Tag Archives: social networking

5 Ways To Be Better On Social Media

We all know that social media is here to stay. What those of us who actually look at what’s being said and shared on social media see is a lot of people making mistakes that should be fairly easy to overcome. I use “fairly” because all of it takes some action, and some of that action takes longer than others, and some is more risky than others. And yet, if done correctly, or with the proper frame of mind, it all helps greatly.

Picture-8
I make videos to help
my social media presence

With that said I’m giving 5 ways here, only because I’m hoping to keep it simple. It’s my intention in 2015 to talk more about social media theory, presence, networking and theory on this blog than anything else, and this is the first article of 2014, as I took a nice long break. So, here we go:

Gravatar – Gravatars have been out there for more than a decade now. Basically a gravatar is that little image that you see next to people’s blog comments; on other platforms it’s just called an image. Last April on a different blog I talked about 5 reasons you need a gravatar. The main reason is that your image helps people associate a face with the comment, and that identity is strong in making connections. People remember faces more than names, and images more than, well, nothing.

Promote others while promoting yourself – If I took the time to mention you while sharing something you did on this blog, would it make you feel pretty good? If so, think of how others might feel if you reference them here and there in your space, whether it’s on your blog or retweeting something they’ve shared on Twitter or just sharing something someone else has done on other social media platforms.

These don’t have to be famous people, and truthfully it’s probably better that it’s not them, at least most of the time. In that vein I’m going to promote a young man named William Haynes, who’s been putting together a wealth of topics on all sorts of both social media and being social in general that are pretty funny on his YouTube channel and deserves a bit more attention if you ask me. The kid makes me laugh. 🙂

Be present – If you want to be a presence via social media and be found by others who might need or enjoy what you have to share you actually have to be out there pressing the digital flesh.

Alex Eylar via Compfight

I have 4 blogs (actually 5 again) and try to make sure I have at least one article on 3 of them weekly. I’m on social media every day, even on days I’m traveling, for at least an hour. I try to mix it up among all the social media sites I’m on and I try to be engaging with people; I may not be famous yet but I have people sometimes surprised to hear from me because they think I’m big; all that and a bag of chips gets me on almost no lists, ever. lol Still, there’s nothing else like that in the world.

Don’t look curmudgeonly -Trust me, I understand now that I’m in my mid 50’s. Society feels like it’s changed so drastically. People use a lot of foul language, don’t seem to know anything about history, and are always flitting around onto the “next big thing” (still have no idea what Tsu is; not interested) while the big thing is still pretty viable. If I wanted to I could spend entire weeks hating on every single blog post I come across; how well do you think that would work for me?

We all have to be ready to step back and see what others are doing, evaluate them for ourselves, and then decide what we want to do or say. Having an informed opinion on something you don’t like is way better than hating something just because it’s not what you used to like. Of course if you only spend time hating things you’ll look like a jaded old person, even if you’re young. So find good in things as well; trust me, there’s a lot more good than bad.

Be willing to be confronted, but not condemned – So many people play it safe; sigh… There’s nothing wrong with being cautious because you’re afraid of saying the wrong thing. I’m of the opinion that if you’ve given something a lot of thought and have something to say, even if you know there will be someone out there who won’t like it, say it anyway if it’s honest.

You might not like the concept of political correctness but it’ll help you get your message across way better when you’re not constantly defending yourself from negatives messages that you generated. People like knowing that others aren’t afraid to have an opinion that’s well reasoned, and that just might be your unique selling proposition that helps you get fans and customers.
 

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10 Social Media/Networking Don’ts In 2 Minutes

I have a series of these posts where I believe, if you read well, you can polish off the post in about 2 minutes. I’m doing it this time because that previous post was so long. It was so long that I’m giving it an extra day as well, and I’m once again on an airplane as you read this.

