Social networking sites have taken the process of getting and staying connected to a phenomenal level. I am often asked for my opinion about whether joining social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook is really an effective strategy for meeting a person’s networking goals. Those networking goals can be anything from job search to building a new client base.
Ultimately, the choice of whether or not to become a member–and with whom–is a very individual one. Whatever social networking sites you join, remember that we have become a highly transparent society due in large part to these very tools! That makes the decision of which ones to join–coupled with your own behavior once you have joined–even more critical to your networking success. There are some things to consider when making your choice. I will cover one below and give you more in my next blogs.
Ideally, you would base your choice at least in part on research about that company, using tools such as Google Finance and Dun and Bradstreet. Another great method is searching on allbusiness.com to find bloggers who have written on this topic. Google searches can be valuable to view any media exposure they have received, as well as a visit to their website to read mission and values, number of users, etc.
My favorite way to gain information is to have conversations with current members of the site that I know, to find out the degree of impact the site has had on their goals and how user friendly the site is. I know some people who feel that joining a site is easy, but navigating and understanding some sites is not. Use your good judgment and discernment about everything you read and hear, knowing that having at least some knowledge can assist you in making a choice aligned with your goals.
In my next blog, I will speak in more detail about transparency as it relates to your privacy.