Many of my friends and business acquaintances are coming around to recognizing the inevitability of “The Social Network” as key to their future business success. Whether it’s the Facebook movie and Mark Zuckerberg as Time’s 2010 Man of the Year or the predictions of everything going mobile, the time to Get Connected is NOW.
So today’s First-of-the-New-Year post will list my recommendations for becoming part of the Social Nation.
____ 1. LinkedIn: If you have not already joined LinkedIn, then do so ASAP.
LinkedIn is an amazing platform for finding prospective clients as well as information, jobs, suppliers, and partners. Before you can reap the rewards from this site, however, you MUST take some time to optimize your Profile for maximum “find-ability”: check relevant links below.
____ 2. Blogging: If you still feel uncomfortable with the word “blog,” then get over it.
Short for Web Log, a blog is the best example of how every individual and every company can now become a publisher with very little — or no — expense. (A) Writing a blog gives the author an opportunity to establish an online presence as the Go-To Source for an area of expertise, in addition to giving companies a platform for engaging with customers and other publics. (B) Reading blogs has become routine for business people seeking current facts and opinions on news and trends in their industries, as well a the newest “mass medium.”
____ 3. Facebook: If you are still worrying about privacy on the most popular web site on the globe, then you need to understand the business value of Facebook and how to engage with “friends” and “fans” to build and protect your online reputation.
Begin with the knowledge that scores of your prospective customers as well as possible new employees are chatting, gaming, posting, searching, and buying via Facebook. Keep in mind that although we hear about changes and hints of changes on an almost daily basis, getting started with a profile and experience interacting with Friends will prepare you to “roll with the punches” as Facebook continues to evolve into the Place To Be online.
____ 4. Twitter: If you still think Twitter is Stupid, think again.
It may be hard to remember how resistant business was to allowing employees to email in the mid ’90s — and that’s because many of us today depend on letters via computer rather than via post office and messages online where we can access at our leisure rather than phone calls which we either miss or are too busy to answer. Many prognosticators are telling us that email will be going away, or at least will become less useful as people discover the many applications of “microblogging.”
____ 5. YouTube: If you haven’t checked for a YouTube video to teach you how to do something you hadn’t known how to do, then DO It.
And consider buying a flip video or simply take a video with your cell phone and post it to YouTube. You will build your skills as you see how powerful videos are for spreading messages, establishing your expertise, and discovering almost everything you need to know — as well as entertaining you and your friends.
Sharing, not selling, is what the Social Nation is all about . . . and 2011 is a great time for you to start. Remember one important tip, and that is to Take Baby Steps. Start slowly, but start.
and if you’d like to read what NOT to do in social media: