Larry BraunerMy top social media sites aren’t particularly the social sites that receive the greatest number of visitors. They’re social media sites I find the most pleasurable to use and that fit in some way into my search and social strategy.

My top 10 social media sites nicely complement all of my blogging and search engine optimization efforts. Your list of top social media sites will likely differ from mine, since it’s highly improbable that you and I will share identical search and social strategies.

For the record, here are the Top 15 Most Popular Social Networking Websites, the Top 15 Most Popular Web 2.0 Websites, and the Top 15 Most Popular Social Bookmarking Websites according to eBizMBA, from which you can pick and choose.

My Top Social Media Sites

Social Media SitesThe following are my top 10 social media sites at present, and while Facebook is my favorite social media site by far, the rest of the social media sites are listed only very approximately in order of my personal preference.

  1. Facebook - I spend more time on Facebook than on all other social media sites combined. I use my Facebook profile for networking and my Facebook page, as well as those of my place of business and my clients, for marketing and for community building. I also participate in quite a few of the new Facebook groups.
  2. Ning - I use Ning for marketing and for community building. My favorite Ning social networking websites are the Small Business Network and My Linking Power Forum. I plan to launch more Ning sites in the future.
  3. LinkedIn - I use LinkedIn strictly for business networking and have more than 4,000 direct connections. You may add me to your network using the email address in my LinkedIn profile.
  4. Twitter - I manage a number of Twitter business accounts using my Tweet Adder software. My main account is @larrybrauner. I share lots of links on Twitter and monitor each account for mentions and replies.
  5. StumbleUpon - Of all the social media sites listed, StumbleUpon is the one that generates the most web traffic. I’ve already shared more than 700 web pages through my StumbleUpon account. Share as many good web pages as you can and categorize them well.
  6. Business Exchange - I use my account at Business Exchange to share business content and to rub elbows with the information elite. Occasionally, I receive large bursts of traffic from this bookmarking site.
  7. Amplify - I share content as often as I can on Amplify, partly for the Amplify community and partly for the dofollow links this micro-blogging site provides.
  8. Posterous - Ditto for my micro-blog on Posterous.
  9. Delicious - Content on Delicious is often picked up and linked-to by other sites. Use tags correctly, with hyphens or underscores between the words in your keyword phrases for best results. I believe that it also helps content to get indexed quickly by the search engines.
  10. Digg - I use Digg for pretty much the same benefits as Delicious.

Now it’s your turn. Which social media sites do you like and why? :-)

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Larry BraunerTwitter and LinkedIn partnered last fall enabling you to automatically tweet your LinkedIn status and to post your Twitter tweets on LinkedIn.

However, I envisioned a much more significant integration of the two social media sites than merely enabling users to cross-post with ease.

I predicted in Top 10 Reasons Why the Twitter LinkedIn Partnership is Big News that the integration of Twitter and LinkedIn would reduce an enormous amount of content by functioning more or less like a Twitter list containing members of your LinkedIn network.

LinkedIn Signal Beta

With the recent release of LinkedIn Signal Beta, unveiled at TechCrunch Disrupt, a fuller integration of Twitter and LinkedIn is already at hand.

LinkedIn users will be able to search Twitter using keywords and filter the results by degree of connection, industry, company, time posted, region, school and hashtags.

To increase its integration with Twitter, LinkedIn needed the Twitter handles of its users, in order to identify relevant tweets within Twitter’s database. LinkedIn obtained the needed Twitter handles by encouraging users to avail themselves of the initial integration and by letting them display a Twitter link on their LinkedIn profiles.

LinkedIn Signal New Twitter Search Engine for Business


Uses for LinkedIn Signal

LinkedIn Signal will make LinkedIn the Twitter search engine of choice for business users. At the same time, LinkedIn Signal becomes a powerful online networking tool. You’ll easily see what your connections are tweeting, and you’ll more readily find new people with whom to connect.

LinkedIn is already the business networking site of business networking sites. Now, as a powerful Twitter search engine for business too, LinkedIn is the go-to social website for all hoping to transact business on the web. You’re welcome to connect with me there: www.LinkedIn.com/in/brauner

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Last week, Twitter released a beta version of Twitter Lists, “a great way to organize the people you follow and discover new and interesting accounts.”

“Beta” implies that there are still some rough edges, and tweaks are to be expected. It also implies that you might not yet have access to Twitter Lists.

Undoubtedly this article still has some rough edges as well and revisions are to be expected. ;-)

So what are Twitter Lists all about?

