Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Keys to Social Networking

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Wow! It’s been a couple of months since my last blog. I needed the time off to reassess, reorganize, and readjust. In my last blog, I talked about a couple of people whom I asked for help from. Well, both of those colleagues have since brought me business. I have since worked with clients of one of those people. And I am subcontracting with the other person.

During this recession, which I think is technically over, partnering with people over the Internet is Golden. Though, there is a right way and a million wrong ways to market yourself over the Internet. Of course, it would be easy for me to tell you to find as many social networking sites as you can and put up profiles on them. I don’t recommend that at all. In fact, I recommend not doing that. Once you put up profiles people expect you to maintain those profiles. So, my first word of advice is to not spread yourself thin.

At the same time, while not spreading yourself thin, choose your channels wisely. Last week, in my other blog, SEO Bridges Blog, I talked about a Website call Techrigy. It offers a social media monitoring service called SM2. Don’t put a profile on MySpace if it won’t do you or your business any good.

For me, I have a profile on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn (I am less active on this on purpose), but all of my other profiles are more obscure sites. The reason for that is that I am interested in networking with two types of people: Web designers, other content writers, etc; and people in the San Diego area. For that reason sites like MySpace, Hi5, Friendster, etc. have little value, so I don’t put profiles on them.

Now, I mentioned Twitter, which has value for me; though, it may not have any value for you. Twitter is conversational, so have something to contribute to the conversation and take part in the conversation. The key is to figure out what kind of conversation you want to take part in, follow people who are part of that conversation, and contribute to that conversation. Follow people you are likely to reTweet, don’t follow everyone who follows you, and don’t be afraid to unfollow people.

Before I follow someone, I review their profile, including their previous Tweet and their Website (if they have one). If I find that that person’s Tweets have value to the conversation I want to participate in, I follow that person. If their Website about an Internet program that will help you get rich in 90 days, give you the secrets to finding Twitter followers, automating your Twitter stream, or something else along those lines, I don’t follow that person.

After someone starts following me, I send them quick note thanking them for the follow. Think about when you’re at a party, talking with a few people about last week’s football game, or your latest business venture, and someone walks in and joins the conversation. It’s considerate to acknowledge their presence, so they don’t feel like the fern in the corner of the room has more value than they do. In the same way, it’s considerate to do the same thing on Twitter.

Okay, I could go on about Twitter, as well as Internet marketing; though, my last word of advice is to follow up on your Internet marketing. This is the hardest part. Connect in person with those people you market with online. Meetup is a great way to meet other like minded people, whom you may know from Twitter, Facebook, or other social networking sites. And for those you don’t know, they can become friends and followers of yours on those sites.

That’s it for this week. I’m going to start blogging on here weekly again, so keep coming back. And for information on great free and open source products that will make your life easier, read my other blog. And if you need assistance with your SEO or social networking, please visit my site for more information. I offer various packages, as well as I work by the hour, and discounts to NPO’s. I will also donate a portion of my fees to my chosen NPO’s via Agentspayingforward.

Keep connecting,

Erick

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