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Business And Social Networking - Do They Go Together?

What exactly is the place of social networking in business? Many would argue that the two do not even belong in the same conversation, but I would suggest that, done properly, social networking can do a lot for your business. The benefits of social networking can far outweigh the problems that many see in using social networking for business needs.

First and foremost, you need to figure out your social networking plan. You need to think about your intentions for entering the social networking world. Are you looking for customers, contacts, employees? Knowing what your account will be used for is the first step.

One of the biggest mistakes that I have seen is the mixture of using the same social network account for multiple purposes. Never mix business with pleasure. If you are using your Facebook account to find lead for your real estate agency, do not post pictures of your family vacation on your account. Do not (and I cannot stress this enough) use your account as a forum to make your political beliefs known. If you are starting an account on a social network, use it for business and business only.

Another common mistake that I have seen is using social networking accounts is the use of unprofessional language in your updates. Whether it is a Tweet (on Twitter) or a status update on another account, watch what you say. Profanities will make you look unprofessional.

One of the best ways that you can use a social network for business is to establish yourself as an authority in your field. Customers are more likely to use your services if they know that you are an authority in your field.
Another great use of social networking for business is to use your account as a product research opportunity. Asking poll questions to superfans and potential customers about product ideas and promotions.

All in all, there are many benefits of social networking for businesses and you should take advantage of them.

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