Twitter ListsFacebook has lists that let you organize your friends. Twitter Lists enable you to do much more than that. This brand new Twitter tool adds an entirely new and exciting dimension to Twitter.

Twitter Lists presents new targeting opportunities, and may also create new online social networking possibilities. We’ll know more once the feature is fully tested and rolled out.

Twitter Lists Observations

Here are five ways in which Twitter Lists and Facebook lists are similar:

  1. You categorize people and assign them to one or more lists. A person may belong to many lists or to none. The choice is totally yours.
  2. You create and name your lists, and you can edit its name even after the list has been established.
  3. You manage your lists and can add and remove people whenever you wish.
  4. Facebook lists and any Twitter list which you make private are known only to you, the list creator.
  5. You can view status updates and posts that are limited to the people you assigned to a particular list, making it easier to follow categories of people such as family or business contacts.

Here are five ways in which Twitter Lists and Facebook lists differ:

  1. All Facebook lists are private. However, on Twitter you can also create public lists to share with other members.
  2. People can easily tell to which public Twitter lists they’ve been assigned and who assigned them by clicking on the “listed” link on any of their account pages. Here’s my listed link (assuming that you can access it).
  3. On Facebook you can add only friends (or invited friends) to your lists. On Twitter you can add anybody as long as that person hasn’t protected his or her updates. Consider Twitter Lists to be a new method for following people.
  4. You can use Facebook lists to limit access to parts of your profile. This doesn’t apply to Twitter lists. Your brief Twitter profile is public and is visible to everybody, even to people who do not belong to Twitter.
  5. Not only can you view updates limited to the people you assigned to a particular Twitter list, you can do the same with anybody else’s Twitter list which you follow. Once you follow somebody’s list, you can access the updates for that list (as well as any of your own lists) using the lists menu on your Twitter sidebar. By the way, it’s okay to be nosy, so don’t feel guilty about it!

Twitter Lists Tips

Here are nine Twitter tips for maximizing your use of Twitter Lists:

  1. Look around to see how people are using Twitter Lists and in which lists they’ve been listed. You’ll get a good sense of how Twitter Lists work and a bunch of ideas for lists you can create yourself.
  2. Experiment. While you run the risk of driving other people crazy, you are free to make as many changes to your Twitter lists as you wish.
  3. You can add yourself to your own lists which useful for when people follow your lists.
  4. Instead of following somebody else’s Twitter list, often it will make more sense to select people from that list and assign them to your own list. That gives you some control and flexibility. However, keep in mind that when people are added to that person’s list in the future, your list will not update automatically.
  5. Be careful when assigning people to public Twitter lists. Don’t offend them (unless of course you’re an antisocial type of person). They might retaliate by assigning you to a list of jerks or dorks or even worse. At present, Twitter lists can’t be altered by the people listed. Twitter will have to take action if (when?) behavior problems surface.
  6. On the other hand, use your Twitter lists to communicate thoughts about people in a constructive way. Assign them to a public Twitter list of cool peeps or to a list of experts in a niche. Do this even (or especially) to people who don’t follow you!
  7. Do anything you want with private Twitter lists just as you would with Facebook lists. If you want a Twitter list of nerds or spammers, keep it private or face likely retaliation. You probably don’t want to make your “little black book” public either.
  8. You can start off by making a Twitter list private and later switch it to public and vice versa.
  9. Have fun, but set limits, as Twitter Lists can be addictive. Don’t let Twitter Lists become an obsession (unless you happen to be looking for a new obsession).

I’m @larrybrauner on Twitter. Assign me to any funky Twitter lists, and you’ll live to regret it. :-P

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Larry BraunerConnecting with your target audience on Twitter is difficult, and with all the bots and spammers joining the site, it’s getting to be more and more difficult to find real people each day.

Let me share a targeting example with you.

Suppose that you want to locate wine enthusiasts. You happen to find my Twitter profile through Twitter Grader or a similar program, because I have identified myself as a wine lover in my bio.

You decide to follow all the people who follow me reasoning correctly that many of them are also wine lovers. If you’re lucky, a few hundred of them are real wine enthusiasts, and they will follow you back as soon as you follow them.

All this sounds good, but there’s one tiny little problem.

If you follow all the 30,000 people who follow me, you’ll have to follow –  and subsequently unfollow — the more that 29,000 people who follow me but know as little about fine wine as a politician tends to know about ethical conduct.

