Monte Enbysk, a senior editor at Microsoft Office Live, called a couple of weeks ago asking to interview me for an Office Hours column on using social networking sites to promote your business. I had a delightful conversation with Monte, and he just notified me that his article is now available online, here. Here’s an excerpt:
Are social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn the business tools of the future? Or are they a passing fad that will meet the same fate as disco music?
Time will tell. But if you run a small business circa 2008, ignore them at your own peril. Many of your competitors have already jumped on the bandwagon, and are successfully networking their way to a stronger Web presence, enhanced credibility, and more customers.
Yes, many of these sites are used for socializing by your teenaged sons and daughters. But businesses can benefit too, says Lee Aase, a veteran media relations manager. His employer, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, has put him in charge of articulating the clinic’s message through social networking sites such as Facebook.
“The way that most businesses grow is by word of mouth, by recommendations, and by peers and communities,” says Aase, who writes articles and blog posts about marketing through Facebook. “The whole concept of social media is a lot like birds of a feather flocking together” — in other words, people with a common interest or objective interacting online, he says.
I recommend that you check out the rest of the rest of the article, in which you’ll get 10 helpful tips. Monte wrote this from the perspective of a small business owner, but I believe the tips are just as applicable for larger organizations. And even if you work for a larger company, you have a personal brand to enhance, too. You should learn how you can do that effectively through social networking sites.