How I Use Social Networking Sites
Let’s look at some of the ways that I use social networking sites to meet my business networking objectives.
Casting a Wide Net
I join a wide range of social networking sites. I know that even if I will not be active at a particular social site, the profile I set up there will add to my online presence. So if I like the site, I’ll become part of the community. If I don’t, there’s no harm. My profile will remain there as long as the site continues to operate.
When you Google me, you’ll find page after page of results that are me. What happens when people Google you?
Joining a bunch of social networking sites should jump start your web presence. It’ll give you some Google juice. Why not join some of my favorite social networking sites featured on my blog’s sidebar? As a plus, in most cases we’ll automatically be connected as “friends”.
Building Large Targeted Lists
When I like a social networking site, I settle in and become part of the community.
A winning strategy on nearly all social networking sites is to build a large targeted list of friends or contacts, generally the larger the better. Thousands are better than hundreds.
For some sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Yuwie there are friend adders, but I don’t like to use them. I prefer the personal touch, and I don’t want to risk losing my profile for suspected spamming. I spend a modest amount of time each day requesting new friends on each of my favorite social networking sites.
There are two ways that I target my requests.
On sites that allow profile browsing by specific demographics such as age, gender, geographic location, marital status, and parental status, I browse to find people to add.
On sites that have groups or clubs I browse the groups that are likely to attract the people I’m looking for.
I tend to accept nearly all add requests from others. I reject blatant spammers, men masquerading as women in order to attract favorable attention, and crazies.
Networking and Attraction Marketing
Social networking sites are meant for online social networking and not for advertising or spamming. They’re a great place to get to know people. You get to know people by asking them questions.
Please visit or revisit my earlier post, Social Networking vs. Advertising, for a full explanation of this absolutely crucial concept.
Social networking sites are also great from attraction marketing. Be the type of person you want to attract, and that person will be attracted to you.
Videos of you presenting useful information or explaining an important idea, not making a sales pitch, can showcase you as the knowledgeable leader you are.
I invite people I like on one social networking site to connect with me on another site. I don’t want to lose track of them if the first site closes down or if one of us happens to have his or her profile deleted. And yes, many do… connect that is.
Every time people go along with my request, they’re opting in another time to our relationship. It’s sort of like dating.
Social networking sites, video sites and blogs are great for personal branding. In fact, your whole online presence can serve as a branding mechanism.
Craft your personal branding strategy and develop a web presence that is consistent with your strategy.
Being Consistent and Following Through
Possibly the most important online social networking strategy is to be consistent and follow through, not to expect instant results.
First you need to build your list, and then you need to gain credibility with the people on it.
When I’ve tried to push things, people sensed it. When I’ve been patient, people have often come to me, and what could be better than that?
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