SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 63
  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot clnewbill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    north central Alabama, USA
    Posts
    144
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Help me understand the value of Social Networking

    I keep hearing great praise for the whole social networking thing as it relates to SEO. I don't do MySpace or FaceBook. I don't Twitter. I am very, very skittish about signing up for LinkedIn. I don't like the whole artificial idea of signing up for these sites, "friending" a hundred strangers, and herding them toward my and my clients' websites.

    My clients' websites are artists' galleries, several niche ecommerce sites (art supplies, pet food), dog rescue groups, and a couple of local service providers who would like to see more customers in their doors but can't spare the time to "build relationships" on Facebook or Twiter.

    I don't care about a generic drive traffic to your site campaign, if traffic just costs bandwidth and doesn't result in sales. They are all busy people, all in their 40s or older, and don't see any advantage to spending hours chatting or writing on the wall or whatever in an uncomfortable and foreign environment.

    Can someone explain to me exactly how any of these sites can be of assistance to these types of businesspeople?
    Last edited by Shyflower; Mar 17, 2009 at 08:50. Reason: extended the thread title

  2. #2
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Philadephia, PA
    Posts
    20,578
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Let's say your dog rescue group set up a Facebook profile, and started talking with people who are passionate about rescuing dogs on FB. They become friends, maybe you even start a group and they can invite others to join it. Now when your Dog Rescue Group is organizing an event, they write about it on their wall and post a message to the group, and hundreds of people passionate about rescuing dogs read it. This company is suddenly reaching a national audience instead of just whoever sees the posters they staple to bulletin boards in their local community. They'll get traffic and customers from all over the world, through their social network.

    Repeat the same story with artists and the art supply store, pet enthusiasts and the pet food store, etc.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot clnewbill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    north central Alabama, USA
    Posts
    144
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Doesn't that still require quite a few hours spent on the site from someone who sees no value in it?

  4. #4
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Philadephia, PA
    Posts
    20,578
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by clnewbill View Post
    Doesn't that still require quite a few hours spent on the site from someone who sees no value in it?
    It requires spending time on the sites regularly.

    If you see the value in the above situation for your client, then convince them of that value and offer your services running that kind of campaign.

    If you don't, then don't. Social marketing isn't right for every company.

  5. #5
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Winona, MN USA
    Posts
    10,053
    Mentioned
    142 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by clnewbill View Post
    I keep hearing great praise for the whole social networking thing as it relates to SEO. I don't do MySpace or FaceBook. I don't Twitter. I am very, very skittish about signing up for LinkedIn. I don't like the whole artificial idea of signing up for these sites, "friending" a hundred strangers, and herding them toward my and my clients' websites.

    I think you have the wrong idea about social and business networking. I belong to Linked in to promote my business. However, I can't link with someone I don't already know unless a member of my network recommends me to them.

    I also belong to FaceBook, but like LinkedIn, my membership there is to promote my skills and my business, not those of my clients.

    I never direct anyone to a client's site except for three reasons.

    1. They ask for work samples (my work).
    2. They ask for references.
    3. My client has something they want or need.

    Social networking isn't about "herding" anyone or linking up with strangers. It's about finding those that have interests like yours and building positive relationships with them. Although you can build a somewhat personal relationship with your network contacts, for me Social Networking is another way to promote my business and build good business relationships with clients and prospective clients.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  6. #6
    SitePoint Zealot clnewbill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    north central Alabama, USA
    Posts
    144
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you for the explanation, but there are an awful lot of SEO "gurus" out there describing and heavily pushing LinkedIn and FaceBook participation in exactly the manner I described. I've been to two seminars and received invitations for four more in just the past month, all with presentations by the same few specialists. All of them tell me I MUST sign up TODAY!!!! and use these sites to push people to my clients' websites.

    Maybe they are all unemployed used car salesmen? Or is there some kind of affiliate deal that I am not seeing?

