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Are You Social Networking?

In the Spring and Summer issues of The Professional Quilter Gloria Hansen took a look at the phenomenon of social networking, specifically Facebook and Twitter. While we think of social networking as relatively new, it had its start in 1997 with SixDegrees.com, though the site is no longer active.

Today social networking lets you make connections that you would not otherwise make. I’ve connected with high school friends and flames, new friends who share similar interests besides quilting, and quilting associates. And, social networking is a good thing for business. It lets your customers and clients get to know you on a more personal level. I’ve heard it said that before someone buys from you, they need to know, like and trust you. Social networking lets them do that.

Here are six tips to help you take advantage of social networking:

1. Quality of your connections, not quantity, is your goal according to Gloria. You don’t have to “friend” everyone. You want to enhance your opportunities rather than get bogged down in lots of non-relevant chit-chat.

2. Learn how to fine tune the information you receive. Spend time learning how to use Facebook so that, for example, you don’t get spend unnecessary time reading news feeds that aren’t news. You can do this in the Settings, News Feed section of Facebook. Facebook also has a help section.

3. Facebook lets you post photos. Take advantage of this by posting photos of yourself teaching, lecturing, working at the longarm, attending a gallery opening with your work. Pictures speak louder than words.

4. Give more than you get with your posts. Share your expertise so that you can to help other people. This comes back to you in so many more ways than you can count. Zig Ziglar says, “You can have everything in life you want, if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.”

5. Look for ways to integrate the technologies. For example, if you tweet (the action of posting to Twitter) about being at a gallery opening, post a link to your blog where you have uploaded pictures of you and your quilts at the gallery.

6. Use timesaving applications, such as TweetDeck and Twhirl. I like Ping.fm that lets me post to both Facebook and Twitter at the same time.

7. Remember that Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites don’t eliminate the need for a Web site and/or blog. Be sure to keep your Web site active and post to your blog. Each tool has a purpose, so develop a strategy for using them all.

Remember it’s all about making connections, and you never know when that connection might turn into a wonderful opportunity.

The Professional Quilter always includes an article that is technology focused to help you grow your quilt business. You can learn more from Gloria Hansen’s articles on using Facebook in Issue 107 and Twitter in Issue 108. If your subscription is not current and you need to renew, or you want to start a new subscription, here’s a link to our order page

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