Want to know the key to greater business success? Put their shoes on.

Let me explain why the delegates at the Australian Institute of Business Brokers stood up and applauded smack in the middle of my keynote.

The presentation I put together for them - Building Better Networks in Today's Wired World - covered several key points. One was a quick review on how they should use social media. I wasn't aware though, that on the previous day, the speaker covering website strategy also covered social media. This young fellow was all gung ho on them using the mighty four of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, with I believe (from their comments) a bias for Facebook.

However, based on research and experience, and taking their industry, their demographic, their target market into account and focusing on the bottom line of business (increasing revenues, being effective and saving time) my advice was very different.


1. Twitter is a complete waste of time.

2. Don't even bother with Facebook, you'll talk to an empty room and never get a sale from it. Who needs conversations if they don't lead to the bottom line? I mean really! For their business and target market that is.

3. We live in a visual world, so let Google pay for your video hosting and bandwidth by using YouTube publically and privately.

4. LinkedIn is a must have on two fronts. For a personal profile and to build a better company profile.

At the end of that segment they actually stood up and clapped. They were so chuffed that someone was giving them targeted, sound advice. If you're screaming no no, no because you're a social media fan - let me explain the perspective this came from.

Several weeks ago I wrote a column on achieving sales goals Know your numbers - achieve your goals and on doing the right C.R.A.P Four step focus gets results.

There are only so many hours in the working day, so you have to work on what gives you the best results. That is why I felt that database marketing, developing business to business networks and picking up the phone was the best strategy for them; and that LinkedIn would be a valuable tool in that arsenal of activity.

Why? Aside from the fact there's much less meaningless jibber jabber, if you are proactive, it can be a great source of quality information, warm leads, referrals and recommendations. All the lifeblood of a business that needs a multitude of buyers and sellers. As you know recommendations are gold to all businesses. LinkedIn makes them easy to give and receive. Furthermore, you can use the recommendations both online and off.

By the way, if you'd like to know how to do a LinkedIn recommendation step by step and two clever tips, have a look here.

Written by Debbie Mayo-Smith, International business speaker and bestselling author of 14 books. Sign up for Debbie's Quick Tip Newsletter today at successis.co.nz.