  7. #7
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Winona, MN USA
    Posts
    10,053
    Mentioned
    142 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    You know, I could give a seminar and probably make a convincing argument as to why buying Twinkies would help your clients traffic. That doesn't mean you would necessarily believe what I had to say.

    Okay. A little far-fetched, but my point is that there are hundreds of snake oil salesman out there and although their spiel is questionable, that doesn't mean that snake oil doesn't have legitimate uses.

    Don't discount networking as a bad thing just because there are some people who try to pervert its true value. For both you and your clients, social networking is a legitimate way to help grow a business.

    My suggestion is that you don't join to promote your clients' sites. Instead, suggest that they join to build their own business networks. You don't have to spend a whole lot of time "writing on a wall" to belong to a social networking site, but it is a good way to keep in touch with past clients and a way to obtain referrals for new ones.

    Just like belonging to forum communities like this one, Social networking is a way to find people with like interests and more, it's a way to build your personal community of business contacts.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  8. #8
    SitePoint Zealot clnewbill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    north central Alabama, USA
    Posts
    144
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I feel reasonably comfortable here. I even use my initials and last name as my screen name. I also have a 12-year history of social sites on the internet beginning with an eBay board back in 1996, when all of us were strongly encouraged by events to use a pseudonym and mask our identities for the sake of safety.

    Something about LinkedIn gives me the same gruesome feeling...

    At any rate, thank you for your thoughtful reply.

  9. #9
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    8,111
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by clnewbill View Post
    Doesn't that still require quite a few hours spent on the site from someone who sees no value in it?
    Most good marketing requires spending time and effort into using technologies which can give you promotion which may start off lacking in results but builds up groups of clients who use this method in preference to get hold of your information. Social networking is simply a medium we can choose to use to allow people from a wider audience to use their own personal preference of network to find information about you and share your passions (and possibly future work) with them as a result.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    3
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I guess if networking with like minded people is not their thing then they shouldn't do it, but that is how you make contacts i.e. customers!

  11. #11
    SitePoint Zealot
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    145
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You just mentioned alot of your client based are artist, and dog rescue people. These are actually great types of clients that would benefit greatly when it comes to networking.

    I mean building a list of friends and followers on these site will open their doors to a whole new world of opportunities. For your artist it will give them more inspiration, it will give them so many more people to offer their services to.

    And for the dog rescuers do you know how many people love dogs? I mean you could build a HUGE network of followers with this niche.

    Networking will do you alot of good for these niches let me just say that.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    38
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    while google does not have a penalty for social network sites then they will still work, hoever many people are starting to abuse bookmarking sites and as such the value of bookmarking sites will diminish when google put them into the algorythm.

    Sites such as facebook, myspace have value and can reach a large audience, once again it is all dependant upon participation. You do not have to use social networking to be found on the front page of the search results, but it can help when done in the correct way.

    Many business survive without any online presence or just a landing page, but generate customers in defferent ways.

    when people see that you are a credible witness then this will build trust and they may then refer people to you, the more people in your network then more chance you will get a referral.

    How do you build a large subscriber base, netowrk with people, people who know that you are a credible witness..

  13. #13
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Winona, MN USA
    Posts
    10,053
    Mentioned
    142 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    Search engine results are only one tool in building a strong business network. Social bookmarking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn allow the business person to build a network of friends and colleagues that help grow their business without worrying about Google's latest search algorithm.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  14. #14
    SitePoint Zealot
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    145
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower View Post
    Search engine results are only one tool in building a strong business network. Social bookmarking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn allow the business person to build a network of friends and colleagues that help grow their business without worrying about Google's latest search algorithm.
    I really like the way ShyFlower is talking here, and this is true. Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

    Let me give you an example, I started my web development and internet marketing company several years ago, and we used digitalpoint ALL the time to help generate new clients, and we were making a huge profit off of digitalpoint.

