I just wrote an article/”how to guide” for PCWorld.com about getting up and running with business social networking. Here’s a sampling of the advice in the article:
- Do it now, so itâ€™s there for you when you need it.
- Be on and follow the sites that are integral to your industry. For example, if you’re in the wedding industry, be on The Knot. If you’re in the restaurant or hospitality industry be on Yelp.
- Find and remove unwanted and dated scraps of your presence online by searching Google, Spock, and Zoominfo.
- Follow up on comments on your blog and people who follow you on Twitter. They’re hot leads.
- Attend industry related events. Check calendars and what friends on Facebook are attending. Use a business card scanner and send follow up emails with people you met.
- Make LinkedIn profile your resume. It ranks high on Google searches, especially when you customize your LinkedIn URL with your name. Fill it out completely, include industry keywords in your description, and get recommendations from your colleagues.
- Manage the flow of information through RSS (e.g. relevant Technorati searches, Hot discussions via Technorati or other aggregator sites, top blogs in your industry, Twitter feeds, FriendFeeds, status updates on Facebook)
The purpose of social networking is to either find a solution to a problem you have or be the solution to a problem someone else has. But at the beginning youâ€™ll be giving a lot more than youâ€™ll be receiving. Be patient, you’ll see returns.