Networking for Social Networking

By Allyson Greenman, Marketing and Communications Manager for Aspen Advisors

I recently attended a power lunch hosted by the Northern Liberties chapter of the Women’s Power Network (WPN). The WPN is a network for female professionals in or around the Philadelphia area looking to expand their businesses. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming to me, the newcomer. Though at first nervous, I easily assimilated amongst the group and was able to have several one-on-one conversations where I could introduce my position at Aspen Advisors, and vice versa. The women were eager and interested to hear what Aspen is all about; I was able to give in-depth answers about some of our products and services.

Following introductions, we sat down for lunch and geared up for a fun, informative presentation on social networking from Sarah Grey (www.greyediting.com), a local copywriter, professional editor and resume guru. She gave a ton of helpful pointers on how to evolve a business through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Without listing them all, I’d like to share some that I found especially advantageous:

1. Do not mix business accounts with personal accounts. Sounds like a doozy, but it is important to have separate accounts for your business and your personal life. Potential clients should not have access to pictures of your weekend nights out, statuses about how much you dislike your co-workers, your political views (unless you work in politics), etc.

2. When promoting your business, do not spam your followers. Between work email, junk email, tweets and statuses, the last thing people want is to be bombarded by excessive business pitches. Chances are, if you have something worthwhile to say, it won’t need to be repeated.

3. Be in-the-know. Get to know your clientele and network accordingly. Get involved with what they like so you can relate to them on a higher level. They will notice and appreciate that you took the time to follow their interests.

4. Have fun (when it’s appropriate). Make your tweets/statuses fun for your followers. Not everything you tweet needs to be strictly business. Find similarities between your business and something in pop culture and illustrate that, for example. Remember tip #1 and don’t go too crazy.

5. Use correct grammar. I cannot stress this enough. If you know me, you know I am a HUGE stickler about spelling. No one’s perfect, but if you are writing something with 140 characters or less, please proofread it. It will take less than a minute and will mean the world to the integrity of your message. No one will take you seriously if you can’t spell, or do not know the different meanings of “their, “they’re” and “there”.

Obviously, there is a lot more to being a savvy social networker, but hopefully you can use these tips to your advantage. Make time for events where you can network face-to-face and channel your inner and outer “social networking” skills. It’s always good to meet new people in the business world.

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