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Leveraging Social Networks For Your Business - Penny Power

EntrepreneurCountry Global Thursday, 17 December 2009.

In April 2008 I wrote a blog called ‘Community, Intention and Tools – how to achieve leverage through software and people’.31 So far there have been more than 4,000 views of this blog and more than eighty people have kindly added their comments to it. The message I was giving is that there are three elements to being successful inside social networks:

  1. The community – the people
  2. The intention – the purpose
  3. The tools – the software

So far in this book I have covered parts one and two – how to be part of a community and how to share your intention with others. Many people are afraid of using the web to build relationships and connect, this is because they see it as ‘technology’. It is not, it is about the people, and by now I am sure you will have begun to understand that.

Before discussing tools, I want to share this great story I read in Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas Friedman.

A CEO had to babysit for his daughter. He was trying to read the paper but was totally frustrated by the constant interruptions. When he came across a full page of the NASA photo of earth from space, he had a brilliant idea.

He ripped it into small pieces and told his daughter to try and put it together. He then settled in for what he expected to be a good half an hour of peace and quiet. But only a few minutes had gone by before the child appeared at his side with a big grin on her face.

‘You’ve finished already?’ he asked.

‘Yep,’ she replied.

‘So how did you do it?’

‘Well, there was a picture of a person on the other side, so when I put the person together, the earth got put together too.’

So, don’t focus on the task, in the same way that the CEO did, focus on the people and it will all come together and make sense. You know the greatest lesson you will actually learn is that the internet mirrors real life and is just a transparent and speeded up version of the values, techniques and communication styles of the offline world.

This is an extract from Know Me, Follow Me, Like Me, a book by Penny Power and Thomas Power, who founded Ecademy, the UK's first social network for business, in 1998 with her husband Thomas Power. The Ecademy community now has members in over 230 countries and encompasses over 5,000 clubs and networks

Know Me, Like Me, Follow Me by Penny Power and Thomas Power is published by Headline Business Plus at £14.99.

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