A key component in business success is marketing. Selling your business to the public has come a long way from the traditional advertising mediums of radio, television and newspapers. More and more individuals and corporations are embracing networking as a vital and effective means of advertising.
Networking is building lucrative relationships with individuals or businesses as a means of promoting oneself, or one’s business. Networking goes beyond simply handing out business cards to a few well-meaning people, to cultivating lasting relationships that are mutually beneficial. You or your business is promoted through word of mouth advertising by the people in your network who have come to know and trust you.
An offshoot of networking is social networking using sites like Linkedin, Plaxo, MySpace, Facebook or Twitter. The difference between regular networking and social networking is that many of the relationships on these sites are merely superficial, and no real networking is occurring.
There are, however, benefits to using these sites such as connecting with long lost family, friends or colleagues, posting professional information about yourself on those sites and making it viewable by others. Posting events being hosted by your business or organization is another key benefit. Many businesses uses twitter, Facebook or linked in.com to advertise and reap great benefits from doing so.
As will all things social networking has pros and cons. With the rise in popularity of these sites, more and more employers are scouting them to check out potential recruits for their organizations. That being said, one is advised to be increasingly cautious of the type of information that is posted online to be viewed by the public. One misguided quote could make or break your career, or tarnish your reputation. It was recently reported that an employee was letting out his frustrations about his boss on Facebook one day; the following day he was looking for a job.
Remember that although you may be posting something to a good friend, you are not sure who else may be reading that post now or in the future.
With these cautionary bits in mind go ahead and market yourself. Make good use of those social networking sites and whenever possible, try to meet your online contacts in person. Take it beyond the superficial and make it personal. Remember that we are relational beings and no man is an island. There is still much to be said for personal contact.
Connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JazzDVine and twitter at @JazzDVine. Yet I challenge you; don’t be satisfied just connecting online, come out to one of our events and meet us in person. We would love to connect with you!