If used correctly social networking sites can be a phenomenal way of building name recognition and maintaining contact with potential readers, customers or clients across the planet… if used incorrectly it can be a huge waste of time. The first thing to understand is that there are probably 100 or more social networking sites out there and each will have a specific type of user, a unique genre or topic, and each will use different formats that members can explore. As such, being on several sites can be a very savvy endeavor.
Wherever you decide to become a member of, it is important to avoid using the sites to talk about yourself, and how great you or your business or book is. Only about 10% of your posts should be marketing posts, 10-20% can be announcements such as your upcoming media appearance, but the rest should be geared to developing ongoing networking relationships with your contacts. Try posting tips or quotes and resources that your targeted audience would enjoy, or help others in your network by posting information about them.
A lot of people confuse blogs, newsletter, e-zines, podcasts, chat rooms and online radio shows (Social Media) with Social Networking – while those tools can be used for connecting and networking with others, the term Social Networking really applies to sites like Twitter, Myspace, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, and so on. Social Networking sites are notorious for sucking valuable time out of the day because we are able to meet up with people who have dropped out of our lives over the years, such as finding old high-school buddies, and browse images and jokes that are posted by others. If that is the reason why you signed up to the site, there’s nothing wrong with that – but if you are using them for business purposes you’ll want to change how you use your time there.
|Purple Snowflake Marketing 3rd edition - http://brummet.ca/store.html|
The best advice for trying out any social networking site, and there are dozens of them, is to sign up and fill out every aspect of the profile using specific keywords that reflect your brand and your main website address. If you have a logo or specific image that says volumes about your brand, use it for all the sites you are on so that people can easily recognize your pages no matter where you are appearing. Make sure that your posts also reflect your brand – i.e. if you want to be known as a paranormal poet who manipulates words in a creative, inspiring way then your posts should reflect that brand. When choosing which people to follow or befriend simply refer to those keywords you’ve chosen and stick to people who tie into those in some way.
Don’t be afraid to try new sites out but remember that the most popular social networking site, or your friend’s favorite site, may not be the best choice for you. You need to find the site that your audience is using, and post there regularly. Schedule social networking activities on different sites throughout the week - perhaps 15 minute bouts a couple of different times per day so that you are reaching people who visit the sites in the morning or evening. It is OK to have a few favorite sites that you visit daily and a dozen others that you visit once every couple of weeks or once a month depending on your schedule. As long as you are keeping a presence there and show that you are responding to others – you are doing the right thing.
|Jump Start For Writers 1st edition - http://brummet.ca/store.html|
Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!