Monday, January 08, 2007

Time waster or time well spent?

Social Networks can be great for gaining visibility. However, they can also be a huge waste of time.

Social networks connect people with all different types of interests, and one area that is expanding in the use of these networks is the corporate environment. This makes them searchable and be connected to other business professionals. One example of a business social network is LinkedIn, a network that connects businesses by industry, functions, geography and areas of interest.

Networks are usually free for businesses or at a low cost; this is very beneficial for small businesses looking to expand their contact base. These networks act as a customer relationship management tool for companies selling products and services. Companies can also use social networks for advertising in the form of banners and text ads. Since businesses are expanding globally, social networks make it easier to keep in touch with other contacts around the world.

Some of the well known social networks are:

A quick search under "social networks online" will bring up plenty more.

Success tips for Social Networks

-Know why you are spending time there. You can waste an incredible amount of
time if you just "cruise" around.

-Find areas where you can meet like minded folks or your target market

-Share valuable information in the forums and groups (there are thousands to
choose from)

-Make sure your profile has key information about you that leads people back to a website

-Look for people who seem that they would be valuable to know, send them a
personal email mentioning something on their profile you liked and that
should start a nice conversation. I have done this with some authors. If I
have read someone's book, I let him or her know and I let them know what I liked
about it.

Check out the possibilities of social networking. It may be a great business choice.

Kathleen Gage
The Street Smarts Speaker and Author

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