I have listened to this complimentary webinar and I found it very valuable and clear on what is in it for you to use social networking for business.
Audio/slides presentation from George Kao: http://www.georgekao.net/choice.html
Here a brief summary of key learnings for me and my own observations.
1-Work Less ! spend energy on:
- Current partners who can help you reach your ideal audience,
- Current and previous clients
- New partners leading to potential new clients
2-Don’t get distracted by new gadgets, don’t be a tester and avoid the shiny new things
3-Less is more: Be better at what you are best rather than trying to reach new niches
4-Don’t update too often: you don’t need to update your blog regularly or send tweets everyday and work yourself to death: Know your partners and focus on maximum 3 platforms: for George Kao it is FaceBook, Linkedin and Twitter. For me it is only Linkedin and Twitter. FaceBook is too much maintenance for me and low ROI as professionals I target do not use FB for business.
5-Use you personal name as a personal brand in profiles or account names. Social networking is about making meaningful and authentic conversations. It is always better to connect on a personal level. I recommend you add a nice professional picture, people like to see real people. I don’t like cartoons, birds or logos.
6-Tell stories about who you really are: people want conversations from real people they can trust and with whom they have something in common. It does not mean that you should share personal information if you don’t feel it, do what is most appropriate for your business.
7-Optimize your profiles for automatic lead generation: search about key words that give you a good ranking on search engines, add them to your profiles to be found by your potential clients and partners. Do not forget your own name and company name, your location if that matters to your audience, anything unique about you and your business.
I think Linkedin should be your #1 platform as a professional or business owner. Even as a passive job candidate, you should always update your profile and show up in some groups to build your expert image. It is also a great tool to know what your competitors are doing and your industry new trends. I recommend you to test all the applications on Linkedin and use what is best for you to communicate about you and your business. For example I like blogs, Powerpoint presentations, Amazon.com book lists.
I am using Twitter to get new ideas from an infinite number of great people who are experts in their fields. I survey opinion leaders like Guy Kawasaki or George Kao for example and I share (RT) with my own networks including my blog and my Linkedin groups. At first look I did not find Twitter very attractive : too much irrelevant information, too much time to build very few true connections. Then I started using tools like Hootsuite or socialoomph to automate some functions like programming posting or managing people.
I have now reduced greatly the time spent on both Linkedin and Twitter and get better results as George Kao said.
In this article: “Four Ways Social Networking Can Build Business” http://ht.ly/27suk you will read about four professionals who used social networks to change the game. William Baker, a professor of marketing at San Diego State University, surveyed 1,600 executives and found that firms that rely heavily on external social networks scored 24 percent higher on a measure of radical innovation than companies that don’t. Online networks can help you hire the right people, market your product — or even find a manufacturer.