Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One Great Way 'Friending' More People Can Help Your Business

Today more and more businesses are listening to the popular advice that they must use social media to market their business. Over 700,000 small and medium businesses have created fan pages. While following the trend to jump on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and join the blogging world, many business owners struggle to see concrete results that these activities bring.

Many small business owners are consumed with running their business operations and so time spent on other activities is precious. To actively build community online and engage social media, the appropriate time must be put in. As a small business owner, have you ever felt that it's a bother to reach out and connect to everyone you know on this social network and that social network? If you are a business owner who has yet to really dive into social networking because the returns are unclear, here's a reason to do so now.

It's common sales knowledge that if you have a mutual acquaintance or contact, that connection increases that chance you'll be able to generate a transaction. Traditionally, it's been hard to explore common interests or connections with traffic or leads that you source online. Well follow along: The average Facebook user has 130 connections according to Facebook statistics. Imagine that you're a go getter however and you go out there and hook up 200 people on your account (this isn't unrealistic at all). That creates a 26,000 possibles ways that you could share a connection with someone you don't know.

Now imagine that you also join LinkedIn. The average Linkedin user is estimated to have about 61 connections. Say you go out there and hook up with an above average 100 business professionals. Some experts find that there is about a 30% overlap in Linkedin and Facebook connections. Let's take 30% off both numbers so that you have 42.7 connections for the average user that do not overlap with Facebook; and we'll assume you connect with 70 people that do not overlap with your Facebook conections. You have 2989 possible chances of being connected to another Linkedin user.

Combine Facebook and Linkedin and you have 28,989 ways you could be connected to someone that's on linkedin and Facebook. I don't have Twitter stats handy so let's use the number we have for our purposes here but you can imagine how Twitter starts to add to this.

MashedIn.com has created a simple tool that you can mount on your website, blog or link to in email communications. It allows visitors to your website or people reading your email to see if they are connected to you in Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. On average, we see there could be 28,989 ways that someone could be connected to you. The chances that someone is connected to you increases as you add Facebook friends, Twitter followers and LinkedIn connections. What you have is like a warm introduction to someone who is otherwise anonymous or rather, they have a warm introduction to you.

The Web2.0 movement brought transparency to the web. People who used to just read content now contribute content. Consumers of media have become publishers of media and as more people publish their experiences - conversations, organizations, businesses are all more transparent. Social connections provide context. The more transparency, context and information people have, the more trust we can build with them. MashedIn is one small tool that can help you build a little piece of trust with people that do not yet know you.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

MashedIn: The Super Nutshell Version

Have you ever been to a party or business 'networking' function and been standing around not knowing how to connect with anyone. You sit and say to yourself "how much longer do I have to be here?". Then, someone start a short conversation with you. It's a little strained but you both are trying to make an effort. Then, all the sudden, that someone mentions the name of a person you know and you think "holy crap, you know so and so, and OMG I can talk about so and so..." and then you have a totally engaging conversation. You've connected because you share a common connection. Well that's what MashedIn does.