Welcome to the Referral Key blog. We’re just launching, and we welcome comments from users and all professionals interested in business networking and referral marketing, particularly for small business.
We’re watching all things involving social networking and business, particularly generating quality leads through a business referral network. We’d love to hear from you.
For anyone who hasn’t seen it, J. Nicholas Hoover has a great cover story about social networking and the business world in the current issue of Information Week (“Social Experiment” 9/24/07). What I found interesting is that while many companies feel compelled to restrict workers’ access to social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace,(yes, the IT police are watching you watch that Britney Spears’ news clip your friend forwarded to your MySpace page), others are forming groups on these sites or creating their own internal social networks for business purposes.
Hoover points out that while 48% of companies responding to a survey use social networks for viral marketing, recruting, peer networking and emergency communications, there’s still the persistent notion that many employers use sites like LinkedIn for job searches. I must admit, when I joined LinkedIn last year, that’s what I had in mind. (Disclosure: I no longer work for that company).
According to the article, Matt Beveridge of Motorola calls LinkedIn the “next-generation Monster.com.” Whoa.
Now, hang on, before you flame me for bashing LinkedIn, (or “closed” networks like Visible Path or SelectMinds) let me just pose the question: do you find social/business networking sites useful to your sales teams? What does your company and your employees use them for? Are the business relationships you maintain on these sites generating leads for your company or other kinds of valuable connections?
These are the kinds of questions we are asking ourselves in order to build the best tool possible for pure referrals on our site - a different kind of business network that’s less social and more sales. We hope, anyway. Time will tell.
We look forward to exploring this exciting new world with you. Now stop cruising business networking blogs and get back to work.