D.A.R.E
Greg Nissen via Compfight

Once again these are my opinion, but I tend to believe that the majority of people who read these will agree with me. Those other folks… well, they just ain’t no good! 🙂 Here we go:

1. Don’t steal someone else’s stuff. Don’t plagiarize or use without attribution. That’s content or images.

2. Don’t be a nuisance. I could have said don’t spam but I wanted to reach a broader spectrum. Don’t overdo advertising, contacting people, etc.

3. Don’t be a troll. This is worse than being a nuisance because you’re probably just trying to cause trouble for no reason other than your own pleasure.

4. Don’t be too sensitive. Just because you feel you can identify with something doesn’t mean it’s for or about you.

5. Don’t wuss out on your morals or principles. I get it, peer pressure can be strong. Truth be told, standing up for your principles and the rights of others is a lot easier than living with guilt.

6. Don’t bully others. Sometimes you might feel like you have to call someone out. That’s fine, but know where and when to draw the line; words can kill.

7. Don’t ramble. If you have something to say just say it and move on. Don’t spend 10 minutes repeating one thing over and over, whether it’s blogging or on social media.

8. Don’t stalk. Yes, there are some attractive people out there, or some famous people you enjoy. Sometimes people go too far and they don’t know they’re doing it; self control is always a good thing.

9. Don’t forget you’re in public. How do you want people to perceive you? Always think of that before you say or put anything on the internet.

10. Don’t forget that once it’s out there, it’s out there forever. If you think you can do something stupid now & in 10 years it’ll be forgotten, please! Notice how fewer people are putting those drunken party photos of themselves on Facebook now?

If you couldn’t read this in 2 minutes… well, that’s on you. 🙂
 

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5 Ways You’re Messing Up On LinkedIn

Back in April I wrote my first true introductory post about LinkedIn, giving tips on how to use it effectively. Well, it seems that there’s still a lot of folks out there that are using it incorrectly. How do I know? If it’s irking other people then you’re messing it up in my opinion.


by Mattias via Flickr

Frankly, when it comes to your business the last thing you really want to be doing is getting on people’s nerves. Most of these things are minor, but why get irritate people to begin with I always say. So, here are 5 things one should either stop or start doing.

1. Stop going with the default message when reaching out to new people. Goodness, this was my #1 gripe in the last post and it’s at the top again. How hard is it to write something different, even if it’s just “I think we might be able to do some work together so I’d love to connect with you on LinkedIn”, or “I figure this is a good time to connect with each other here on LinkedIn”?

2. When reaching out to people you want to connect with, don’t lie about how you know them. I cringe when I get a connection message that says “so and so says you’re friends” when I have absolutely no idea who they are.

3. Why don’t you have a picture? Unless I personally know someone I refuse to connect with anyone that doesn’t have an image on LinkedIn. My thought is that you’re either trying to hide something or you don’t have enough knowledge to know how to upload a photograph. The idea of LinkedIn is business networking; why the heck wouldn’t you put up an image?

4. Say something in a group every once in awhile. I don’t belong to a bunch of groups but every group I belong to I participate in every once in awhile, sometimes even more then once in awhile. Sure, it’s free, but what’s the point in being in something you’re never going to do anything in? I called people out in one group that has around 1,600 members yet only 10 people ever talk; that’s just a shame.

5. Make your profile more dramatic than a straight up resume. You’re not auditing for a job, you’re hoping to get some kind of business out of it. If there’s a service or product you’d like to highlight, then do it there. It’s a great opportunity to do something a little different that you might not want to do on your website.
 

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10 Things Not To Do On Twitter

Twitter is the fastest growing social networking site in the world today. As with most new technologies, rules for proper use are written on the fly, and Twitter rules are no different, except, in this case, the rules aren’t quite written, and it’s the users that make the rules.

There are ten things that many Twitter people do that are generally considered as bad manners. Some of those things are:

* Not having an image of some sort with your profile. Unless people know who you are, they’re reluctant to follow anyone without some kind of image to give people an idea of who they might be.

* Using a tiny.url as the link to your website. Hiding a link to your website makes people suspect that you have an ulterior motive in putting it there, and if people don’t trust you from the start, they won’t follow you.

