Gilbert Direct Marketing posted this very well done presentation on slideshare looking at how LinkedIn lets you network in the 21st century: In the presentation, they classify users of LinkedIn as casual users or power users and identify ways to help make yourself a power user of the platform. Businesses are increasingly utilizing Linked in to explore career opportunities, find groups and individuals of similar interests, or just expand their network in general. LinkedIn can be a very powerful tool if you decide to use it and this presentation helps you to use it well should you choose. They close with this summary slide: That last point is really the most important if you want to realize social media success. One piece of the puzzle will not create the full picture.
The best ideas in social media usage for businesses have little hope of being successful if there isn't buy in from the leaders of that organization. Over at JeffBullas.com, he takes a look at the CEO and Social Media. There are numerous ways a CEO and their organization can benefit from social media, but that can only happen if they get behind the efforts: The reality is that the CEO has to be behind any project for it to be provided the resources and commitment for it to ultimately succeed. For your social media marketing to be successful the first and most important step is the support and backing by the CEO. Though social media has the potential to be an extremely powerful set of tools for businesses, getting buy in to those efforts is essential to realizing the success they are seeking. Simply put, at a business you can't do it alone. Social media requires experimentation and the occasional failure, not in terms of a disaster, but in learning how you can achieve better results next time.
Check out this great video, which by now is out of date with the speed that social media is growing, on just how big it really is: The bottom line is that if you're not on social media, you're missing out on an enormous audience which continues growing by the minute.