Brown Blog

Brown Blog

Leveraging Social Networks for Business

November 6, 2008 No Comments by admin

People gravitate to others based on shared interest. In life, these groups develop naturally through our everyday relationships such as families, friends and business associates. It just makes sense that they are now reforming virtually, both personally and professionally. In fact, online, professional-based connecting is quickly becoming the most valuable business tool on the web – especially for small and mid-size businesses that rely on referrals for business development.

Among the herd of networking sites, LinkedIn is by far the most popular and easy to use. I recommend uploading your email contacts directly into the web app as many of your associates are already participating and happy to connect to you. They may even be willing to recommend your company or make important introductions to members of their own network. These endorsements can solidify new relationships with prospective customers or simply reinforce client satisfaction among your current clients.

LinkedIn’s Q&A component is a great way to position your company as an expert while supplying a hyperlink opportunity within your response that points directly to your website or biz blog. This is dually important as you attract new users while earning higher website rank from the external link.

LinkedIn and Twitter

Another favorite of mine is Twitter (follow us on Twitter!). While many executives feel microblogging is a waste of their already limited time, I have found that by spending just a few minutes each day connecting with my network, I discover numerous website resources and even tips I may have missed completely on my own. I am constantly amazed at the generosity of colleagues and friends to share their knowledge and my business benefits from their experience. In return, I take another few minutes to post or even re-tweet for my own network of followers.

If you’re not yet convinced, just think about the impact social networks had on the recent presidential campaign. While some past politicians used the internet for fundraising purposes, Obama was the pioneer for successfully integrating technology in order to reach out and organize his voters. He was able to update these voters on breaking news and needs in real time. Your business can do the same.

I suggest you try this new way to network for a week and experience its impact first hand. Then let us know the results.

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