* Writing about every single step of your day. No one is interested in following every second of anyone else’s life, yet that’s how some people participate on Twitter. If that person isn’t your friend, you’ll probably drop them because they’re taking up too much of your time and space when you have other people to follow.

* Only posting links or quotes and not talking to anyone. People love information, but we hate being ignored when we want to talk to someone. If a person has 30,000 people following them, or if they’re a celebrity, they might get a break, but for everyone else, if you don’t ever engage anyone openly, people will unfollow you pretty quickly.

* Posting the same links over and over. Many people are on Twitter only to market themselves. If someone is following you and sees that you only post the same content all the time, you can bet they’re going to drop you as soon as possible.

* Using a lot of bad language. This is the bane of modern existence, people forgetting how to be courteous in public, but being consistently bad mouthed will get people to drop you like a bad habit, even if they use bad language in their real lives.

* Following a lot of people but only having a few follow you. This is a big red flag for most Twitter users, because it’s the tactic employed by spammers. Though there are often these big pushes towards increasing one’s followers, it’s better to increase both in a more organic fashion.

* Not having any posts. If you never write anything, or almost never write anything, why would you expect people to follow you? Twitter is all about people interacting with each other, and if you’re not interacting, or you have one or two posts and they’re both talking about the latest product you’re marketing, you’ll never get any followers.

* Getting into an argument with another person. It can invariably happen to anyone, but it’s considered bad practice because the participants never know what they’re going to say, and at some point they might say something that offends a big number of people. It’s usually best to try to let it go as soon as possible.

* Saying something in the open that you’d never say in person. Last year, a reporter for the Chicago Sun Times wrote a negative post about too many fat people on the train he was on. Within an hour, he had been vilified worldwide, and many people had already sent letters to the newspaper demanding that he be fired. Back in January, another person lost a job he’d just been offered because he made a derogatory comment about taking the job without realizing that the person who offered him the job was following him on Twitter.

These are just some things that people need to think about when they’re going to participate on Twitter. Avoiding these ten things can make your Twitter experience a pleasant one.
 

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Massive Traffic To Your Website/Blog?

During my surfing party this week, I came across another article on how to drive massive traffic to your website. I don’t know why I keep reading these things because they all tend to say the same thing. However, this one just made me stop and decide that I wanted to comment on all of its points.

Wind farm and greenhouse gas farm, together
<Kevin Dooley via Compfight

The article is titled 20 Simple Ways to get Massive Traffic to your Web Site (at least it was; seems the title has been changed) by Penny C. Sansevieri, and it’s not that it’s a bad article, just that, in my opinion, at this time and place it’s somewhat misleading. It’s no more misleading than all the other articles I’ve read that say the same exact thing, but she’s listed her points, and I’m going to address each point individually. I do hope you go and read her article, though, which I’m not going to quote here, only her 20 points, with my commentary on each.

Before I begin, I want to make sure I get my point across. There are many things we can do to try to increase traffic to our sites. I’ve mentioned in the past how Twitter helped me increase traffic, and how commenting on other blogs helped also.

For my main business site, I haven’t talked much about how I got that one going, but I did some of the things mentioned in this article. The thing is, I did increase in traffic, but massive traffic? I don’t know that if I go from 5 to 25 visits a day that I consider that massive traffic. Massive traffic to me is 1,000 visits a day, and I don’t mean unique visits, which I get, but real live visitors that Google Analytics tells me about, or more. Still, let’s look at this list of 20 to see what I’ve done, or my opinions on them:

1) Write articles: believe it or not this is an incredible tool for driving traffic.

I have 10 articles on Ezine Articles and Evan Carmichael, and, according to Analytics, I’ve never gotten a single person to any of my sites because of them. They’ve been used elsewhere, though, so I’ve gotten links, but traffic,… nope.

