Hasn’t social networking changed the way we live?! I’ve heard a few people say recently, “What did we do before social networking?”, or, “How did I ever keep in contact with my friends before Facebook?” Personally, I regularly (very regularly!) use Facebook, I also frequent Twitter and occasionally LinkedIn. Facebook in particular has been useful to me as an individual for growing and maintaining relationships with friends and family, as well as reconnecting with old friends. I’ve written a fair bit about Facebook in a couple of my previous posts, what I think is something which is really important for businesses now, is to have a presence on these social networks.
I read this story, which I think is a super cool story about how someone has used social networks to successfully build a business. Nick Kellet is the inventor of the (now) popular board game GiftTRAP, and his story is really interesting. When he was starting out, Nick got in touch with a former co-worker on LinkedIn to find that she had been doing some work for the creators of the also popular board game, Cranium, this friend then helped introduce Nick to the factory owners in Shanghai, China. He then used Flickr to find to find photos that he could legally use for the product. Once the game was produced, Nick used social networks to find buyers at Wal-Mart and Toys “R” Us.
Pretty cool story huh?
Basically what I’ve got from this example, is that social networking for businesses isn’t just good for the big boys, it is also a very powerful tool for entrepreneurs and start ups.
I encourage anyone who is running a small business and does not already have a presence on social networks or isn’t using them to their advantage, explore! See how you can get your business involved in websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and how you can better your business by adopting other web 2.0 technologies (like Flickr and Google Docs), have a look at GO2WEB20.net for a list.