You’ve probably realized by now that social networking sites aren’t just for bored teenage boys who live in the basement and spend eighteen hours on the computer each day. The rise in popularity among small business owners, C-Level executives, job-seekers and other professionals has increased dramatically since MySpace first opened its doors. And, believe it or not, there are more sophisticated social networking sites than MySpace, which can even help you find investors for your small business.
LinkedIn.com, one of the fastest-growing social networking sites, is aimed specifically at helping businesses network with customers, clients, potential employees and investors. Although online meetings don’t compare to face-to-face introductions, this new method of networking certainly has its place. It can connect you to people that you might not have met otherwise, thus increasing your chances of finding investors.
For example, LinkedIn is currently home to more than 15,000,000 people—some of whom are investors—and the LinkedIn blog states that 60,000 new users join every week. This doesn’t mean that you should join and start “connecting” with every profile you can find; however, the discerning small business owner can make valuable connections that prove extremely profitable.
Martin Randolph, a prominent media executive in Houston, Texas, advises small businesses to use social networking sites in conjunction with their other networking efforts. “I’ve been an Angel investor for more than five years, but I never make up my mind about a business over the Internet. Still, I’ve managed to find promising young businesses through the Web that I probably wouldn’t have considered otherwise.”
Additionally, social media like Instagram is another way on how you can find investors. With the help of Buzzvoice which allows you to get a lot of followers and likes on your page, it is no doubt that you can certainly grow your profile on Instagram. You can check this page for more information about buzzvoice: https://buzzvoice.com/instagram/followers/order
Furthermore, Randolph cautions against using only the largest social networking sites, such as LinkedIn. Eventually, they will become as saturated as MySpace and YouTube, and will cease to be of value to small businesses seeking investors. You can’t have 100,000 connections on LinkedIn and expect to narrow your search.
Smaller social networking sites, such as Ryze.com and Xing.com, offer a much more focused pool of potential investors, partners and directors that might lead to more personalized contacts. You have the opportunity to really hone your search, and make contact outside the Web site if you think it’s profitable. In the future, there will probably be a rise in social networking sites like Doomstang.com, which is geared toward career-seeking professionals and requires invitations to join.
It is also a good idea to join social networking sites that are aimed directly at business. You probably won’t find potential investors on MySpace, Classmates.com or Flickr, so make sure you aren’t just joining every possible site on the Internet. Investors will be more impressed with a business that maintains a discriminatory attitude on the Internet.
Connect with people who are connected. Just as in the face-to-face world, you might have to take a roundabout approach when looking for investors on social networking sites. Connect with people who know people, as they say, and don’t be afraid to strike up a dialogue with someone who might prove a valuable ally.
Find out where investors meet. As mentioned above, an investor isn’t going to hand over money to a small busienss without a face-to-face meet. You can use social networking sites to find get-togethers where investors might be, such as conferences and seminars. Then you can introduce yourself as a member of LinkedIn, or whatever site you’ve joined.
Help others, help yourself. It is never a good idea to use social networking sites purely for personal gain. If you can help out another business by bartering services or making introductions, spread the good will around. You never know who can help you out in the future when you’ve made a friend online.