2) Social bookmark *everything* – and I do mean everything

This one can take awhile, but I’ve done two things. One, I add the majority of articles I write on my three blogs to Delicious, and I also have every new blog post I write on all of my blogs showing up on my profile on Facebook. I know that at least two people have visited this blog because of a Delicious posting, but I only know of one person who’s even seen my blog listings on Facebook, and Analytics has never shown anyone coming to my blogs from there.

3) List yourself in the best directories

In this post, she was talking about paid directories, but I’m leery of many of these really big directories to begin with. As opposed to what I tried to do with my Services & Stuff site, you could end up in a category on a directory that has nothing to do with what you really do, or want to be known for, but you’re also then competing, at times, with hundreds of other people who do the same thing. I don’t know that I’d pay for it, let alone overly worry about the non-paid ones.

My main business site is listed in over 300 directories (I checked), and I certainly didn’t ask to be listed on that many directories, and I’m listed for diversity training on almost all of them. Thing is, I tried to go in and change some of them to something else, but you can’t, and they’ll only list you under one category for the most part. Hey, I’ll take the one way link, but traffic,… nope.

4) Get yourself listed at: DMOZ.org

At this point, DMOZ is kind of a joke. It’s so big, and they don’t have enough people working on it, that if you decide to try it might take 3 or 4 years before someone got around to adding you, if they decide to add you at all. My main business site is there, though I can’t remember how to find it, but none of my other sites are there because I didn’t even try to put them there. I’m lost in the shuffle, and, of course, almost no traffic has ever come from there.

5) Review: if you can review hot new products or books within your market, head on over to Amazon.com and start positioning yourself as an expert.

I can’t say I’ve done a lot of this, but I am listed as a reviewer on Amazon, and I’ve reviewed a few things. However, no one has ever followed any of my reviews back to any of my sites.

6) Offer a freebie on Craig’s List: you’ll be amazed at how much traffic you get from a single Craig’s List ad.

This one I’ve never tried. I have listed services I offer on Craigslist, and have received very miniscule traffic to one of my sites, but otherwise I’ve been pretty much ignored.

7) Create a “recommended by” list on your Del.icio.us page

As I mentioned, I submit my articles to Delicious, but I’ll admit I haven’t done any kind of list except for my own stuff. Still, if no one is even looking at what I post there, why would I expect anyone would care about a list I create?

8) And speaking of your email signature line…do you have one? If you don’t, create one.

This is an absolute for publicity, but the truth is that most people tend to miss it when they decide they want something. I can’t believe how many people will ask me for a link to my website, or when I send business email out, a phone number, and it’s right there in the signature line. People ask me for an address from my business site, and I have my address on every single page! This is important to do, but it’s never driven “massive” traffic to me.

The Lights of Japan
Trey Ratcliff via Compfight

9) Lend a helping hand: you can be an answer person at Yahoo Answers (http://answers.yahoo.com/)

I’ve set up to do this, and I did it fairly faithfully for a week. Number of visitors to my blog; zero. Now, maybe it takes more time than that, but, oddly enough, you find that there really aren’t as many questions you can answer as you might think there are, and sometimes, when you do find one, many other people have already answered it.

10) Set up a social networking site using Facebook.com, Linkedin.com, or Squidoo.

I’ve already mentioned Facebook, but I’m also on LinkedIn, Ryze, Izania, and about 4 or 5 others, and I’ve gotten little traffic from any of them. Ryze has probably been the most productive, but I’ve invested a lot of time there, and for what I got back, “massive” wouldn’t come close to describing.

11) Make sure your blog has an RSS feed

Heck, y’all know I have a RSS feed because of that RSS contest I tried to run at the beginning of January. I have that feed on all of my blogs, though I haven’t put it on all of my sites; might have to think about that one some more. Still, I haven’t gotten massive subscribers, and I’m doubting massive would describe traffic generated from those feeds either.

12) Join relevant groups at Yahoo groups (http://groups.yahoo.com/).

This I did, and then got out of. I think Yahoo Groups had its day, but it’s on the decline now, as there’s more spam related postings than anything else. As for traffic,…

13) Podcasting is another great way to drive traffic.

