Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Let's Get It Started!

Lately, I've met with clients who are overwhelmed by the sheer number of networks available online. So WHERE do you start? My humble suggestion is to start with the following networks to get in the game: Twitter and LinkedIn. Understand that each has its own culture and language but each can be highly effective when used properly.

Twitter is a micro-blogging community. That’s a fancy way of saying it’s an online version of a cocktail party. And truly, it is as conversational as that. You build your network by ‘following’ others and getting others to ‘follow’ you. In the Twitter world, this means that anything you enter will appear on the timeline for your followers to view and vice versa. You can simply begin by setting up a free profile and then LISTEN to what the buzz is all about. To listen, you simply read. Read what, you ask? TWEETS, of course!

A tweet is the slang used for any single message posted at the site. Each tweet is limited to 140 characters, so you must be brief and to the point. You can tweet as little or as much as you like. There are applications that can be managed from your desktop and even your mobile phone device—but we will discuss that another day.

Just have fun and remember, it’s supposed to be less formal than what you’re used to encountering in the work place. That’s the brilliance of it. It allows your clients, colleagues and customers to see behind the curtain, so to speak. Your personality shines through and that is why they will clamor to do business with you!

LinkedIn is considered the “professional’s” social network, although Facebook is beginning to challenge that. LinkedIn allows you to list your educational background, work history and even connect with past colleagues, co-workers and classmates.

It is not for the faint of heart, as the language can often seem as though you’re reading a resume how to guide. Don’t let this deter you, as everyone isn’t impressed by the jargon nor is it required. In fact, the lingo associated with this site had me so paralyzed with fear that I completely ignored this side in my own marketing efforts.

However, through my use of other social media communities, I too realized that there WAS a place for me (the work-at-home-mom-business-owner) on LinkedIn. So, I’ve been busy building MY professional network there. After all, I have to walk the talk!

So you see, you and I are similar..,we ALL need to start somewhere. Each time a new network emerges that adds value to my online presence; I will need to begin anew. It’s ever changing and evolving.

Want to test your skills? Set up a profile on Twitter. Follow me and I will follow you back. Let's also get LinkedIn together!

Tweet you later!


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