Clients and prospects are checking Facebook more than e-mail, and YouTube has become an office pastime. So there are plenty of reasons to get involved in social networking right now.
How your company gets involved with social networking depends on how these sites line up with your goals. To better understand and handle online connection-building, try these four steps:
- Conduct your own investigation. Before investing a significant amount of time and resources into creating a business profile, go for a test drive. Examining leading sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Plaxo will help you find the best fit for your company’s needs.
- Spread the word. Most clients will be hesitant to get “connected” if they don’t see a direct benefit from investing their time in a network forum. Provide click-by-click instructions and a list of advantages of being involved.
- Structure — and limit — time invested in managing the site. Fifteen-minute updates one to two times a week will keep posts focused and prevent time spent on the site from spiraling out of control.
- Avoid posting on “sensitive” topics. Writing about events in the industry or within a competitor’s business may be tempting, but you could risk turning off prospects and clients. Stay neutral, be informative and remain professional.