with Aliza Sherman
If you own a business - home-based or otherwise - this is the blog where you'll find practical tips and smart ideas about entrepreneurship. I've started and run 4 different businesses so "been there, done that." I'll also invite successful entrepreneurs to share their best advice with you.
To learn more about Aliza, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! and her website, www.mediaegg.com.
To talk about this issue, I turned to Diane K. Danielson, CEO of www.DowntownWomensClub.com and the co-author of The Savvy Gal’s Guide to Online Networking (or What Would Jane Austen Do?).
Here’s what she had to say about networking through social media:
We’ve all been hearing that we need to be on social networks to promote our businesses. But, how do we do this effectively?
First, you need to remember that even though you are doing this to promote your business, when it comes to social networking, YOU are part of your company’s brand. This is because social networks thrive on authenticity and transparency.
How do you do this?
1. Think 30/30/30/10 - 30% business / 30% pontification / 30% helping others. This means that approximately 1/3rd of the time you are participating in Facebook or Twitter (and even LinkedIn) you need to be doing one of these three things. As for the other 10% percent? That’s for fun. Do something totally silly and fun every once in a while purely for your own amusement. The big secret about social networks is that they are fun, so why not let yourself join in on it by taking a quiz to find out which Sex and the City character you are, throw a sheep at someone, or test yourself on 80’s trivia.
2. Be consistent and show up. Just like in-person networking, you don’t get any benefit if you don’t show up. The nice part is that online, you can show up on your own schedule. Aim for dedicating 60 minutes per week at a minimum. You can do this all in one sitting - which works for Facebook, LinkedIn or blogging. Make it more social by grabbing a cocktail or a cup of coffee — depending on the time of day (and your mood) – then spend a full hour answering questions on LinkedIn, commenting on blogs, searching for past classmates on Facebook, joining groups, participating in discussions, writing recommendations for others, or testing out applications on Facebook. Not ready to dedicate a full hour? You can also do this in a couple of 20 minute sessions. Personally, I like Twitter which is done in short 2-3 minute spurts throughout the day.
3. Create your own online buzz club. Team up with a couple of colleagues and friends and help each other out by commenting on their blogs, Facebook posts, promoting their events, re-tweeting their updates, etc. Expand the group and make new friends.
4. Don’t forget the in-person networking. We can meet a lot of people online, but sometimes it takes a phone call or a face-to-face meeting to really take a networking relationship to the next level.
I especially like Diane’s #3 about creating your own buzz club. So much of social networking needs to be you promoting other people and other information other than your own. That creates much more value for others who are not interested in friending a constant commercial.
How has networking changed for you now that social media has infiltrated the way we communicate?
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