Online social networking is vital to your business future – or is it?

Philip Calvert arrived at a recent NRG Business Networks lunch ready to deliver a killer blow for many businesses in the audience. Hitting the audience squarely between the eyes he told them that unless they were focusing on online social networking they were nowhere.

Social networking is so important, he said, that businesses that did not take it on board were likely to miss out. Indeed, he told the story of his son, now at Sheffield Hallam Univerity, whose first task upon arriving at his hall of residence was to set up a social networking group on Facebook for all his room-mates. Young people today think online social networking first. That means as today’s graduates and school leavers enter the business world they will expect it to have inbuilt social networking capabilities. Fail to do that and you will not attract new staff.

Philip made the point that you need to include social networking as part of your business strategy. The very next day, Thomas Power gave a speech on social networking where he echoed Philip’s views. Indeed, he was even stronger in his suggestions about social networking saying that unless you were on Ecademy, LinkedIn and Facebook, you were not going to succeed in the current business world.

Now, both Thomas and Philip agree on one thing for sure – get online, get involved and get networking. The future of your business depends upon online social networking they say. However, are they right? Or is there a flaw in their argument?

Yes, it’s true, online social networking brings business rewards and those exploiting things like Ecademy and LinkedIn are doing well. However, the message that online social networking is essential could cause some business people to lose focus. They could spend much time – Thomas Power said a minimum of two hours per day – engaging in unproductive social networking online. This could divert some people from profit producing business activities or productive “offline” social networking.

So, what should you do? Yes, take Philip’s and Thomas’s advice and use online social networks to help build reputation, image, brand. But do not neglect offline social networks – even in the online world, most business deals are still done face to face. In other words you need to get the balance right. Interestingly, that’s precisely what Philip and Thomas do themselves – they spend much of their time building relationships online and then they go and meet lots and lots of people in the “real world”. Live, person to person contact is what has probably been more important for these two individuals than the online social networks they have built up – important as they are. As ever on the Internet, it’s people first, technology second.

Like this article?

Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Facebook
Share via email

Other posts that might be of interest

man searching
Internet Marketing Articles

Can you find what you are looking for?

If you want to increase your sales, your business needs to make it easy to find everything. That means reviewing how your web search works. It suggests you might need to reconsider the navigation structure of your website. It might even mean you need to distribute your content away from your site and have it on a variety of different platforms.

Read More »
Empty football stadium with no supporters
Internet Psychology

How well supported are you at work?

Yesterday I was transported back in time. I haven’t discovered time travel. Instead, my mind quickly flipped back to a meeting about three years ago that involved the same group of people. I noticed how

Read More »