By Karen Cortell Reisman
"If you're under 35 you're a digital native. If you're over 35 you're a digital immigrant."*
Whatever your age is - Facebook-LinkedIn-Twitter can propel connections and business.
Here are some still-developing rules for this electronic evolution:
1. Don't sell your stuff. Talk, engage and contribute.
2. Know when to use social media and when NOT to.
The NY Times article "Party On, But No Tweets" commented that "We are fighting against this whole idea that everything people do has to be constantly chronicled". In an invitation to a glitzy party, the host requested no blogging, facebooking, and tweeting.
3. Have a digital presence that parallels your personal and professional image.
4. Use strong passwords and different passwords for Facebook, LinkedIn, twitter, etc.
Cybercriminals hijacked my Facebook account last week. After hacking my weak password (yikes), they "became" me and began a chat session with my Facebook friends. As my smiling face popped up with each chat response, my alias asked for cash so that I could "get back to America". I spent the next 2 days telling people who then called me that I had not been mugged on a street in London.
5. Become 'friends' on Facebook and connect with people on LinkedIn that you trust.
6. Have a game plan. Influence the conversation -- influence the relationship - influence the outcome. **
Facebook users upload one billion new photos a month and Twitter attracted 44.5 million unique visitors in June, according to Techcrunch.com.
Sources: NY Times, 8-9-2009; *Gina Schreck at SchreckTalk.com, a self anointed Tech Geek; ** David Nour - RelationshipEconomics.net.
Stay in touch via social networking; but don't forget the importance of real-time networking too..