Do sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networking avenues do anything for you or your career? I guess that depends on how you use it. Three of my most recent clients came to me through just those avenues.
In one case I contacted a client of mine to ask if she had any interest in writing a nonfiction book I had a request for. She didn't have the time in her schedule, but put the word out on my behalf to a professional group she belongs to online. I found at least one new client that way.
In another case I put the word out on Twitter that I was looking for a very specific type of book, fiction, based on a conversation I had with an editor. Surprisingly only three people responded. I read the work of one, loved her voice, and so did the editor.
In a third case, through an #askagent session I held on Twitter, an author asked a question about the genre she was writing. In my answer I suggested she explore another author. She did, queried me on the work, and within a week or so (maybe longer) I had a new client.
And a fourth case, a bonus case, involved yet another nonfiction author. In this case I put the word out through Twitter, which also connects to my Linkedin and Facebook profiles, about an expert I was seeking for a book project an editor was looking for. Within days we had a deal.
While obviously these sites might not net you an agent, I think they can go very far in helping you gain an understanding of the industry and network, which in today's business world is critically important for everyone.