Using Social Media Without Wasting Your Time

facebook.gifOver the past several months, I’ve been using Facebook. I haven’t used Facebook as a communication tool by choice, but as assocaites and friends have started using it, I’ve started accepting their invitations. My use of LinkedIn has been the same – by force
While, for me, Facebook is a tool to connect with those I know, LinkedIn is more a tool to connect with those who you may or may not me.
What I’ve found quite under-whelming about Facebook is the conversations that take place via the web (as opposed to direct email) through Facebook – hence the waste of time.

When someone emails you in Facebook, I assume part of the reason is to protect privacy, Facebook sends an alert to the recipient, the recipient must then go online to reply. I think this aspect of Facebook is a complete waste of time and not productive at all.
It’s much easier to email people in an email program instead of having to click on link in your email program and THEN go to Facebook and then email them from within Facebook.
The other waste of time in Facebook is the use of widgets. I received an invitation today to add a widget to Facebook that could track certain levels of my activities online and share it with friends. What a certain invasion of privacy and just another media distraction. There are thousands of widgets being developed for Facebook and other social sites. While many of these tools are “fun” they are not productive for growing your business.
What does this mean for your business?
While social media is a great tool for connecting people together (those you know and those you don’t know) don’t get bogged down in the “cool” factor of social media so much that you lose site of the productive aspects of it, such as finding new business or keeping in touch with customers.
For business professionals, LinkedIn, offers more tools to really get things done, like ask and manage questions and see who in your immediate network can connect you to the right person to help you grow your business.
Business Week writes about LInkednIn in’s new tools:

  • A redesigned homepage – now in beta testing – with several customizable modules:
  • The Answers module showcases what questions your network is asking, so that you can directly contribute to the network’s knowledge and perhaps ask a question yourself.
  • The People module showcases the contacts you can make through your network (by using the connections of your connections).
  • The Jobs module showcases the jobs and opportunities your network can help you with.
  • LinkedIn News- now in beta testing – makes it easy for every professional to read the articles they need to read, by leveraging the power of their business connections. LinkedIn News starts by delivering news about key daily topics: a user’s company, products, industry, and competitors, drawn from more than 10,000 publishers and blogs. Then, LinkedIn News uses the wisdom of each user’s “crowd” of colleagues to determine the handful of articles that are the most important to their business — the articles they need to read that day. LinkedIn News Beta is currently available to a select group of users, and will be expanded to all LinkedIn members in the new year.