Stay in touch
If you are like me, and own and run a fast-paced business, you have lost touch with people over the years. You can look them up on popular social media sites and find them. If your network is profiled and linked, you will never lose them again.
I cannot tell you how many times former friends, colleagues, and business associates have found my profiles on social media sites and have contacted me. A few years ago, one of my best friends from high school found me online and contacted me. What a thrill it was to
reconnect! All those years were made up instantly within days and we are still connected and staying in touch.
Find candidates for jobs
You can use a social media network to e-mail the job requirements and ask for referrals. This allows you to tap into the minds of trusted online relationships to find passive candidates or people who are not currently actively seeking work, but may find your job requirements interesting and want to interview. When we are looking to fill a position, I reach out in my networking social media community for referrals first. I have always had great responses for interviewing candidates. I have also helped other companies in my communities to find qualified candidates and sent referrals.
Look for a new job
If you desire to move on from your current employment for whatever reason, use social media sites to assist you in the job search. I see this happening more and more especially with the economic changes over the past two years and the unemployment being at the level it is.
Establish your online brand
What do you want to say about you or your company? What expertise do you have to share? What accomplishments do you want to be known for? The information put in your profiles will eventually serve you well or not! When a potential customer Google’s your name or company name, will he or she find credentials and expertise that are credible? You will want to establish an online image before you really need it. Establishing this image, or what I also refer to as a sensory package, may take some time.
Join online groups that share your interests and profession
LinkedIn is a great example that allows you to create groups. I am a member of many groups ranging from online marketing, social media, business owners, and others. Following people on Twitter also yields content recommendations. Twitter groups have increased the scheduling of in-person meetings by encouraging people who are interacting online to meet face-to-face.
Develop online social connections over time on social media sites
MySpace and Facebook are sites that allow much more fun than the more professionally oriented LinkedIn. While both these sites started off for young people, participation by mature professionals has been on the rise. Be careful what is shared online, but do not doubt the power to expand relationships.
Provide a space for users of your products or services to interact with you
Customers want to have a conversation with you about their wants and needs. They want to tell you how to serve them better. Many of them want to build a community around products and services that they love. Give them an opportunity through blogs, online communities, forums, and the like and answer their comments. Be sure to use the feedback to improve your company. It is much easier in today’s online environment to zap a note off to you on LinkedIn or Facebook or to leave a comment on a blog than to write a letter to an anonymous company.
Build a community around your products and services
Is your company approachable? Are the people who work in the company approachable, likable, knowledgeable, and ready to listen? If not, be sure to find these types of employees and nurture them. They are the voice of your company. Forums and blogs on your company Web site and within other online community sites build a sense of community. These are your communication lifelines. Create and use them.
Establish a company presence on social media sites
According to the 2008 Cone Business in Social Media Study, 93 percent of Americans believe that a company should have a presence on social media sites. Also, 85 percent believe that these companies should use these services to interact with customers.
Before you go off on a tangent and start joining social media sites, be sure to join social media sites that matter to YOU and YOUR business. It can be overwhelming when first getting started in social media. I suggest you start with setting up the LinkedIn page, Facebook page, and a Twitter page. Remember, LinkedIn and Facebook need to be set up in your personal name, while Facebook company pages can be added and Twitter can be set up with using your personal name or a company name.
I suggest you set up a personal page in Facebook and create a business page as an additional page so there will be two Facebook pages set up total. Send invites through already established customer lists you have gained throughout your business to allow the existing customers to follow your business on Facebook or Twitter.
Use LinkedIn to look up groups that you may want to join and start getting involved in the discussions and provide some discussion feedback to gain credibility. Invite only people you know to join in Facebook and LinkedIn. Follow only those you know, like, and trust in Twitter and spend some time getting involved in discussions.
DJ Heckes, Author & CEO
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