New Ways of Networking

Social media sites – like Facebook and Twitter – are no longer just for connecting with family and friends. As people are spending more than 700 billion minutes each month on Facebook and typing more than 95 million tweets a day, it’s no wonder that businesses are taking advantage of these sites to network.

Here in Naperville, the realtors at Ryan Hill Realty recently began using social media to extend their reach to the commercial real-estate industry. They’ve already gained several hundred followers on Twitter in just the last few months.

“It’s actually expanded our reach beyond the local community and really has shown us how flat the world is,” said realtor Karen Kramford.

Local entrepreneur Mike Cooper also uses these social networking sites to find clients for his own business, Sales Kitchen, a company that offers sales coaching to other employers. Cooper describes social networking as a modern day water cooler.

“You can go online with twitter and hang out for 10 to15 minutes and schmooze with some other experts in your industry and then turn it off and get back to work,” said Cooper.
Nationally-known social networking expert Brian Basilico recently offered advice to Naperville small businessmen. Basilico says using social media for a business is all about developing a relationship with the customers.

“It’s an extension of your face-to-face networking,” said Basilico. “If you meet people you should ‘like’ them on Facebook, listen to them, respond if they have any questions. You should be a resource for them.”
Basilico says it’s also important to keep a record of the traffic coming to your social media sites.

“You’ve got have a sense of what’s driving clients to your sites so you know what’s working and what’s not working.”
Youtube is another popular resource businesses are tapping into. Every minute, 35 hours of video are being uploaded onto the site. The realtors of Ryan Hill Realty are looking to upload videos to Youtube in the future to draw appeal to their commercial real-estate services.

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