Saturday, December 6, 2008

Getting the Most from Social Networks

I have partially covered some of the social networks you can use. Now, let us focus on making the most of them. I will recommend a slightly different strategy for you to follow. After you have made your own experiment and decided on which networks you will concentrate your efforts, here are some tips for you:
  • Do not rush submitting your own posts
Do not try to game the system in vain. Instead, give your readers the opportunity to bookmark and/or submit them. This will be a new experiment with which you will measure what percentage of your subscribers take the time to bookmark and share your posts.
  • Think how you can improve the submission rates
Most probably, the initial results will be discouraging, that's good! Now, reread your posts and note how you could have written them better, especially the titles. Check if your bookmark links function properly and if they are clearly visible. Do you encourage your readers to share?
  • Use comments to your advantage
When answering a reader's comment, use your notes (see above) to add the things you forgot. Write a follow up post if necessary. This has nothing to do with social networks but it is a solid advice.
  • Traffic is NOT conversion
Although it is gratifying to see your article received nn many diggs, reddits, sphinns or whatever, it is a poor indicator of how many people actually read your posts. Do not let glamor and fame blind you. Check your logs!
  • Do not let networks steal your traffic
Search engines, especially Google, place great emphasis on freshness. If your article is relevant to the query, you can rest assured that you will be in the top 30 of the search engine results pages (SERP's)... for a day or two, I am afraid. Do not spoil it by submitting your articles early. You do not have the authority and PageRank to compete against social media sites.
  • You can submit your article after 2 or 3 days
If nobody has done it yet, of course. Now your article is not fresh and probably lost its ranking in SERP's. It is time to use the network's power to your advantage. For a relevant query, they will have the muscle to compete for the top 30.
  •  Rewrite the summary part
Most networks have a summary or comment area after the URL and title box. Use your notes and reword the summary. You can even include something you have completely forgotten like "... while it provides an insight to the mechanics of social networks in general, it fails to address the issue of ..."
  • Try to write a new article before submission
It is good policy to have a new article on your front page. When people come to read your article from networks, they may click on home/main page, to see if there is anything new, but rarely anyone will check previous posts or your archives. Try not to disappoint them.

Marketing yourself is easy, right?


L. Venkata Subramaniam said...

very sane words. Looks like you have gained a lot of wisdom over the years!

Archiver said...

Failure is a good teacher. Analyzing why you failed is equally important as why you succeeded. And failures are many but successes are rare.

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