Now before you cast aside the idea of getting involved in any kind of social networking, take a minute to comprehend that what in one hand can be a time-waster and security nightmare you try so hard to keep your users away from, can on the other hand be a powerful business tool when handled properly. Consider this – Twitter has over 190 million users, Facebook over 400 million – can you really afford to ignore an audience of that size?
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are powerful Internet tools that cost nothing to leverage and can put you in touch with a much larger client base that an ad in the local paper. These technologies can also interact with each other, your blog and your website and doing so really starts to bring things together.
The media industry really gets this and is very engaged in Social Networking, but you also see many other industries catching on. The automobile manufacturers are making good use, textiles, fashion, fast-food, you name it. If you take some time to look, you will also notice a fairly strong presence from the Insurance industry, and it’s growing. The simple fact is, there is a growing population of customers and potential customers who look to connect through these channels.
While integrating these services with your website is a “nice-to-have” – it’s not critical, each can be leveraged in a standalone manner. You can also cross-integrate things like Twitter and Facebook.
The only caveat I would bring your attention to, is the same one that goes for your website and blog – be mindful of the content you post.