Business Networking: Is Facebook or Twitter Best?

If you’re trying to get new clients to your business, should you use Facebook or Twitter?

I use both and judging by my Facebook friends and Twitter followers I’m not alone! So it’s not really a question of which is best, it’s more about using both effectively.

I started using Facebook to connect with family, friends and old work colleagues and it’s been great for that. It’s an amazing way to get keep up to date with people, especially those you only see every few years. I started out with Twitter just over a year ago and I loved it. I still do. I’ve used it mainly to connect with mums in business and to spread the word about Business Plus Baby.

I didn’t want to bore the pants off friends and family by talking shop…

I tried to keep Twitter for business and Facebook for friends and family, but it didn’t work. The people I met on Twitter came and found me on Facebook!  I didn’t want to bore the pants off friends and family by talking shop, so I set up a Facebook page. The Facebook page was doing pretty well, but I still kept getting the friend requests from business folk. Then it clicked – people want to connect with people.

I’ve heard it said that Twitter is better for business and Facebook is better for personal use. Broadly speaking that might be true, but social media blurs the line between business and personal. Increasingly we want to deal with an individual within a business, rather than a faceless organisation. The people you work with become your friends. And then we all end up on Facebook together!

So clearly the answer was to use Twitter and Facebook in tandem. Here’s where I’m up to so far…

I use Hootsuite so I can a) post to my Twitter account, Facebook profile and my Facebook page in one place and b) so I can keep track of what the people in my various Twitter lists are tweeting. I don’t think Twitter would be useable without Hootsuite, especially as I have over a thousand followers now. (You could use Tweetdeck or other programs instead, though).

What I love about Twitter is that you can just let the conversations drift by and then jump in on one you like. It’s simply, snappy, fast and furious. You never know who you’ll meet and where it might lead. For a long time Facebook felt heavy and clunky compared to Twitter, but using Facebook for business now is starting to click now.

I did get really frustrated with Facebook for business networking a few months back, but I persisted because everyone else seemed to be using it! Lets face it, it’s crazy to avoid a place where 400 million people hang around, isn’t it? I’m glad I did, as I’ve picked up some really useful information from Nikki Pepper and Penny Gregory to name just two fab people. As with so much of social media, it seems you just have to keep doing it and the benefits will come eventually. Last week Penny suggested I use Facebook lists to get around my ‘boring the pants off family and friends’ problem – I hadn’t realised that you can send out different status updates to different groups of people. Doh!

With a little practice it’s surprising what you can do with Twitter’s 140 characters, but eventually it has its limitations. So it can be good to use Twitter for making contact and small talk, then use Facebook to get to know people better. Of course it can go the other way – you can connect with a friend-of-a-friend on Facebook then get to know them better on Twitter.  Plus I think we all have our preferences – some of us just use Twitter better because we prefer it. To not use Twitter would mean you don’t get to connect with us, not using Facebook means you fail to connect with facebook lovers.

I’m also experimenting with Posterous, which I’m using when Twitter’s 140 characters isn’t enough – I’ll let you know how that goes!

I’m taking Natalie Lue’s advice and post different things to Twitter than I do to my Facebook page – otherwise why would people look at both? (And it cheers me up no end to hear her say that for a long time she didn’t know what to do with her Fascebook page either!). It’s hard to say what should go on Twitter and what goes on Facebook – they just seem to have a different feel, somehow.

Now I’ve just got to get my head around Linked In!

How do you use Twitter and Facebook together? Leave me a comment and let me know…

Image: Blog Spoon Graphics

Help Businesswomen in the Developing World and Win a Handbag!

Mum’s The Boss does an amazing job supporting women in business here in the UK and this year they are raising money to train businesswomen overseas too.

By the end of 2010 they want to raise £1404 to train 52 business women in developing countries through Oxfam Unwrappped’s Train a Businesswoman gift.

So what about the handbags? This month, Mums The Boss are running a raffle and the prizes are a rather lovely selection of handbags. To be in with a chance of winning one of these, donate at Mum’s The Boss’s Just Giving page and they will email your raffle numbers to you. (You need to donate a minimum of £5, but that will give you 5 raffle numbers).

The raffle closes at 6pm on 30th July.

