Network Better on Social Networking Sites
If you think social networking sites are only good for updating statuses, posting pictures or checking your ex-boyfriend’s photos, you are missing out on a huge opportunity of expanding your reach – professionally. How can you build a stronger network and take your virtual presence to the next level?
- The most important aspect of social networking is the audience. Identify what kind of audience you want to reach out to and pay attention to what they are saying or doing.
- Set benchmarks for engaging your contacts and monitor the response your activity generates. For example, how many tweets do you get on Twitter? How many reposts or comments does your blog generate? Make use of third-party tools like Retweetist etc. to measure your social media influence.
- Join specialised networks that cater to your interests and passion – Digg if you are a news digger, fanvibe for sports, etc. If unsure, run a Google search on “(your topic) and social media”.
- Asking lots of questions is a great way to engage your contacts and learn new things. When people report, comment or reply, it boosts your visibility on that network. Be sure to take time out to read and respond.
- Add links to your blog posts, tweets, status updates and any other content. You can cross-link to your blog from your tweets and vice versa. You can also tag friends on Facebook to hyperlink their names.
- If you have a smart phone, install special helper applications to send or receive information faster on your favourite networks. This keeps you connected to your networks 24/7.
- Create a unique or special visual identity on your profiles. A custom Twitter background with ample bio information works well. Many custom backgrounds are available for free downloading.
- Once you’ve built a strong social network, don’t let your social identity go up in smoke. Use tools to back up your photos, status updates, profiles, etc. Most social networking sites offer tools to back up data – Facebook’s tool is under “download your information” in account settings, for Twitter try TweetScan or TweetStream, WordPress lets you export your posts to a downloadable file.
Harness the power of social networking to connect your interests, business and life with others!