By now most of us are at least minimal participants in both of these social networking behemoths—but are we making the most of our presence?

This week we asked: Have you ever brought in business from a social networking site?

1) Yes, from friends on Facebook. – 15%

2) Yes, from colleagues on LinkedIn. – 42%

3) No, never from either one. – 43%

My Thoughts: Not surprising most of you who have received business online did so as a result of LinkedIn (about 42%) but a good 15% of you said you received at least one referral from Facebook. What does this mean? I think it’s fairly clear that LinkedIn is a winner when it comes to professional needs. It’s a great place to discuss business-oriented issues, to see where past colleagues are working now, and it’s easier to navigate when it comes to joining groups and protecting privacy. I recently came across as great article that I’ve posted in the Black Pearl section below called “LinkedIn Group versus Facebook Group,” (thanks Kevin O’Keefe). I encourage you to read it and better understand just how important keeping up your LinkedIn presence can be.

But here’s another quick thought. Facebook has merits all its own. The people you connect with are usually friends (new ones and old ones) and family or acquaintances from around your non-work life (your church or temple, schools, community organizations)…in other words people who have a PERSONAL connection to you. And that small tie to you builds instant trust. And trust spurs referrals. As my friend Mr. O’Keefe so eloquently put it:

“There’s no question I’m going to continue to play with Facebook. Making friends and nurturing relationships is the stuff that life is made of. From 30 years in business, I know that friendship drives business development.”

Where was your last online-generated referral from? Let us know in the comments section!

Black Pearl: Here’s Kevin O’Keefe’s take on the situation (LinkedIn Groups Versus Facebook Groups) as well as a direct link to the original article from Search Engine Journal (click here).