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There's Power In Social Networking

Jan 16, 2008
Social networking is a growing mechanism for allowing people to connect with each other online, develop friendships and find some entertainment along the way.

Online business has found ways to used social networking to enhance their marketing, however there is another way for social networking to positively affect business.

Facebook and other social sites have embraced the idea of networks. This function allows you to access others in your field, region or personal interests. By linking to these networks you can actually reconnect with individuals you once knew or worked with. You can also choose whom to allow in your own personal network.

Like the Internet itself social media is making it possible to enlarge your circle of friends for mutual encouragement, knowledge and potential business alliances.

The potential in this expanded network is for business owners to have online peers they can share concerns, news or ideas with. Those ideas can be discussed and new insight can be added that help the business owner gain a better idea how to proceed.

This is something that happens with industry organizations that are generally fee-based. These organizations work to assist members in the development of ideas and business potential. Now social media provides a more organic approach to locating and networking with others who have a similar interest - at no extra cost.

For instance if your business could be classified as agricultural in nature it would be relatively easy to establish or find a group that is geared toward your specific business interest. Members then talk to each other either through blog posting or a group-type forum. In most cases you can participate in multiple groups. This can allow you to separate more personal interests with those related to the performance of your business.

In the past I have talked about social networking as a means of attracting new customers through blog posts and comments. This is facilitated through the use of links in the signature line and it can be effective in marketing your business.

The elements discussed in this week's article have to do with personal growth and inspiration within the context of direct correspondence with individuals who have a similar interest and common ground.

An online business, especially if it's home-based, can be very lonely. Because you don't deal with people face-to-face it can cause a melancholy mood to develop. It can actually be a bit like moms who take care of their children all day and long for an adult to talk to.

That is a good word picture to describe the impact a social network 'group' can have on an online business owner. When appropriate instant messaging can also be used to gain immediate access to someone who has shown an interest in helping you navigate some difficulties in your business.

We all need others and the dynamics associated with the Internet has shifted our thinking away from an exclusive face-to-face or phone-to-phone contact to a cyber connection that may allow us to gain encouragement or advice from someone we may never meet in a location we may never visit.

There is power in social networking.
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