Larry Brauner

How I Use Social Networking Sites

I wouldn’t start a blog called Online Social Networking if I didn’t like 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.

Blogging is a big part of my branding strategy, so when I network online, I invite people to visit my blog, read, comment and register or subscribe. And many do.

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.

At Direct Matches, I invite people to visit my profile page where I have a subscription form, and people can sign up for my training newsletter. And again, many do.

Every time people go along with my request, they’re opting in another time to our relationship. It’s sort of like dating.

Branding Yourself

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?

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Also, visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about me and my social media and web marketing services.

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17 Responses to “My Online Social Networking Strategy”

  1. Jason Anderson on July 20th, 2008 11:10 pm

    Hi Larry,

    I actually found this blog through your Twitter post but I know that you are VERY active with social networks. I think you are my friend on almost every single one I’m on.

    The power of this is huge.

    You and I have never met face to face. I don’t think we’ve even had a conversation on the phone yet I see you around all the time. I see your pic, I see your comments, etc.

    So yeah, getting out there is a big deal. Great post. I wish you the best.

  2. Anne Florenzano on July 21st, 2008 6:55 pm

    I agree with both you and Jason, that social networking is powerful, and participation brings contacts. My problem is finding the time to be active on each of the networks. Twitter is the most fun for me, by far, and I try to keep up on other networks, plus keep up with my blog feeds. It’s not easy, but worth trying.

  3. Larry Brauner on July 21st, 2008 7:26 pm

    I can appreciate what you’re saying Anne. That’s why I join many social networking sites but focus on one or two.

  4. Linda Morton on July 21st, 2008 9:44 pm

    Larry,

    How many hours per day do you spend on social networking?

    I’m presently spending a couple of hours on Entrecard. That’s about all the time I can devote to it and still get my work done.

  5. Larry Brauner on July 21st, 2008 10:08 pm

    That’s a good question Linda. I probably spend about the same amount of time as you online social networking, but not so much at Entrecard.

    I do visit several social networking sites and network offline on the phone as well.

  6. Poet Blogger on July 22nd, 2008 1:47 am

    Great advice. I’ve never been too much into social networking, but I should be. It is a great marketing tool. I have used so many social networking sites from Friendster to Hi5 to MySpace to Facebook… it’s ridiculous.

    Anyway, your advice will definitely help me to get a larger network. Thanks.

  7. Linda on July 22nd, 2008 6:49 pm

    Hi Larry,

    Your strategy is very sound. I pretty much do the same as you do. Very good information for newbies as well. Great post!

  8. A Master Networker on July 24th, 2008 1:22 am

    Hey Larry -

    Vous blogguez, donc vous êtes ;)

    Social sites are a great way to generate traffic and attract like minded people, but I still have to remind myself to keep the balance between socializing and business..

    I wanted to spin by with a big “Thanks”..

    You are one of my TOP 10 Droppers and I appreciate the traffic.

    To return the favor and to say “Thank You”…

    I just nominated you for the “TOP DROPPER AWARD” at http://becomeamlmrockstar.com/drop_award/

    If you like feel free to nominate your own “top” droppers.

    All The Best
    John

    PS: “Way Kool Blog”

  9. Atniz on July 24th, 2008 11:42 am

    This is great article on social networking strategy. I have passive accounts at MySpace, SC, Friendster, etc.. never utilized them for blog traffic before.

    I am entangled with Entrecard and commenting on other blogs so far. A little bit of Blogcatalogs.. still not getting the 4 figure traffic as targetted.

    Maybe, I need to utilize social networking to see the boom.

  10. Larry Brauner on July 24th, 2008 12:20 pm

    When I first started Atniz, social networking sites were my main source of traffic and subscribers.

    Now my main source of traffic is search engine visits. I don’t know for sure where my new subscribers are coming from, but I assume that they’re coming from multiple sources.

  11. Andrea Goodsaid on July 27th, 2008 12:43 am

    Okay, as one of your networking friends, this officially cracked me up:

    “I reject blatant spammers, men masquerading as women in order to attract favorable attention, and crazies.”

    Guess that means I’m not one of those eh?? Grin.

    I appreciate you!
    Andrea

  12. Jaunesk on September 22nd, 2008 12:38 am

    Hi Larry,

    Great share about social networking. I totally agree with you that we need to craft our personal branding through social networking.

    Many of us may have make some mistakes along the way while using social networking for our business, whether online or offline.

    I was a little skeptical about social networking at first, and still, after more than 2 years on MySpace, my friend list has not breached the 50 mark. I guess I am too careful about that after receiving so many “offers” from “friends”.

    I have joined many social networks but am most active in LinkedIn, and I think I’m still just wandering around Facebook.

    BTW, thanks for inviting me to My Private Classroom. I shall be spending more time there after I complete the revival of my old idle site.

  13. Dawn McNutt on November 16th, 2008 10:12 pm

    You wrote “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.”

    And Just HOW do you know the difference?

    LOL.. I’m so new… and have already deleted profiles from places that turned out to be more like MEAT MARKETS…

    Dawn

  14. Larry Brauner on November 16th, 2008 10:17 pm

    May not always be able to tell the difference Dawn, but I do my best, and on the whole it works out.

    People interested in networking with some high caliber people ought to try my new Ning social networking site.

  15. Jukka H on December 1st, 2008 7:57 pm

    I’m a member of several online social networking sites, MySpace, Facebook, twitter, MyLot, Ciao, last.fm, and LinkedIn.

    I think the definition of social media has changed during the last months and years. You have different social media websites for different purposes. I use nearly all sites for promotion and networking, but for really different purposes and with different motivations.

    On Facebook I have friends who I really know, and I don’t have any plans to add unknown people as my friends. With twitter my strategy is completely different, I try to create a network, and there I don’t have many IRL contacts.

    I think MySpace was lost because of comment spam. I don’t know if site is getting any better nowadays, but probably for bands it’s a good promotion tool.

    I think your article was good, but maybe you could have put more focus on how social networking sites differ from each other.

  16. Emily on January 29th, 2010 7:27 pm

    Thanks so much for your great post. Social networking is something that I’m just starting out on. I’ll check out your Ning site as well.

    Best Wishes.
    Em

  17. Blog Comments-Why not “I” Before “U”? | Evolve-Forever on July 20th, 2011 6:22 am

    […] joined the DoFollow Movement. Though I recollect having copied the badge from Larry Brauner at Online Social Networking I discovered through Cevapr which is further corroborated by Dawud Miracle that it was Randa C lay […]

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