There has to be a more efficient approach. Don’t you think?

Searching Twitter Profiles

There are quite a few Twitter tools that search through profiles and tweets. I like TweepSearch, since it searches profile bios but at the same does its best to sort the results by the time since the most recent tweet, making it easier to locate active Twitter users.

When you log in through Twitter, TweepSearch shows you whom you’re already following and enables you to follow, unfollow or block people within the search results.

You can limit your search to followers of a particular Twitter member or search through everybody. In other words, you could search the profiles of my followers to find the wine lovers among them, or you could search the whole Twitter database for wine lovers.

You’ll have to play with TweepSearch and other Twitter resources and search tools until you find the ones that best suit your needs.

Automated Twitter Tools

There are a variety of Twitter tools that help you identify your target market and do all the following and unfollowing for you. Since I am following and unfollowing many people and managing several Twitter accounts for clients, I decided to experiment with one of these tools, a cute program called TweetAdder.

TweetAdder searches through profiles or tweets for keywords and can search by U.S. postal code too. It creates, saves and manages a list of target users for you to follow at a reasonable pace which you specify. The program isn’t free, but they do provide a limited version for free, so that you can see how it works before you buy it.

I like that TweetAdder works in the background while I perform other tasks, and that the vendor doesn’t make all sorts of hypey claims. They encourage proper use of the TweetAdder tool.

Twitter Style Networking

I must at least mention the natural approach to adding followers and making connections — slowly and methodically through careful examination of bios and retweeted updates. This is how I was taught, by purists no doubt, when I first started using Twitter.

I consider this approach much too slow to use for social marketing, and you don’t really want to spend all your time on Twitter.

Or do you? ;-)

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As a top Twitter business user, I was sent an advance copy of the Twitter Power System for my review. Here are my observations.

The Twitter Power System is a very comprehensive set of videos, e-books, resources and tools.

New users learn how to set up an account and all the basics they need to get going. Experienced users learn how to craft powerful tweets, how to create viral tweets — and everything in-between.

Twitter Power System Content

Thirteen videos in the Twitter Power System learning center provide a total of three hours and 32 minutes of instruction:

  1. Account Setup - for new and even experienced Twitter users
  2. Twitter Basics - a how-to guide with the essentials for newbies
  3. Account Automation - using SocialToo and Tweet Later, two automation tools I love, and some important caveats
  4. Targeting Your Followers - how to target and use techniques such as sampling and testing
  5. Managing Your Followers - using FriendOrFollow, My Tweeple and Twitter Karma to manage followers.
  6. Tracking Your Twitter Links - how to use Cligs to shorten and track your Twitter links
  7. “Crafting” Your Tweets - the four elements of a tweet and how they all work together
  8. Finding Information to Share - using Google Alerts and other tools to discover useful information you can share
  9. Post on Autopilot - create your own content automation tool using Google Alerts, Cligs and Twitter Feed
  10. How to Use Twhirl - a desktop client such as Twhirl can offer greater convenience and capabilities than accessing Twitter directly from the Twitter.com domain.
  11. How to Use TweetDeck - ditto for TweetDeck.
  12. The Bigger Picture - a Twitter review that ties everything together
  13. Retweet System - creating viral tweets that can be retweeted easily with only two mouse clicks

E-workbooks such as the Getting Started Quickly Guide, Harness The Power of Twitter and the Twitter Power Tools Guide contain a total of 205 pages that serve to complement and reinforce the video presentations.

They discuss many useful strategies and the third-party tools that facilitate the implementation of those strategies.

There’s also a 54-minute podcast, Twitter Unwrapped, to download and enjoy on your computer or iPod. This interview with James Rivers, the founder of the Twitter Power System provides an excellent audio overview of the system.

Twitter Power System Thumbs-Up

I myself have written Twitter articles and spent much time studying and compiling Twitter resources for my article, Tons of Great Twitter Resources. Knowing much about the Twitter content available online, I can enthusiastically recommend the Twitter Power System to you.

I’d like to see greater detail in the varying approaches to meeting different business needs. I’d also like to see case studies. Nevertheless, the Twitter Power System is the best training venue I’ve seen so far.

I’m very impressed by the content and the quality of the videos, and I’ve already picked up ideas from them that are helping me to refine and improve my Twitter methodology.

You can follow me @larrybrauner.

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When Twitter, Ning and Facebook Compete

Major social networking sites are constantly competing for new users and for a greater share of each user’s networking time.

