So a few months ago I made a blog post about networking with @technicktips on twitter. All adding proof to my point that social networking is not just a time waster but it really works. This week I had 2 great meetings with 2 other people I met on LinkedIn and Twitter. Real people making real connections. So why is it workign so well for me? I think it’s because I don’t care if it works or not. Meaning if I make a customer through social networking thats great but my intent is to share knowledge so that it will hopefully help someone else and in turn I can find knowledge that will help me. Taking that approach to social networking will help you to avoid turning off prospective customers by coming across as a hard seller. Secondly I believe social networking helps a person look like a professional. When I’m vetting a company that I want to use I want to see their Facebook & Twitter links to know what others think of them and define their identity. If someone isn’t at least on Twitter it starts to make me wonder. Lastly the best resource out there for business owners are sites like yelp. Don’t be afraid of a bad review! This is an opportunity to get honest opinions about what real people are thinking. Take the criticism and add it to your future planning. Most sites even give you the ability to comment back to the person who had a bed experience. To sum it up, I believe Yelp is saving capitalism because it allows us to get real time data on if a company sucks or not. So start planning your online identity and make real connections!