Thursday, October 29, 2009

Social Media: Networking Online

Part 1

Mastering Time:

Time is the number one commodity we own and the most valuable. In order to run our businesses and become the most efficient we need to master the time-monster. It eats away at so much of our day. I think the last time I heard someone say, “Time just goes so slowly,” was a childhood friend as we awaited the approach of Christmas. We all want to learn  short-cuts, what works, and how to minimize our time online and get more bang for the buck!

Social Networking: Time Thief

As I determine the biggest time robber in my daily life the finger squarely points at social networking, online. Several years ago everyone in my business (I’m an author), jumped in squarely with both feet and took off running. Some of them stumbled, shook off the dust, and took off again. Others sat right where they fell and decided never to get up again. I took the cautionary and scholarly approach, I studied. Not only did I study social networking for almost two years, keeping up with the head dizzying trends, but I joined several social networking membership sites. The old adage you get what you paid for was correct. I received much for the thousands of dollars I invested.

Wisdom in Your Approach to Social Media

What I learned was to be cautious, to be smart, and to be on the cutting edge. One of the things, surprisingly missing from my classes, was to be a friend. Yes, value was mentioned, in “value laden posts”, or “value driven offers”, but none of the classes I took really discussed the nuances of being a friend, first and foremost. All of marketing boils down to one important ingredient: relationships. We like doing business with people we trust, products we like, or helpful individuals.

Be a Friend First

If you learn nothing else about the business of social networking, please know that being a friend and being trustworthy should come foremost in your dealings. No one would believe the marketing ploy with headlines blazing, “Hi! I’m Trustworthy! Give me Your Money!” Yet, everyday we see posts from people wanting us to join a membership site, purchase an eBook or opt-in to one more mailing list (giving our overtaxed email address and name) to receive a worthless eBook product. Unfortunately, these people have given all online marketers a bad name.

The Big-4: Blogging, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

In the next few posts we will discuss the nuances of social networking and etiquette, online. We will discuss what I term the Big-4. For me they are Blogging, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If you don’t know what they are, go ahead and study them. I also urge you to proceed with caution. Remember, the internet is a great place but news travels fast. You will want to set up some precautions and check those security features on you online accounts. If unsure it is better to be cautious.

Here are some tips I have gathered lately about creating a Blog. If you have not entered the world of Blogging but have a website you will want to see if you can enable an RSS feature. Without becoming too technical, this is a way for your information will be updated and sent to subscribers. Feed features are one of the key reasons blogs are so powerful. Your information (if worthwhile) can be accessed easily by readers.

Your Customer Base

A blog is a place to point your customers so they can get to know you. In the arena of social media we are told to not even try to sell unless you have thousands (yes, thousands) of contacts. To begin to attract more customers, you should make sure your blog includes:

Keyword rich content: give the search engines something to find that is keyword specific

  • Content that is informative, entertaining, or at the very least contains value
  • Be Social: let others know about your posts via social media connections, do not go overboard
  • Keep your content unique, this is very important, don’t plagiarize
  • Keep your focus narrow but don't be narrow focused: you can talk about different related topics but make sure it reflects your mission statement or marketing plan
  • Your calling card: your blog reflects Y*O*U…make sure it shines
  • Applications: use them or loose them. If you aren’t using the apps that your blog has available to you, you won’t be driving traffic the way you should.
  • Learn: After two years I know how much I do not know. Take at least fifteen minutes or more each week to learn more about social media, and share it with a friend
  • Be a Friend: this means post a response on this blog and others, email it to a friend and help to propagate the message.
  • Follow a Blog, visibly. Help the numbers by following other blogs
We are all in this together….hmmm, wasn’t that a song? Let’s make this network strong and work together to help each other and share what we have learned with business friend.

Next Post: Blog Basics, time saving devices

Felice Gerwitz
Speaker, Author, Publisher, Consultant to Aspiring Authors


FeliceGerwitz said...

Another helpful hint is to write your blog post with chunks of info that is broken up with keyword headings. Making the headings bold helps your reader's eyes to skim the contents quickly.