Social Networking For Business

by on March 19, 2012

Businesses today are being increasingly pressured to use social media to promote and grow their business.  I have to admit I’ve been a bit of a laggard in this area because quite honestly keeping up with all of the social media options – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and who knows what else is in the works has been a challenge for me.

I feel like I have Twitter down pretty good because I have my blog set up so tweets go out automatically when I write a post and it’s pretty easy to just pass along an interesting link if I’m out and find an article that might add value to my readers.

I use Facebook but definitely not as much as I could.  I guess I’m still struggling with posting very much personal information because I can’t wrap my head around why anyone would care what kind of ice cream I’m eating even though I read those kinds of status updates all the time.  My articles post to my Facebook page automatically but I have to wonder how many of my “friends” really care about business related articles – I’m guessing not many.

I’m slowly getting my head wrapped around Google+ and definitely see the benefit it will be especially with search engines as time goes on and I really like that you can compartmentalize your groups so that business associates don’t have to be bored with seeing pictures of your dog or family members snoozing through a business related blog post.

Pinterest is the newest one that a friend convinced me to jump on the bandwagon of.  It is a recreational social site but is gaining ground in the world of business contacts but is definitely more focused on the creative world – sharing recipes, craft ideas, fashion and just fun stuff.  I have an account but need to spend some time learning the difference between a pin and a board and a repin.

I’ve been on LinkedIn for years but sheepishly admit that I’ve been sloppy at best and just recently started taking it a little more seriously.  I just finished reading David Gowel’s book The Power in a Link which is a basic guide to using LinkedIn and the endless possibilities of making business contacts, recruiting employees or making a career change.

The book was an eye opener for me in the endless possibilities of making contacts that can benefit a business.  Of course some of the options come with a cost but as the book describes the software as powerful enough to do a lot without investing in upgrades.

Points I learned:

  • It’s all about relationships and not only who you know but who the people you know have access to.
  • Social Capital is something that is earned over time by earning the trust of others and is a give and take relationship – not all take.
  • Your 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree relationships is how you build your contacts and network and leveraging off of the relationships of your friends and colleagues.
  • A well built profile can be accessed by the many search capabilities of the software.
  • This tool has proven to be very successful in identifying potential job candidates, acquiring business leads, raising funds for a cause or finding a new job.
  • Using LinkedIn to network in a professional manner can help to develop new relationships that can benefit both parties.
  • LinkedIn is here to stay and those of us who don’t jump on the bandwagon will be left in the dust and at a definite disadvantage.

The book was a quick read and an interesting story of how David Gowel transitioned from his military career to civilian life and how he used LinkedIn to help with the transition and to grow his business.  A book that is worth the time and financial investment.

Are you on LinkedIn?  If so click here if  you want to connect!

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