The panel at the Social Networking Tools for Business Development event put on by Vancouver Enterprise Forum (VEF) seemed to have a clear cut message that stood out from the rest of last nights discussion, Twitter and LinkedIn are business megaphones that should be taken advantage of.
The night started off with an intro to LinkedIn explained in Plain English from Common Craft. Basically, it is a vast social network like Facebook that has a business niche attached to it. You create your online resume and then get connected to other people you know and their businesses. These people then are connected to others and they are connected to other businesses and 6 degrees of separation and so on. This makes it easy to see who recommends whom and puts you in touch with the right peeps much easier and faster.
The panel, made up of Colleen Nystedt, Naison Geula and Tim Swanson, were firm believers in the power of LinkedIn . Colleen Nystedt, the CEO, president and founder of Movieset, found LinkedIn to be essential to getting in touch with contacts from L.A. and Vancouver through the many people she had met on movie sets over the years. Naison, with Webtrends, exclaimed how well connected he is through Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, using all of these social tools in tandem. He is constantly twittering and Yammering (twitter updates but only sent to coworkers) to try and update and/or connect for business purposes. Tim of Corporate Recruiters uses the social media to get in touch with colleagues of colleagues and exclaimed the importance of how far the reach of LinkedIn goes and the benefits to his profession of constantly searching out new talent.
It seemed like a great plug event for Twitter and LinkIn as we were told that before we went to bed that night, we were supposed to make sure our profiles were well worked out and that our public identities were intact. What I took away from the night was how for a few minutes a day, there is much that can be gained from a little play on these networks.
I seemed to also notice how there was an underlining concern about social media and our grasp of what we want to share and what we should keep to ourselves. When questions of this nature arose, we perhaps had the most interesting quote of the night from Naison: "privacy was dead". An apt and true observation no matter how intimidating and Orwellian.