This one I’ve never done; the closest is adding the Odiogo widget to my blogs. I haven’t erased podcasting off my list of things I might want to do later, including video of some sort, so I’ll have to say I’m not sure how well this one would work, and I have no real history with it.

14) Start a blog and then once you do, start commenting on other people’s blogs, linking to them from your site or adding them to your blogroll.

Goodness, isn’t this what we always talk about around here, and amongst ourselves? This is the one thing I know has created more traffic to my blogs. Massive? Well, I still wouldn’t go quite that far, but interest and visitors, definitely.

15) Inbound links: don’t squander your time (or a perfectly good link) on smaller low-traffic sites. Instead spend your time going after high traffic, high quality sites.

Nice idea, but in general how would you know? I think we’ve debated whether it’s worth commenting on a big time blog with hundreds of other comments that don’t give a dofollow link versus commenting on a blog that might not have any other comments, but is a dofollow blog. We’ve even debated whether relevance in topics has to be there or not (I tend to believe it doesn’t matter as much as dofollow).

16) Start an email newsletter

I write two newsletters for my business, along with many other newsletters, but don’t have newsletters for my blogs. Man, that would be a lot more to deal with, wouldn’t it? However, there’s always been the question of whether newsletters drive traffic or sales. I think traffic would be stretching it because, with a newsletter, a reader doesn’t really have to visit your site unless you make it a condition of reading an entire article, which I consider as being somewhat smarmy. Now, you could send out a weekly “newsletter” telling people what articles were written on your blog or site for the week, with links to all the articles, and I guess that would be okay, but is that driving massive traffic to your site or just bringing back people who are looking to read what you’ve written back for another look? And, in this day and age, aren’t more of those people probably subscribing to your RSS feed, as it pertains to your blog?

17) And speaking of offline efforts: if you’re ever quoted in a magazine or other publication, make sure and mention your URL as its appropriate to the topic.

This I’ve done, but it’s never brought massive traffic. Like when I posted on my business blog the last interview I did (which can be found by going here, or downloaded and listened to as a MP3 file here). It got a lot of hits, but mainly because I sent it to all the people in my address book and they popped over to either listen or download. That was a one and done, and all those people knew me already. Anyone who didn’t know me,… nothing massive there. Still, it’s pretty good publicity that will always be there for me.

18) If you have products to sell why not get a store on eBay?

This might be a good idea, but more for making money than driving traffic to one’s site, unless you own a commerce site. It certainly wouldn’t drive massive traffic to your blog.

19) Load a video on YouTube and 57 other video sites.

Once again, something I can’t comment on since I’ve never done it. Of course, I do put up a post that’s mainly videos here and there, but without posting something I’ve created on my own and uploaded somewhere, I don’t know how well this works or not. I think every person has the opportunity to go viral, though.

20) If you’re going to go through all the trouble of getting traffic to your site, make sure your site is converting this traffic into something. Get folks to sign up for something, your newsletter, the RSS feed on your blog.

This one’s already been addressed in other comments above, so it’s more of a wrap up of other points than something new.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on these 20 points. I’m not saying they’re not good to do anyway, because publicity is publicity, and one or more of these might do wonders for you. And if one of you gets massive traffic because of it, then you’re just magnificent. But for the rest of us, the regular folks, unless we already have a big time following this isn’t what’s going to get it done.

What will get it done? Not that I really know, since I’m not there, but the two things I’ve found that seem to work the best are, of course, commenting on other blogs, and writing posts on a consistent basis, so people know you’re not a “hit and run” poster, someone who’s not going to write much of anything with any consistency. Those two things have helped me the most, and though I don’t consider myself as having massive traffic, I do have growing traffic, last week Feedburner actually told me I had 84 subscribers (though today it’s back down into the low 70’s; I wonder what drives that).

Okay, your turn; what do you think about these 20 points, and please, go read the other article for comparison?
 

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