Larry BraunerYou’ve created Ning networks or belong to Ning networks started by others. What next?

In 10 Ways to Brand and Market on Ning Networks, I examine a variety of Ning network features that are useful for promoting yourself or your business.

Ning Social NetworksHowever, what if you’re interested in promoting a Ning social network itself?

Here are 10 ideas for promoting the Ning networks to which you belong:

  1. Your Contacts - Send personalized emails to people you know. (Ning’s invite feature is not effective, since the emails Ning sends are impersonal and will be treated by many as spam.)
  2. Network Content - Share your Ning network, your network’s groups and all your network’s content on social networking sites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon. This approach is my personal favorite, since it promotes the Ning network and the network’s content at the same time.
  3. Articles and Blog Posts - Discuss your Ning network and your network’s content in blog posts and articles you write.
  4. Badges or Widgets - Place your Ning network badge on blogs and other websites. Even if badges attract few new members, they’ll help with SEO efforts by providing inbound links. A badge on the sidebar of a blog is in effect a link from every page and blog post on that blog.
  5. Links - Build inbound dofollow links to your Ning network and your network’s content.  Links, like Ning network badges, help with SEO, even if they don’t send much direct traffic. Use relevant anchor text in your links.
  6. SEO - Optimized keyword-rich blog posts on your Ning network will attract visitors who are looking for your content. Building links as previously mentioned will improve SEO results.
  7. Connectors and Influencers - Ask networking connectors and social media influencers to help by referring new members to your Ning network. These types of people love to help others.
  8. Comment on Blogs and Forums - Use insightful comments to pique interest and drive traffic to your Ning network. Avoid spamming!
  9. Classified Ads - Craigslist and other advertising sites can drive traffic to your Ning network. Experiment to learn what works best.
  10. Business Cards and Fliers - Experiment with offline marketing, as well. I suggest you keep it simple.

I encourage you to add your own ideas to this list.

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5 Responses to “10 Ways to Promote Ning Networks”

  1. Mike Pedersen on September 26th, 2010 11:48 pm

    Larry,

    These tips are great for promoting anything from a site, blog, company, etc. I bookmarked this page, and I have now followed you on Twitter. If you want to follow me back, that’d be cool too. I’m at @mikepedersen

    Regards,
    Mike

  2. Christmas Gifts for Children on September 27th, 2010 2:52 pm

    Good stuff, Larry! I would put SEO higher up on the list, but being an SEO I admit I am biased. But why is PPC (pay per click) missing from the list? It works great for promoting anything online if you have the bank roll. But if you get a high quality score you can be paying only 5-10 cents per click, though it isn’t always easy to achieve that.

  3. Larry Brauner on September 27th, 2010 8:44 pm

    @Mike Followed you back. :)

    @Philip You just added PPC to the list. Thanks.

    Other sorts of online advertising can be used as well.

    The problem is that conversion rates tend to be low, as well as the value of a conversion. A bad combination. :(

    The reason contacting people whom you have a relationship with is high up on my list is that conversion rates with acquaintances are pretty good.

    In any case, people should use those approaches that they believe will work best for them.

  4. Taigh Smyth on October 4th, 2010 7:12 pm

    Hey, great post.

    I’ve been in the process of creating a new social network and was doing some research and came across your site.. great info!
    I like your idea about having badges and widgets for the site.. Do you know of a good developer for items like this?

    Looks like you have a ton of great info to go through on your site!

    Cheers,

    Taigh

  5. Larry Brauner on October 4th, 2010 7:21 pm

    I have never needed to develop widgets, Taigh.

    You need somebody who is good at writing script.

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