Social Networking as a Business Tool

As my regular readers will know, I have been a View David Anderson's profile on LinkedIn fan for a while. I often recommend Linkedin as a tool to my clients and business associates, as a way to increase their networking opportunities. I recently met Mickael Nadeau, on Linkedin, and he was kind enough to send me this Link from his blog.

Using social networks to build a world-class technological pole

When I first started to think about how I would build the next Silicon Valley, it didn’t take much time for me to realize that I missed several things to make this project a big success. I would need lots of contacts, money to travel around the world, solid partners, access to venture capital, reputable experts in many fields, political will, infrastructures and more. I also needed a way to get the word out, a way to tell everybody that this was happening and that I wanted them to be a part of it. As I was trying to figure out how to do that, I suddenly remembered that I had a LinkedIn account that could be put to some good use. I studied the site thoroughly and decided to investigate what the top linked people were doing to grow their network. In this page, you will find the strategies I employed to surround myself with business superstars that help me make better decisions every day.

What is LinkedIn?

If you are here, chances are we already met on this site. But if it’s not the case, allow me to tell you a little bit more about this fantastic service and what it can do for you.

Here are some facts:

* LinkedIn is a social network where you can interact freely with millions of people;
* Like other social networks, it relies on viral marketing to grow: you basically invite your contacts to join your network and are, in return, granted to contact theirs;
* What differentiates LinkedIn from other platforms is that it is primarily intended for businessmen and professionals, recruiters and job seekers… So, you won’t be able to post a picture of your dog there;
* You can think of it as a virtual board of commerce;
* It is very straightforward and easy to use.

And some advantages…

* It’s quicker. You don’t have to travel the country to attend conferences, lunches and never ending meetings to get acquainted with people. It is there and full of activity 24/7, no matter why you need it.
* It’s international. Want to speak with a decision maker in India, China or London? No problem: it’s just a matter of a few clicks. A lot of people around the world will learn about you and what you do without ever spending a dime.
* It’s useful. On LinkedIn, you have access to many of the best experts on any given subject. I have had some of my questions answered very intelligently within 2 minutes. In fact, that is how I came to use WordPress for this blog.
* It’s profitable. There are a lot of leads and opportunities to be discovered on this network. Build your business and your connections at the same time!
* It’s free. Most of us wouldn’t invest in our own personal branding. Because of its scale and because its free, this tool could give you a real competitive advantage when branding your name and accomplishments.

There are many other advantages, but I’ll let you have the pleasure to discover them by yourself.

Read the whole thing!

This is one of the BEST introductions to using Linkedin I have ever read.

Mickael is 100% right on in his analysis of how to make a social network work. I have some clients and even colleagues who dont believe in the social networking concept. Most of them have not invested any time beyond the basic registration… These people do not benefit from systems like Linkedin, and it is a self fulfilling prophesy. The Network does not work, becuase they dont work the network… Linked in has led me to many excellent contacts and opportunities. In the final analysis, tools are what you make of them. One of my best friends is a very successful businessperson here in Costa Rica. He had been a Linkedin member for some time, but had not really exploited it. Since he and I linked up, he has become a true believer and has made numerous new business contacts which will eventually pay dividends.

As Mickael points out (Strategy Number 4), one of the most powerful tool on Linkedin is the recommendation. It is like having a limitless reference letter. The RIGHT people giving you a reccomendation can sway or win a client for you. One problem with this system is that some Linkedin users, even if they think highly and praise your work, will not take the time to write one for you, or even return the favor, or will write one out of a sense of obligation, rather than taking the time to think out and elaborate on what they have said many times verbally. This is the type of person who does not really understand the value of the network.

Anyway, take a look at Mickael’s post. It is like an excellent seminar on getting the most out of Linkedin.

4 Responses to “Social Networking as a Business Tool”

  1. Ken Stempson Says:

    Great summary of the benefits and opportunities available via linkedin participation. I too have relied upon linkedin to expand my professional universe and connect with former colleagues and friends. One of the features I enjoy most is the Questions and Answers postings which relate to my business interests. Occasionally a reporter will post a question to the group seeking expert advice or comment for an article he/she is writing. By responding to the poster’s questions with your professional expertise you might even receive a follow-up email from the poster seeking a more in-depth inquiry and a request to publish your insights in a national publication. In the last year, I have received three such reporter follow-ups to my linkedin responses which have resulted in favorable quotes published in the Wall Street Journal and other periodicals. For those individuals who enjoy sharing their knowledge and experience with others, linkedin is a wonderful catalyst for reaching a global audience.

    Ken Stempson

  2. davidscottanderson Says:

    Thank you Padrino, it has been far too long since we talked. I trust you are doing spectacular as always. I miss you guys. Thank you for continuing to read the blog!

  3. Agel Says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading your article about Social Networking. Its a great article. Keep it up.

  4. Rudy Says:

    I have interest about this topic because of I want to start a business and I will need this kind of tool to comunicate with associates overseas. I believe that this is the future, the intereaction using technology. We have to feel so proud to be in this moment where we can boost this phenomen, we are in the information society, we can make very good deals, meet people, have a lot of knowledge about other cultures and business models, etc. This is amazing let me know where can I have more info. Thank you.

The Business Adventures of an Expat Call Center Guru in Costa Rica