July’s issue of NY Enterprise Report features an article I wrote, entitled Networking 2.0. In this piece, I describe how several firms are using LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to reach customers, save time, and close sales.
Cut from the piece was my interview with Kevin Lee, Executive Chairman and co-Founder of DidIt.com, an online marketing firm. Lee uses LinkedIn answers to help him form ideas for his weekly column in ClickZ.com as well as researching business ideas, including looking for consultative expertise. He posts questions, researching issues, and gathering expertise from throughout his network.
LinkedIn also has a facility for passing on job postings. Lee’s firm hired several people this way, both from referrals and direct respondents to the listings. Since he’s got around 4000 direct connections, his postings get a wide dispersal. Another advantage of using Linkedin over other Job sites has been that the “hit” rate on resumes is greater – fewer bad resumes to weed out. “You can also can see both their resume and their LinkedIn profile to compare them to make sure the person isn’t ‘tuning’ their resume too much for you.”
Lee is also interested to see who’s endorsed them, and might follow up if he knows an endorser. If the person had an endorsement with a fairly senior executive, that may be more valuable than what the endorsement said – Lee figures the existence of an executive’s endorsement is indicative of a person’s ability to create relationships.
I also interviewed author Shel Horowitz, who has written 7 books, including Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers. Not surprisingly, he’s found some very valuable ways to use Facebook, as well as Plaxo’s Pulse connection service, and Social Networks CollectiveX and Ning. His constant posting and cultivation of his social networks have lead him to a guest spot on a business radio show, discussions with a European meeting planner about speaking at his marketing conference in France and even an invitation to consider starting an East Coast office for a well-respected West Coast PR firm.
Networking 2.0 is the new reality. As I note in my article, “There’s no denying that face-to-face networking is still a powerful way to meet and connect with potential clients. But online social networking is becoming more and more useful for doing these same things and more.” How do you leverage both the online and in person networks you have to do business? Comments are open below.