I posed this question to a customer the other day, after he claimed that he was on Facebook and LinkedIn “all the time.” To his defense, he had stepped over the number one hurdle facing small businesses and VARs today: setting up a social networking account and profile and understanding the value it will play in one’s marketing toolbox. But just opening an account, having a Facebook page, tweeting occasionally, or updating your profile on LinkedIn once in awhile isn’t enough—you must become engaged with your site or page on a regular basis. It appears that business owners and managers finally understand the value of social networking, yet they still fear getting involved and instead just watch from the sidelines. At first glance, understanding the ins and outs of a Facebook page, keeping up with status updates, and being worried about how many friends or fans you have—or don’t have—can be daunting. But with risk comes reward. Think of the community of new customers, vendors, and employees you will be building. Remind yourself of the benefits of traditional networking and how that will apply to hundreds of thousands of leads and potential customers globally. Like anything else you do, create a strategy and dig in. You’ll be amazed at the opportunities awaiting you.
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