    The only problem is that is all we were using, and then one day our account got hacked and we got banned from Digitalpoint, and all our profits disappeared and it was hard to manage day to day. So, don't worry about just one source, you need to have various different marketing approaches to be able to succeed.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    3
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    In my opinion the only problem with marketing with these social networking sites is the fact you are in a way marketing to your friends. I my self have always disliked my friends who have tried to sell me products when they have participated in weird MLM programs.

    If you have no problem with alienating your friends a bit, then these social networks may work for you.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Zealot
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    145
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jdanny View Post
    In my opinion the only problem with marketing with these social networking sites is the fact you are in a way marketing to your friends. I my self have always disliked my friends who have tried to sell me products when they have participated in weird MLM programs.

    If you have no problem with alienating your friends a bit, then these social networks may work for you.
    To be honest, I think you are missing at how Social Networks are really working. Because, major network sites like facebook and myspace both look down and actually ban people for selling and spamming like that.

    You are not so much as getting a bunch of friends on these networks and then sending them messages or spamming their inbox with your services and products. You approach it in a different way, you make friends, you talk , carry on normal conversations like you would with any friends. You post blogs, announcments about your services or products, and that is how it is spread, you don't spam people on these networks because that will get your account deleted quick.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Evangelist
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Wigan, Lancashire. UK
    Posts
    523
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A lot of social network sites lose any semblence of "like minded people getting together" in favour of "he who has the most friends wins". Facebook afficionados boast of how many "friends" they have online, and LinkedIn groups are filled with requests for "please link to me".

    That isn't to say social networks have no value: simply saying that their value can quickly become diluted; in much the same way as usenet newsgroups son developed a high sound/noise ratio and became a thing (largely) of the past in favour of moderated forums.
    At some point, social networks will evolve in the same way: something new will come along that provides the right degree of "like minded people getting together"... perhaps an extension of forums like this.
    ---
    Development Projects:
    PHPExcel
    PHPPowerPoint

  18. #18
    SitePoint Zealot busylinks1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    160
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think Now social networking sites are hijacked by SEOs and spamers...
    In the begining the perpose of social networking sites are to put togather like minded persons and share ideas and their thoughts...
    So thats that raw thoughts can be discoused and purified...

    But these days social networking are only used to take the traffic toward you site and perpose is only marketing of you product.....

    Isn't so ....

  19. #19
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Winona, MN USA
    Posts
    10,053
    Mentioned
    142 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    I think that there is a distinction between social networking (SN) sites like MySpace, social bookmarking (SB) sites like StumbleUpon, and business networking (BN) sites like LinkedIn. At SN sites you try to build a network of friends. At SB sites, you link to other pages and blog posts as well as your own in order to increase both your network of "followers" and the traffic to your own sites. At BN sites the goal is to grow your business. Probably at all of them, you need to prudent in who you agree to add to your network. After all, we are often associated with the company we keep.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  20. #20
    SitePoint Zealot
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    175
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower View Post
    I think you have the wrong idea about social and business networking. I belong to Linked in to promote my business. However, I can't link with someone I don't already know unless a member of my network recommends me to them.

    I also belong to FaceBook, but like LinkedIn, my membership there is to promote my skills and my business, not those of my clients.

    I never direct anyone to a client's site except for three reasons.

    1. They ask for work samples (my work).
    2. They ask for references.
    3. My client has something they want or need.

    Social networking isn't about "herding" anyone or linking up with strangers. It's about finding those that have interests like yours and building positive relationships with them. Although you can build a somewhat personal relationship with your network contacts, for me Social Networking is another way to promote my business and build good business relationships with clients and prospective clients.
    right, Social networking maybe become your client, Not to go to get to know in order to do business only

  21. #21
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    38
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    SEO has NOT been hijacked by SEO but by black hat SEOers, those who use naughty sneaky tricks to get onto the front page, this is why i indicated that social bookmarking sites will diminish in importance to google..

