The Basics: Why Should You Use Social Networking Sites?

Originally posted on October 14, 2009 on emeryroad.wordpress.com

In this day and age, the Internet has become so widely used that if you’re not using it, you’re not maximizing your opportunities for growth. One of the ways to take advantage of this technology is to join social networking sites. There are a number of sites out there like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Plaxo Pulse. My favorites for business are LinkedIn and Twitter.

What Can Social Networking Sites Do For Me?

LinkedIn – LinkedIn allows businesses and business professionals to stay connected and learn more about each other. It also enables members to connect with professionals who are part of their target audience or industry.

Twitter – Twitter is another valuable tool that can help you stay current with your industry’s trends and give you helpful tips in other areas that you may want help or insight in.

What are the Benefits?

Exposure – Social networking can give you more exposure as an expert in your field and can put you a step above competitors who aren’t taking advantage of this new technology.

Validation – Participating in social networking can help validate your business in the eyes of your customers and prospects, giving them another way to reach you and to learn more about you and your business.

Information – There is a fountain of information available to you through social networking. Follow others who provide helpful tips and information and join LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your industry or area of service to stay on top of industry trends.

How Much Time is Involved?

Participating in social networking doesn’t require a significant amount of time. You can spend as much or as little time on it as you want, depending on your goals. Define what you want to accomplish from social networking and then develop a plan that will help you achieve that goal.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

Social networking should be beneficial to your business and should not be a hindrance or a bridge-burning activity, so always be professional and treat others in a professional manner to maximize your experience with social networking.

Also, it does take consistency and a longer-term plan, so when developing your plan, allow for several months of consistent activity.