Everyone -- unless you live under that proverbial rock -- knows about Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. These all provide a platform for social or business networking. Each has its own unique draw, depending on your reasons for signing up, and they are pretty easy to use.
One not so familiar though, but is ranked in the top five among users in the U.S., is LinkedIn . For business networking it's the best. Here, you can find discussions to help answer your questions or share your know how. Even better, it's a place where employers post jobs. And they will search the site for people who fit their needs. So, polish up your profile and show off what you know! Your contributions to discussions and articles give you that opportunity. It's also a way to gain referrals.
Of course, as with anything, it's a mixed bag -- there's the good, bad, and the ugly. We all want the good aspects of networking to come our way. Some useful guidelines help to achieve just that.
- If you don't want info to be publicly known, don't share it.
- Find a network that fits your needs and provide info that caters to those needs; if you're a writer, write about writing tips :-)
- Project and network -- OFTEN; people won't know you exist if you don't put yourself out there.
- Consider placing a photo of yourself on your profile -- it makes you real and approachable.
- Be consistent on your sites with what you advertise; helps people remember you.
- Find a tutorial to help you learn how to use these sites.
- Bottom line -- as the Nike commercial says, "Just do it!" or at least, just try it.
For a more detailed account of this topic, read Social Media on Writing-World.
So, how many of you partake in social networking? And how important is it to you?