Thursday, August 13, 2009

Social Media Networking

To get results on social media sites you need great content with great headlines that will grab readers’ attention, make them want more and pass on a link to others. You will also need a significant network of friends and contacts or to be very nice to someone who has. Lyndon Antcliff is one such connector and here he gives 17 top tips to help you build your own social media network.

There is no shortcut for building a quality and sizeable network. It takes time. Use the following tips to make sure you make the most of your efforts:

  1. Start with your own blog and make it the focal point of all your social media accounts with links to and from it. Your blog is where you show who you are and that you are a real person. People want to know about the people they do business with, and in a digital world your blog is the best place to show them.

  2. Open accounts with Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon, Digg and LinkedIn. On each of these sites, find users who share your interests. There are thousands of social media sites, but start with the biggest.

  3. Make sure people know about your social media accounts. Link to them on your blog, in your email signature and on your newsletters.

  4. Find and join social sites for the specific markets you work in, eg WAYN for travel, Kaboodle for shoppers, Peak Performance for athletes, Sphinn for online marketing, MPORA for extreme sports, etc.

  5. Pick an avatar that stands out. This is the photo or graphic accompanying your accounts and it is how you will be recognized. It is best to have a photograph or a graphic which stands out. If in doubt about what to use, keep it simple.

  6. Make sure you have only one active account per social site. Admins take a dim view of people trying to manipulate their sites and it may get you and your website a ban.

  7. Be open and accessible. Make all your social media accounts known and open to contact, comments and chat.

  8. Be authentic. Don't fake it. Be yourself - you are what is unique and interesting about you.

  9. The easiest way to be popular is to be helpful. Everyone loves someone who will help them at no cost. It also displays your expertise, builds your brand and reputation.

  10. Be polite.

  11. Make friends. This is harder than it sounds when you start out as there is little reason for someone who does not know you to be your friend. The key is to make yourself useful and to avoid being irritating. Searching for people with the same interests as you usually gets good results.

  12. Spend a small amount of time each day on your accounts. Regular contributions over time will work and help you get noticed. The more people see you around, the more you will build trust.

  13. Only present high quality stories to sites like Digg and StumbleUpon. Do not submit your own content initially. Vote on stories that are in your niche. Be seen to be the expert that you are.

  14. Following a power user will not get you noticed as they already have too many followers to care about you. Follow people who are in your niche and have a desire to communicate and network.

  15. Do not pay for votes or use automated processes to inflate your votes artificially, this may get you and your site banned and at best will only bring short term success.

  16. Find interesting stories within your niche before anyone else. Use RSS or Twitter to subscribe to news and specialists sites whose content users of your social sites love. This is how power users got to be who they are.

  17. Be persistent.

I had the most amazing learning experience this past week. I'm trying to put it all into practice. I, who once thought twitter was USELESS, can now see how it can be used to get your message out there! Tying your blog, twitter and facebook sites together, you can drive traffic to your sites by sending out the right types of messages.

Twitter search allows you to find tweets that are compatible with your goals and you can respond to them. Feed your tweets to your facebook or blog and you now have 3 ways of getting people's attention!

Don't be scared, give it a try!

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