the power of social networking

Over the last couple of years, the so-called “Web 2.0” phenomenon has really taken hold. Social and business networking sites have grown, new ones are added practically every week and people (including yours truly) keep signing up. Why? Because they work!

A few weeks ago, I finally broke down and joined Facebook (feel free to visit my profile!). Now, why would someone nicknamed “SheTech”, who actually specializes in online marketing, resist joining such a phenomenon? Because I knew that I would 1) be bombarded by messages from other Facebook denizens (and I was), and 2) I would spend so much time poking around that my time management skills (such as they are) would fly right out the window.

The stuff is addictive! And it has changed the face of how people reach one another, both for personal and business use.

Late last week I joined another site, geared toward business networking. FastPitch is all about business networking and appears to be built around the BNI philosophy of “Givers Gain” (I had suspected it’s run by the same people, but it turns out it’s not, just highly recommended by BNI’s founder, Dr. Ivan Misner) — you create good karma by referring business to other people, and what goes around comes around. It’s a philosophy of enlightened self-interest, and more and more businesses are jumping on this particular bandwagon.

I haven’t gotten any business out of it yet, nor am I expecting to; however, I have already made some very interesting connections around the country in the way of strategic alliances. There are many members representing companies that do things SheTech and Company does not do, but that would make a great addition to the suite of products and services we offer. Everybody wins.

What is it about these networks that make them so appealing? In this age of global communication, they offer a great way to reach out to people around the world with like interests. We really are social creatures. We like to have friends, and as the world becomes less and less formal, networks such as these offer ways for us to stay in touch with friends, colleagues, family, classmates, etc., without the pressure of having to write perfect purple prose (there are some of us, I admit, who will always be sticklers for language).

Networking sites also offer a way to create “buzz” about your product or service in a way that traditional marketing methods can’t touch. Some of the most successful marketing campaigns I have ever seen were created for next to nothing by way of Web 2.0 sites — one a technology company and the other a musician/composer, both using networking sites to create “street teams” to generate interest in what they do, and spreading the word far more widely and for far less money than any newspaper or trade magazine could possibly offer!

Sign me up!

Until next time…

SheTech

Facebook profile: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1156998576

View Rebekkah Hilgraves's profile on LinkedIn

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