

During the past seven years, countless social and business networking sites have appeared. In November ‘07, I started Online Social Networking in order to blog about effective use of these networking sites, which had already become part of the newer larger social media space.

Social and business networking sites are here to stay. The largest of the networking sites, Facebook, already boasts about half a billion users.

Social and Business Networking Changing

Business NetworkingAlthough all savvy online networkers strive to take their online relationships offline, off- and online networking integration has recently become a major phenomenon with location- based social media, such as Foursquare, and offline networking sites, such as Meetup, gaining every day in popularity.

I predict that mobile technology and mixed off- and online networking will dominate the social space for years to come and enrich it in exciting ways.

I’m creating my own niche at the intersection of off- and online business networking, and I hope to be able to tell you about it soon.

If you’re new, please subscribe. Comments are welcome. ;-)

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