This week, I had the pleasure of speaking to a woman that I haven't seen in about 5 years. I was notified through LinkedIn that she had a new job. I fired off an email to her, congratulating her on the new position, and offering her a lead (she's in sales, like me). This email to her inspired about 5 back and forth exchanges between us that day--catching up and sharing information. During the exchange, she said, "Wow Jewel, I see your name EVERYWHERE!"

Now of course my name isn't EVERYWHERE(thinking of the bathroom wall), but I do use 3 of the social networking sites regularly. Most folks pick one but I've found that I use all 3, for completely different reasons. I'll explain--

LinkedIn is used for business purposes, almost exclusively. This is where I stay on top of new trends, and get ideas for strategy. I also get job announcements from connections that I send off to those that I think are interested. I use the Groups feature to network with like minds. I belong to many groups--from Christian Professionals to Florida Marlins Fans--and get a digest everyday from each. It usually takes me about a half hour a day to go through the digests, make comments, etc. But, the BEST benefit of LinkedIn, for me, is mining for prospects. I search target companies and get names of people, along with job titles. This is invaluable to a salesperson. A bonus is that I'm then able to see who I know that knows them and may be able to get an introduction or a referral.

Facebook is personal. This is where I've connected with long lost FOJ from elementary school, old neighborhoods, even old jobs. These are the folks with whom I share what I had for breakfast and when I have insomnia. It is a much more personal group. It's where you trade pictures of family and parties, and you engage in things like snowball fights and scavenger hunts.

Twitter is a communications forum where you have to speak in "tweets" of 140 characters or less. It moves quickly and you get information in real time. For instance, I wasn't lucky enough to go to CES this past week, but I got constant tweets about it and was always up to date on which companies launched what exciting new gadget. It also affords me one on one conversations with people that I never would have met otherwise. In the past few weeks, I've had a conversation with MC Hammer about the Oakland riots, with the CEO of Zappos about his new obsession with baked potatoes filled with macaroni and cheese, and CNN's Don Lemon about the economy. This simply couldn't have happened on LinkedIn or Facebook.

So, you see, I use them all. I have different audiences and targets on each, and show totally different sides of me. That's not to say that some contacts don't overlap, but somehow the worlds don't really intersect. Which social networking sites do you use and why?

Your comments--priceless!
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  1. ....funny how the smallest steps you take, when networking, creates great results.


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