(Photo: A red leather Cholet laptop bag (RRP £165) from Knomo Bags – one of the handbags you can win)

No Time To Study Business? Try Audio…

Soon after my second baby was born I was totally shattered, but found my poor tired brain still needed some stimulation. Plus I was determined to be a mumpreneur and I knew that taking time off from planning my business would mean I’d need to build up my momentum again.

I would have loved to take a course, but I didn’t have the time and I was so tired I couldn’t concentrate anyway. So I hit upon the idea of listening to podcasts and audio files. This worked brilliantly.  If had to spend hours feeding or rocking my baby to sleep, I put something interesting on my MP3 player and that passed the time nicely. Sometimes I was so tired that I fell asleep after five minutes, so it took me six attempts to get through a half-hour podcast!

If you haven’t tried learning from audio, give it a go. I find it fits really well around small children – you can listen when you’re forced to be awake at silly times of the night, when you’re in the car or loading the washing machine.

Here are my recommendations, why not leave me a comment and tell me yours?

  • Susan Odev’s Mum Ultrapreneur radio show on blog talk radio is fantasic source of information and inspiration (and I’m not just saying that because she keeps mentioning me, honest!)
  • If you’re interested in making an income from blogging, try Yaro Starak’s Entrepreneur’s Journey. The Blog Profits Blueprint is what got me started in blogging, but he also publishes podcasts of interviews with people who are earning a living from blogging.
  • Also on Blog Talk Radio, check out Mel McGee’s Supermummy radio show.
  • If you’re looking for a broader view of the world of business, listen to BBC Radio’s Business programmes – The Bottom Line with Evan Davis, and Peter Day’s World of Business . I find them useful for understanding how big business works and for picking up on new trends.
  • I’ve just discovered SmallBizPod small business podcasts. I have a selection of these podcasts ready to go on my MP3 player as soon as I have the time!

Got any more? Leave me a comment and tell me about them…

Creative Commons License photo credit: jekert gwapo

Starting a Home Business: What Do You Really Need?

It’s never been easier or cheaper to start a business from home. But you still need a phone, a computer, insurance, to register as self-employed, a mailing address, business cards, a bank account and more.  You can do all of this quickly and cheaply, but it takes a long time and a lot of browsing around the internet to find out how. Then there’s that nagging feeling that you’ve missed something important!

That’s why I put together my e-book, Start a Home Business on A Shoestring . I’ve done the searching so you don’t have to! And you can use it as a checklist to make sure you’ve covered everything. You can download the e-book for free when you sign up for my Start Up Tips Newsletter.

Business Mums’ Blog Carnival for July: Don’t Miss It!

Would you like more traffic to your blog, plus more links and more comments? How about a chance to network online around the business mum community? It’s free and will take you just a couple of minutes.

Then join July’s Business Mums’ Blog Carnival!

Here’s how it works. Each month, a different business mum blogger hosts the blog carnival, listing the best  posts that month. If you’re a mumpreneur with a blog, you can submit your own favourite post of that month to the carnival.

We’re looking for posts that add value in some way, so maybe they inspire, inform or make us smile. It’s OK to talk a little about what you do (we’re all in business after all) but a post that’s just a sales pitch isn’t going to be much of a read.

Your host for July is Sam Thewlis of www.mumazing.co.uk

You can read the Carnival here

The hosts for the rest of 2010 are:

August 2010 – littlesheep-learning.blogspot.com

Email posts to elaine (at) littlesheep-learning.co.uk by the end of Friday 20th August and the carnival will be posted on Monday 23rd August.

September 2010 – www.littlestuff.co.uk/blog

Email posts to info (at) littlestuff.co.uk by the end of Friday 24th September and the carnival will be posted on Monday 27th September.

October 2010 – www.sizzlingscience.co.uk

Email posts to info (at) sizzlingscience (dot) co.uk by end of Monday 11th October and the carnival will be posted on Monday 18th October

November 2010 www.andreadaly.com

Email posts to dalyandie (at) gmail.com Friday 12th November and the carnival will be  posted on Monday 15th November

December 2010www.redtedart.com

Email posts to maggy (At) familywoodley (dot) com by the end of Friday 24th Dec and Carnival will be posted by Friday 31st Dec.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Herkie