Social Media & Online Networking – Part 3

Thank you for coming back to my series on how to get started with Social Media & Online Networking. In this part of the series, we will focus on the best sites to get you started with your online journey.Facebook – Social Networking plus marketing tools for small business.* Post videos and photos, “tag” photos which can then be posted on your friends page.* Multiple applications allow you to post items from this site to their sites or too your Facebook page from other sites.* Network – can be divided into different groups with you providing or denying permission to join.* Fan pages can be created as well as specific groups and events.Plaxo – Social Networking site that pulls together information from other sources.* Permission levels can be set for business and friends as to what information they see.* Information from other websites such as Facebook, Flickr and blog sites can be automatically fed to this profile.* Automatic birthday notifications for people in you network.* You can set Plaxo up to be a back up and syn mechanism for your contact program.Twitter – Online service for friends, family and co-workers; it keeps you connected with the simple question of What are you doing?* Connect with people on both business and personal levels.* Conversational environment typical of community chat room.* Can be a tool to build business and personal contacts.LinkedIn – LinkedIn is the business professionals social website.* Connect with existing professionals in your network.* Expand your network by learning who your connections are connected too and asking for an introduction.* Become an expert by answering industry questions.* Search for solutions by posing questions to other professionals.These are the ones that I use, but it is not a comprehensive list. I encourage you to take the first step and do something; set up a Facebook page or a Twitter account and get started. You may find some tools and sites that are better for you than others, but this is an important tool for networking in today’s business environment; so get started!!If you want to learn more, or have a private consultation on social media & online networking, just let me know. I would like to talk to you, and please look me up on the sites listed above. Let’s get connected!My good friend Jennifer at Expressions Laboratories is hosting a Social Media 101 Program starting February 5th in Lynchburg. For more information, check them out: http://www.expressions-lab.com/

Add e-Troductions to Your Networking Mix

Anyone who knows me knows that I am big on making strategic introductions for people. I have a large network and like to make introductions that can help others, with no intent on helping myself.I was very excited to read this post on CultureSmith Consulting by Cheryl Smith. Go read it and then come back; I’ll wait.Thanks for coming back.Now I think you have been making e-troductions via Twitter, Facebook, your own blog, etc. for a while now, but just didn’t know what to call it. As Cheryl mentioned, e-troductions are easy to make and can be very beneficial to the two parties that are being introduced. While the parties involved benefit from the e-troductions, make no mistake about it, YOU are benefiting as well!How do you benefit? Easy, you are the one making the connection and you have made a lasting business and professional impression upon two or more people; they WILL remember you! It may not come back to you right away and you may not know exactly when it does come back to you, but it will.I also agree with Cheryl that these e-troductions can be easy to make and should be made soon after you think of them while they are fresh in your mind.As with any introduction you personally or professionally make, you are transferring some of your credibility so do so wisely and carefully.Incorporate e-troductions into your networking mix in 2009 and let me know how it goes! Or, if you are interested, let me know who you want to meet and we can work on an e-troduction!

Social Media & Online Networking – Part 2

Thank you for coming back to our series of how to get started developing your social media and online networking plan for 2009.As you strive to develop your online presence and build your online network, you need create a professional summary. What is a professional summary? It is part biography, part mission statement and even part elevator speech. This short summary should be to the point, genuine in its tone, authentic, interesting and compelling. Be sure to include bullet points that are awards or achievements. People read less, not more. The goal should be to get people to contact you for more information!Decide on what name you will use and be consistent. This is how people will know it’s you on every social networking site or other locations you have created a presence.Choose a photo or a logo, icon or graphic to represent you on profiles. Whichever method you use, be consistent and use the same photo, logo, icon or graphic on all of your profiles.Create a path from your profiles to where and how you want people to contact you. This could be your website, email, and your phone number.Make certain to connect the various websites containing your profile information to each other using links and RSS feeds.In the next part of our series, we will talk about which sites to start with, what information to include and how to make the most of your online networking presence!My good friend Jennifer at Expressions Laboratories is hosting a Social Media 101 Program starting February 5th in Lynchburg. For more information, check them out: http://www.expressions-lab.com/