Increase traffic to your website Most professional networking sites will let you link to your
organisation’s main website from your page. This link can bring in traffic that you would not otherwise receive.
Build a clear picture of the key players in your industry Many professional social networking sites
show you how people are connected to one another. For example, if you go to the personal page of Person A, you will be able to see how you are connected to them. You may not associate
with them directly, but you may be connected to them via Person B. If you have a relevant reason, you might be able to ask Person B for an introduction.
Keep up with developments in your industry On many professional networking sites, a news feed will
let you know when people in your network make new connections, take on new roles or move to different organisations. This can help you keep tabs on what people in your industry are doing.
Boost your company’s credibility with reviews On some professional networking sites, you can allow
users to review your products and services. Customers tend to trust the opinions of their peers.
Using other social media sites for business networking
While professional social network sites like the ones listed above are purpose-built for business use, you can still gain business benefits from general-purpose social networking sites.
Organisations will often join Facebook groups based around their offerings and interests. This is a good way to meet interested individuals and network with similar organisations.
Much like Facebook, LinkedIn also facilitates groups based around certain interests. The advantage of LinkedIn is that it has a clearer business and organisation focus.
Twitter allows you to carry on a public dialogue with other organisations. This helps to foster good relations with peers in your industry.
For both Facebook and Twitter, the fact that these dialogues happen in public also means that you are building a positive, human, public perception of your business with each post.