    Past experience has shown that when google sees a technique being abused then they make modifications to their algorythm, book marking site are being abused badly at the present so enjoy the value of bookmarking sites while it exists...

    on a positive note google is rewarding sites (including new sites) with great UNIQUE content and taking them out of the sandbox and putting them onto page 1 very quickly

  22. #22
    SitePoint Zealot
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    113
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Social networking only works if you actually enjoy doing it, and then only marginally. Think of it as an added bonus to a hobby that some people enjoy. I think people tout the business aspect of these social networking sites because it makes them feel better about wasting half their day on twitter.

  23. #23
    SitePoint Addict jonparadise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Brighton, England
    Posts
    201
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by kenbrower View Post
    Social networking only works if you actually enjoy doing it, and then only marginally. Think of it as an added bonus to a hobby that some people enjoy. I think people tout the business aspect of these social networking sites because it makes them feel better about wasting half their day on twitter.
    I have to agree on this.

    I loathe social networking sites. Facebook I can put up with, as I use it to arrange to meet my 'real life' friends, all of whom I knew before, and to keep in touch with my family in Australia.

    I tried Twitter for a month or so and found it mind numbingly boring. It held absolutely no benefit for me whatsoever. I was constantly getting 'followed' by people who just wanted to sell me their services, or learned that 'Fred in Washington' had just picked his nose. Put me off completely.

    It would be interesting to see a time and motion study on Twitter. How much of use is actually achieved compared to the time spent announcing you've burnt your toast.

    I guess a lot of it comes down to the fact I'm a person who likes interacting with real people and once I've finished my design work I like to step away from the computer and step out into the sunshine.

  24. #24
    SitePoint Evangelist
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Wigan, Lancashire. UK
    Posts
    523
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by orson View Post
    I would say social networking helps to build individuals development, personal and professional relationships more than ever before.
    So in what way does a social networking site differ from a site like this? What benefits can I get from a social networking site that I can't get from a forum of like-minded individuals?
    ---
    Development Projects:
    PHPExcel
    PHPPowerPoint

  25. #25
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Winona, MN USA
    Posts
    10,053
    Mentioned
    142 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Baker View Post
    So in what way does a social networking site differ from a site like this? What benefits can I get from a social networking site that I can't get from a forum of like-minded individuals?

    I have a toolbox. In it I have a claw hammer and a ball-peen hammer, a needle nosed pliers and a regular pliers, a couple of Phillips screwdrivers and an assortment of flat-edged screwdrivers. The reason I keep a variety of tools is because I need different tools for different items I want to build. Everyone of my tools is as valuable to me as the next.

    I love SitePoint, as you can see from how long I've been a fixture here. Although I have joined several forums, this one is the only one I regularly attend.

    Just the other day, one of my past clients asked me to join his network on LinkedIn. Just in case I didn't remember him, he mentioned his SitePoint username in his invitation. Although I knew his name, I had no idea who he "was" at SitePoint until then.

    I did a project for this client my first year at SitePoint and after lost touch with him. LinkedIn reconnected me with this client.

    It gives me a lasting connection with my satisfied clients. I don't need to spam them with e-mails about changes to my business. I just need to post them on my profile page or in a status message and they can tell what I'm doing with my business.

    I can also post their recommendations on my profile page and offer them a testimonial in return.

    How many of the "like minded" members of this forum do you know personally? How many are your satisfied clients?

    How many SitePoint members know your skill set? How many are familiar with your business?

    How many of your past clients belong to SitePoint? Do you know their forum user names? I can see that they may know yours, but many forum members use "handles" rather than their given names so that isn't always the case.


    Sites like LinkedIn help me keep my business visible to the people that matter-- the people most likely to give me a referral or rehire me for a new project. They also give me a directory of people I know are trustworthy because I have either worked for them, partnered with them, or hired them in the past.

    Forums, like SitePoint are useful in sharing your expertise and growing your business. Social and Business networking sites are other tools you can put in your business toolbox to keep your business in the public eye as well as keep you in touch with your peers, clients, and personal contacts. Each is as valuable as the other.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •