Last month readers were asked to chime in with their views of social media and its effects on how they did business. You were asked three questions:
· Are you on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for business reasons? If so, why?
· How do you use these sites in your business?
· Can you directly trace making money in your business to these sites and if so how?
The respondents represented a very small percentage of readers rendering the results not just statistically insignificant but actually statistically irrelevant!
What they lacked in numbers, however, they more than made up for in enthusiasm.
Many people send long emails extolling the virtues or shortcomings of the social media links. Many readers were so caught up in the topic they sometimes failed to answer some of the questions!
Here is a sample of what people had to say:
Are you on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for business reasons? If so, why?
I am on Facebook and LinkedIn, to be able to be found by old business contacts that may have lost my contact information and to be able to be researched by potential new clients.
I am not on any social networking site. I do not twitter. For business, there are too many avenues for communicating already for me to want to engage one or two more.
I am on Linked In for purely business reasons; use it minimally but have had folks contact me through it, which has brought business. I keep my basic CV on it, and refer folks who are colleagues to join me on Linked-In. I think it is worthwhile, and I reserve it for business. You couldn’t pay me to Twitter…I don’t think it is useful for a business model for me, and how I market. I have no time for tweeting…much prefer real conversations of substance. And, I can’t imagine the world would be all that interested in tracking every thought that crosses my mind (heaven forbid). I “speak” to my circle of clients, colleagues and friends in my monthly Musings.
I have only really used LinkedIn for the past few weeks.
I have found it useful in reconnecting with past contacts that have moved on to different companies because of the turbulence in my industry.
We are on Facebook and Twitter and Linkedin because our CEO believes it never hurts to have as much exposure as we can get.
I have a LinkedIn account because several business associates suggested it. Since that time, with virtually no effort on my part, perhaps twenty-five or thirty people have invited me to add them to my contact list. Apart from these requests I have never used LinkedIn. If I want to communicate with someone I prefer to contact him or her directly by phone or e-mail.
I am not on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn….my days are made up of only so many hours; these do not fit in right now.
I am a light user of Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. My belief about LinkedIn’s usefulness is more in theme groups, online discussion forums focused on a topic of mutual, niche interest. The other use is back-tracing an introduction to a desired contact. It is interesting to see the transparency of who knows whom.
We’re currently not on Facebook or Twitter but are considering it.
I tweet occasionally on Twitter, have an active LinkedIn account and maintain a Facebook account although I am not as active posting as I am reading.
I join LinkedIn for a few reasons. First, I thought it would be different than Facebook or MySpace, a “grown up” version of those if you will. Second, there was a little bit of “everyone else was doing it.” Which concerned me when folks I thought well of said, let’s get connected via LinkedIn, and I of course did not have a LinkedIn profile. Third, I was curious to see who knew whom, from a networking standpoint.
How do you use these sites in your business?
I use them as a landmark where folks can look to find me or to learn about me (in the case of potential new clients).
It is good to get some background information on the person you are conducting business with.
I have found some nice networking opportunities (actual events) through some of the LinkedIn groups.
Mostly we use these sites to attempt to direct inquiries and business to our existing websites.
Can you directly trace making money in your business to these sites and if so how?
I cannot trace any money, nor do I know anyone who can trace any revenue coming from social networking.
Yes, I can think of one piece of business that I got through LinkedIn and it was from someone I did not know (but who knew someone in my network). I categorize that work as “over the transom”…work that just appears, not as a result of any marketing effort or focused outreach on my part.
I have dipped my toes in social networking and cannot say I can attribute a sale directly to my use of it.
I don’t believe you can directly trace money making with Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
The jury is definitely still out on the direct value of these sites.
It ultimately will be up to each of you to decide how you use these platforms.
Does the Emperor have “clothes?”
Too soon to tell….