When Twitter, Facebook and Ning social networks compete, you and I win. Social networking sites are forced to keep improving in order to keep us as members.

Competing Isn’t Easy

However, competing isn’t easy. Simply adding more features will not always produce better results. Added features might make a site slower, harder to comprehend or more difficult to navigate.

There are very many factors that social networking site owners need to consider and to balance when making site improvements. For example:

  1. Competitive Environment - What is the competition doing and not doing? How well is it working for them? Who are they targeting? How are they positioning and marketing themselves? What are their strengths and weaknesses? How can we neutralize their strengths and exploit their weaknesses?
  2. Functionality - What capabilities does our target market want? What can we offer? How will product enhancements be perceived?
  3. Design Consistency - How can we add capabilities while preserving our site’s overall look, feel and philosophy? What synergies can we achieve between new and existing functionality?
  4. Cost vs. Benefit - Social network owners must consider the trade off between benefit and cost of each potential site modification?
  5. Timing - How long will it take to roll out site modifications? Faster is generally better than slower when facing competition. Windows of opportunity can sometimes be very small.
  6. Monetization Strategies - How will changes affect the income social network owners derive from the site?
  7. Anticipating the Future - What is needed down the road? How will changes made now interact will future ones?
  8. Legal Issues - Any patents, trademarks, compliance, disclosures or other legal constraints to reckon with?
  9. Site Responsiveness - Are site response times acceptable? Can responsiveness be improved? How will social networking site modification affect responsiveness?
  10. Simplicity - Social networking sites and their features must be easy for members and prospective members to understand.
  11. Ease of Use - Sites must be easy and intuitive to navigate. Members need simple ways to achieve their online social networking objectives.
  12. Visual Appeal - Social networking sites need to look and feel right to members.
  13. Buzz - Social networking sites grow virally when members invite their friends to join. They need compelling reasons to reach out to their friends and easy-to-use mechanisms that automate the inviting process.
  14. Fun Factor - Members will not hang out at a site if it isn’t enjoyable. A positive user experience is critical to online social network success.

Twitter, Ning and Facebook are continually evolving. However, recent changes to Facebook seem to have been the most far reaching.

Recent Facebook Developments

Facebook changed the look and feel of the pages used by businesses, organizations and celebrities to make them more similar to personal profiles. As a result, overall Facebook design is simpler and perhaps a bit more intimate.

Furthermore, the way businesses and individuals can now both use the Facebook News Feed seems to more closely follow the Twitter model. This is especially good news for businesses, organizations and celebrities trying to communicate with their “fans” and acquire new ones.

My main Facebook complaints are: its persistent sluggishness, the deluge of quaint applications and requests, and the steep learning curve.

Recent Ning Developments

The way I see it, Ning takes the Web 2.0 concept a step farther than any of their competitors. That’s what makes Ning unique.

Not only do users create site content, they even create the individual Ning social networks themselves.

Ning encourages people to become members of multiple social networks. What has been sorely needed is a way to manage participation across these multiple networks from a central control panel. Ning has recently filled this need by creating a new super meta network at Ning.com that’s conceptually a network of networks.

I applaud Ning’s latest effort, but noticed couple of problems with the new meta social networking site:

  • There isn’t yet a capability to manage outstanding friend requests across networks.
  • The recent friends list isn’t correctly sorted.

Like Facebook, Ning social networks tend to be slow and quirky.

Recent Twitter Developments

The main thing I see at Twitter is a cleaner web interface with fewer rough edges.

Twitter like Facebook and Ning is doing its share to combat spam. Spam in social media is an ongoing problem.

Twitter is much faster than Facebook or Ning. I would however like to see better performance of the Twitter API as it affects the consistency of Twitter tools running on top of it. I can run Twitter Karma many times and get as many different results!

For me and others site performance can be an overriding issue. When a site is too slow, it can be emotionally too painful to endure. For that reason I spend most of my networking time on Twitter, even though conceptually I like Ning and Facebook about as much.

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Short Version of My Story

Today I tell some of my own story and share some of my own social media strategy.

This article is about an idea that was planted in my head and how I nurtured that idea. The article is slightly longer than usual, so please hang in there with me.

Creative problem solving has been a forte of mine since my teen years as a math whiz and chess champion. Once I began employment, I applied my problem solving capabilities to helping companies improve their business processes and getting a better handle on many different types of business and scientific data.

