Social networking seems to be a must nowadays. You’re a nobody if you don’t at least have a MySpace or Facebook account. For those trying to run a business though, is all this internet presence really necessary?
I’ll admit, I had a MySpace and a Facebook account before they really became popular. It seemed like a nice way to keep in touch with old friends and coworkers that I simply wouldn’t have talked to on a regular basis otherwise. But then the social network scene took over. Instead of personal accounts for people to find their old high school sweethearts, we began seeing businesses making themselves known to all of the millions of people on these sites. And from a marketing perspective, it makes sense; free advertising.
Today though, with the addition of Twitter and a whole slew of other sites, how do you know where to go to promote yourself (or your company) properly. It seems the safest bet is to simply be everywhere. Depending on what you do (and if you’re reading this site I’d assume it has something to do with graphics, web, or advertising) your target market is everyone, everywhere. The catch is making sure you’re putting your best face forward no matter what site you’re on.
I, personally, have separate accounts for my personal use and for my business use, but I’m still weary of what is displayed on my personal accounts because I really never know where a potential client could be looking. A lot of people, from what I’ve seen, seem to miss this vital point. When you’re promoting yourself on the web, people can quite simply Google (or any other search) you or your company and track you down just about anywhere.
For example, say you’ve updated your Facebook fan page and Twitter account to reflect the business you and what you can provide for your customers, but someone searches for more information on you and they find an old MySpace account of yours from back in your less professional days. You may not have even looked at your MySpace in ages, but you don’t know who else may be. Be sure no matter where it is, if you have an account there, it should be updated with fairly recent information on you or your business and the most efficient way to find or contact you.
I was never interested in Twitter, or using Facebook for anything more than keeping up with friends, but with the way social networking is growing it just seems silly not to use these sites to your advantage. Just be sure, if you’re going to make use of the vast exposure you can get in social networking, you’re only exposing what you want exposed. That’s right, no more videos on YouTube of your drunken college days, unless, of course, that’s what you do for a living now.
So tweet away, my friends, tweet away.