Why Facebook and LinkedIn Are Good for Your Business

by Stephanie Ward

These two social media applications can help you bring in more business.

Have you been hearing all of the buzz about social networking? Feeling confused? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. The great news is that it isn’t as complicated or time consuming as it may seem. Plus, it’s more than just social; it’s good for your business to get involved.

The list of social networking sites is long and growing. I don’t want to overwhelm you so I’m only going to focus on two that are particularly suited for you as a business owner, Facebook.com and LinkedIn.com.

So why should you care? What’s the big deal? Well, here are just a few reasons to enter the social networking realm:

  • Gain exposure for your business that may lead to new clients or projects

  • Increase the credibility of your business (give and receive recommendations on LinkedIn, post messages on friend’s pages on Facebook)

  • Be connected to the people in your network in one location (OK, two if you’re on both Facebook and LinkedIn)

  • Re-connect with business contacts you’ve lost touch with (sometimes they find you, sometime you discover them)

  • Meet new people and expand your business network (meet your friend’s friends that you otherwise wouldn’t meet)

Here’s a quick overview of them (both are gratis and LinkedIn offers paid upgrade options).



Facebook:

  • Informal and more social than business focused (this doesn’t mean it’s not good for your business)

  • Almost 100 million members (according to Wikipedia)*

  • Anyone can ask you to be ‘friends’ (you don’t have to accept) and you can ask anyone to be friends (they don’t have to accept either)

  • It is possible to share photos, videos, and add applications

  • You can join groups within the network that interest you (or make your own group)

LinkedIn:

  • Business focused

  • 19 million members (according to Wikipedia)**

  • You can only invite people you know (people whose e-mail addresses you have) and vice versa.

  • It is not possible to share photos and video (only your own profile photo)

  • You can join groups within the network that interest you

To get started you just have to go to the website, sign up and follow the directions to create a profile. Because LinkedIn is mainly for business it is professional and the profile area is quite structured which makes it easy to follow.

Facebook is another story. Although it does have a structured profile area, there are loads of additional features you can add to your page. When you join for business reasons be careful not to make your page too busy or too personal. You can be yourself and share your interests, just don’t reveal anything you wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing with a group at an in-person networking meeting.

When your profiles are finished you can start asking people to connect. The process is different for LinkedIn and Facebook but both are pretty straightforward. LinkedIn has a ‘Help/FAQ’ section on the website and Facebook has a ‘Help’ area as well (bottom right hand corner of the page).

You will learn more as you go, so just go ahead and get started. And as you meet new people you can ask them to join you on your networks. Networking, off-line or on-line, is about building relationships over time. So give first when possible, be yourself, and have fun with it.

The benefits of social networking for business owners are clear. You will be able to meet new people, build relationships with your network, improve visibility for your company, and discover new opportunities for more business. But that’s not all, it’s fun too. So why not get started and join the world of social networking today.

Copyright 2008, Stephanie Ward

* Facebook: 800 million as of July 2011

** LinkedIn: 120 million as of August 2011

Life & Business Coach Stephanie Ward helps business owners set their profits on fire! Grab your free monthly profit tips, plus bonus report at: http://www.fireflycoaching.com

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