Thirty years into my career I learned about the social media and Web 2.0 revolution from Time Magazine’s BIG December 2006 cover story, Time’s Person of the Year: You. I saw that, while I could no longer be one of the earliest adopters of social media, it wasn’t at all too late to position myself near the forefront of this enormous trend.

I had previously experienced and benefited to a small degree from online social networking and social networking sites such as Ryze and Direct Matches, but the Time article opened my eyes to possibilities greater than I’d previously imagined. I decided in January 2007, after reading the Time article, to master social media and to watch and see where that mastery would lead me.

Online Social Networking

Rather than try to master all social media at one time, I instead focused only on online networking and developed a first version of my online social networking strategy. These early conclusions, I based on my observations at MySpace, Direct Matches and Yuwie, social websites I have since rejected.

By September 2007, I was contemplating my next step.

Blogging and SEO

At MySpace and Yuwie I experimented with blogging. The next step was to start an independent blog, and I chose Wordpress.org as my platform in connection with web hosting at Go Daddy.

Before launching my Online Social Networking blog I spent months reading about blogging and search engine optimization, as well as conducting keyword research. The time invested paid off. I got started right, and keyword research become an important skill for me, as well.

I began blogging in November 2007 and devoted a year to learning how to write, promote and optimize my online publication. By October 2008 I no longer viewed myself as a novice blogger.

At present Online Social Networking has more than 350 Feedburner subscribers, receives 2,000+ search visits per month, and is ranked by Alexa in the top 100,000 websites.

Ning Social Networks and Twitter

First Ning networks and then Twitter captured my attention. These two social media platforms are powerful and growing rapidly in popularity.

Just as I’d done with my online social networking strategy, search engine optimization and blogging, I set out to master Ning and Twitter, writing articles on each that have since been read many times and featured by top news sites.

@larrybrauner on Twitter has 20,000+ followers, and thousands of users have already visited my blog.

“One Bite at a Time” Works

The key to my progress is internal motivation coupled with focus.

Rather than go off in too many directions and spread myself thin, I’ve applied the 80/20 Rule, taking one bite at a time out of the social media giant. This strategy has worked well for me and will work well for others too.

It’s March 2009. What will my next bite be?

FacebookStay tuned, but Facebook is at the top of my social marketing list, and along the way, I’m building my social media brand, helping clients, and looking for new ones.

We’ve now reached the point in the article where you subscribe to my blog and join my Facebook business page. ;-)

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Nearly a year ago I presented the Top Reasons Why I Blog. I’m a big fan of blogging, and I enjoy writing for you.

Now it’s time to list my top reasons for using Twitter. If you use Twitter, please feel free to comment and share your experiences. If not, this list may encourage you to begin.

These are the top 12 reasons why I use Twitter:

  1. Simplicity - Twitter is easier for people to understand than many other social media sites. There are only a few Twitter concepts to learn: how to create a profile, follow, update, reply, search, retweet, send direct messages and use hashtags. See Brand Yourself and Market on Twitter.
  2. Networking - With hundreds of thousand of people using Twitter, you’re bound to find, as I have, people with common interests to connect with. Advice I gave in Get More Personal applies here to networking on Twitter. Speak on the phone or meet in person, but don’t hide behind your computer.
  3. Traffic - Twitter is a blogger’s dream. Last week hundreds of people from Twitter visited my blog. A high percentage of Twitter visitors subscribe to my my RSS feed or blogcast.
  4. List Building - Twitter is a great tool to cultivate a following and build an audience in your niche. I presently have thousands of followers on Twitter. What will I do with these followers?
  5. Branding - I use Twitter to brand and market myself to my followers. Through Twitter many people are getting to know me who would otherwise not have had this opportunity. Even people who choose not to follow me can still learn about me. Keep this in mind: It’s not what you know or whom you know, but who knows, likes, trusts and respects you.
  6. Communicating - I can send direct messages or use hashtags to communicate with my friends.
  7. Twitter Tools - There are numerous Twitter Tools such as TweetAdder to make Twitter powerful and easy to use. Read Tons of Twitter Tools, Tips and Resources.
  8. Research - Twitter is an excellent tool for research and keeping up with world developments. You don’t necessarily need to follow people or for them to follow you to read their tweets and click on their links.
  9. Discovery - We can learn new things on Twitter, even when we’re not looking per se.
  10. Mobility - Wherever you are or wherever I am, we’re only a tweet away. As more and more people use cell phones and text messaging, the compact 140 character format makes Twitter easy to access.
  11. Brevity - To be honest, there are times when I simply don’t feel like writing a complete article. Fortunately, even at those times I can usually cope with a modest 140-character tweet.
  12. Fun - Twitter is a blast! It’s a giant party, and the black tie is definitely optional.

