Social networking sites - social and business networks specifically focused on the building and verifying of online community.
LinkedIn, Plaxo and Hoover's Connect are good examples of popular professional social networks. If you would like to use social networking for keeping in touch with friends and family, Facebook and MySpace.com are great options for you.
Your professional relationships are key to your professional success. Online business networks like LinkedIn help you connect, get advice on a global scale, research background information, and join industry groups/associations.
Example 1: If you are a grad student who one day wants to be a CMO of a company, you may want to look at current CMO profiles to get an idea of what you may need to do before you achieve your goal.
Example 2: If you are a US-based small business owner that is looking to expand into India, you can easily reach out to another SMB owner who’s already established in India and get advice from that person.
Example 3: If your company is going into a new business meeting with a potential client, you could look those people up prior to meeting them in person. You’ll get a better feel for their background, where they come from, how long they’ve been with the company and if you have any connections in common. An old boss or co-worker of yours just might be connected to that new client. If they are, you’ll be able to ping them and get additional information about the person that you’ll be meeting with.
Social networking is a great tool to brand yourself, help you make money, reference check vendors, find candidates to fill critical positions and so much more.