We can’t ignore the fact that the Internet is a big part of our lives. Given the popularity of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, there is no question that these sites fill a huge need for people to feel connected. This need for connection also illustrates the central reason network marketing works. Aren’t we essentially a group of people connected to each other because we share a common interest and purpose?

Here are a few observations about social media:

1. It’s an excellent tool for expanding your contact base. LinkedIn is a great way to find people who are connected to you through shared relationships and interests. Facebook comes with a built-in system to help you find others with similar profiles and common interests. It suggests “friends” you might know or may want to get to know, allowing you to grow your list almost organically.

2. Social media is addictive and can suck up a large percentage of our productive time if we let it. Many networkers spend way too much time digging around on the Internet instead of being productive. This makes social media both a blessing and a curse.

3. Social media is a great way to re-connect with people from your past. I have found hundreds of past schoolmates, neighbors and colleagues I had not talked to in years. It’s a great starting point to get reacquainted, because you can instantly review people’s profiles.

4. Social media can help you shape the culture of your organization. Through the photos and updates I post on my Facebook wall (which people both inside and outside my organization can see), I create a feel for our team culture. This attracts people with similar values and interests, and sometimes they drop messages in my box because they want to talk. It’s a great way to start conversations which may convert into professional partnerships.

I don’t build my business online, but I do use the Internet to make initial connections and build my personal brand. I typically don’t post anything about my business. I leave that for later, after we have established some rapport, at which point we continue the conversation offline.

I use social media forums to reconnect with people, develop new relationships and keep my contacts plugged into what I’m up to with my team. It’s exciting and fun—but I never let it interfere with my core business activities!

JORDAN ADLER is a network marketing
leader and bestselling author of
Beach Money:
Creating Your Dream Life through Network Marketing.