You’ll find more reasons for using Twitter in the comments below. I encourage you to add your own.

I’m @larrybrauner on Twitter. I look forward to reading your tweets.

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In past posts we’ve discussed what Twitter is and looked at some ways you can use Twitter.

In the current post I provide a Twitter resource meta list to help you explore a wide range of business and social topics in substantial depth.

I expect to add to this meta list periodically, so do watch for my tweets @larrybrauner or check back here from time to time.

Mainstreaming of Twitter

This, our appetizer, addresses two important questions:

  1. Is Twitter a serious social media venue for mainstream users?
  2. Is Twitter useful for businesses, or is it just for fun?

I hope the following presentations will persuade you that Twitter is a viable business and social tool.

Twitter Ideas and Tips

This, the main course, looks at how to use Twitter effectively.

Twitter Tools and Resources

Our meal wouldn’t be complete without delicious side dishes prepared to perfection by expert chefs.

My Interview on Blog Talk Radio

I was interviewed on the Blog Talk Radio Profiles of Success by @staceychadwell. To listen, click here.

I’m @larrybrauner on Twitter looking forward to your tweets.

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In List Building Using Twitter, I discussed the importance of list building and the ease of building a list on Twitter.

In this article I focus on building your Twitter community — people who relate to your niche and who share some of your interests — people with whom you can network and who also extend your list in a more targeted way than previously outlined.

Is Twitter Past Its Prime?

Twitter will not last forever. However, I’m hoping that Twitter will have a strong future. Many new applications are currently being developed and launched “on top of” Twitter using the Twitter API.

If Twitter was on its way out, it’s highly unlikely that such substantial resources would be invested to build upon the Twitter platform. If my theory is right, then what we’ve seen so far is only the tip of the Twitter iceberg.

Building Your Twitter Community

Twitter has a tool for searching tweets. It can help find people in your niche or who share you interests. You can also use Twollow which bases its searches on the contents of tweets.

I prefer searches based on profile, because they’re more robust. Twitter Grader Search searches profiles. It also identifies the best people to connect with, ones who are active and successful using Twitter. I plug in search terms and back comes a list of Twitter users along with their Twitter Grader ratings and their complete profile information.

Another resource to look at is Twitter Groups. This new tool brings people together based both on common interests and geographic location and is worth exploring.

I’ve already built a following using the procedure I outlined in List Building Using Twitter, and my profile highlights interests relevant to my niche, so the people I follow tend to follow me back.

Keep your eyes open for news about other useful tools. Using the tools available to you, you can build a community of friends just as you would at social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace or any of the Ning social networks.

Networking with Your Twitter Community

Every social networking site has features that permit members to communicate with each other, and in this respect Twitter is no different. Here are your basic options on Twitter:

  • Updates are best used to reach all your followers who are monitoring Twitter at that moment — consistent with a list building strategy rather than an online social networking strategy. However, you can view any Twitter member’s past posts by visiting their page, as long as they don’t have their updates protected. If they are protected, you will need to request permission in order to browse their updates.
  • Replies are updates that begin with @username, public messages addressed to a particular member. Members don’t need to be following you to receive a reply, but if they’re not following you, they can safely choose to ignore you without appearing rude. If you’re having a long conversation which others might find annoying, avoid using replies — use direct messages instead. Annoy people, and they will stop following you. Use replies specifically when you want everybody or a group of people included in your discussion.
  • Direct messages referred to as DMs are private, and they’re the closest you can get to e-mail communication using Twitter. Use direct messages when it’s inappropriate to reach the community-at-large. Direct messages are very rarely ignored, and they’re essential to cultivating one-on-one relationships using Twitter.

Here are a few more things to keep in mind as you begin to network on Twitter:

  • You don’t need a large number of followers to network on Twitter. You only need one follower to start.
  • You aren’t the only networker with an agenda. To be very successful help your networking partners advance their agendas while you advance your own. If you want people to be interested in you, be interested in them. See the site map for a listing of articles I’ve written about online social networking and other topics.
  • You should never ever spam. If you’re thinking of using Twitter (or any other social networking site) to spam (or to advertise) rather than to network with other members, please check out How Do You Like Your SPAM? and Social Networking vs. Advertising.

I’d love for you to follow me.

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