EJM Designs Limited Blog

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Extending the Extensions of Social Networking

For those of you who might have the idea that social-networking-up on your game means popping out an occasional blog and maybe a Twitter, you're mistaking a hot pan and a fridge half-full of random items for a savory, gourmet dinner. On a later post, I might go through each one of these in much more detail, but here's at least some bare bones to a good stew.

The home base and foundation, your purpose and landing platform for business (unless you're going with a different model) is the website. Sorry, the cooking analogy unfortunately passed away at the end of the last paragraph. From there, you add:

Your Blog.
If you do it right, it's the automatic second SERP link to you. I went with Blogger because it's owned by Google, easy to maintain, and I already have experience with it so there is a warm place in my heart, despite the bugs. I like to think of the website as the way you walk into a place ready to pitch your product or service or self. The blog is after-hours. A mild after-hours.

But just getting to express some of your personality is not all you need.
  • Technorati Profile - Register with Technorati so you can be more a part of the community of the largest bloggregation site in existence.
  • Template - unless you want to come across as a n00b, you better not settle for a provided template. Make it look like your site. Identify with it. And don't let people get there and question for a second where the heck they are.
  • Linkbuilding - it is hard and time-consuming, but do it here. Now. Reach out in your community, "follow" other blogs of similar interest, contact authors, trade links.

Hold on a second. I did say "bare bones," didn't I? Just starting this post is enough to make me choke: I would write a month of posts expanding on things I've just touched on here. But not to abandon the mission:

Twitter is still relatively hot right now, not a killer to maintain, and worth someone's interest in your post that can lead to your site that can lead to a ...lead. But get out there. No one's going to go fishing for YOU. Post a couple times a day, do searches for other posts, check out profiles, and follow in the community.

Facebook, Myspace, YouTube, etc. Facebook's kind of a given because you probably already have one. Don't you? Jeez. MySpace is a lesser degree, but if you want to do it all the way, just do it. With MySpace, you're looking at another template to tweak, networking to do. YouTube means recording your expertise (read:rantings) and potentially editing it with computer capture video. LinkedIn is another extension as owner or part of a business, a place to talk about your services or products. Keep going? Okay, then there's also Plaxo and Orkut and Microsoft Live Spaces and hell, you can even set up an avatar and store in Second Life if you're that motivated to promote, but this is business, is it not? We have to do some triage of available resources and effective outcomes, no?

I have much more to discuss on each of these, and will perhaps even open an Orkut and SecondLife for the sake of the process and writing about the experience. But the goal is the same around the world: success. Or, at least in the world of social marketing, exposure.

And if you can use these tools to expand your online networks and grow your exposure and increase links to your sites and your satellites, then that is a modicum of success. Granted, if your site sucks, all of the extra work of social expansion is in vein. But that's a completely different set of posts.

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