Sunday

Social Networking with Debra Eckerling

Today I have an informative post by Debra Eckerling about social networking. As it's an absolutely vital step for any and all online promotion, learning everything you can about social networking is important. Debra is an author, communications specialist and writing coach.

Social Networking

By Debra Eckerling

Experts of all ages are taking part and reaping the rewards of social networking. What’s stopping you from jumping in?

Having an online presence is essential to social and live networking. If you are an expert in your field, then you want to be first in the mind of someone who needs a person, offering your services.

Social Networking:

-    Connects you with people you know – whether they are long time friends or people you just met – as well as people you should know in your field

-     Drives traffic to your blog or website
-     Facilitates self-promotion through events, links, and information

The cost of social networking – unless you hire out – is your time. There are so many options for getting out there electronically, you could spend hours just looking for all of them. … days signing up for them. … and months and years keeping up with them. Thus, leaving no time to do any actual work, writing, etc., and defeating the purpose.

This technology is not going anywhere, so the smart solution is to begin somewhere, anywhere – start small, and keep your priorities in line.

If you are new to the social-networking playground, I recommend you start with LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

LinkedIn is a business site – very often professionals only use LinkedIn

•    Post your resume, connect with former and current associates, and get colleague recommendations
•    Import your blog posts and your tweets (more on tweets later)
•    Start and join “groups,” post questions.

Facebook is a social networking site for personal and professional use

•Find friends, co-workers, relatives
•Share pictures and videos, links, and information
•Join networks for hometown, current city, workplace, and school
•Use your profile for personal connections
•Create a group or page for your business, website, or books. Then you can send messages/updates, and create events for booksignings, appearances, releases, etc.

Twitter is a social networking site, perfect for those who are super-busy. You can get a lot of info out in just a bullet point.

•    Send posts – aka “tweets” – of up to 140 characters
•    Send updates when your blog is updated
•    Promote the sites and posts of people in your network
•    Ask questions
•    Send messages to your followers
•    Create and follow lists to filter information
•    Shorten your links, using a site like http://bit.ly/

Most social networking sites are relatively easy to set up (prompts walk you through), and have functions where you can import your address book and find people with whom you are already connected.

Once you master these, there are loads of others you can check out, including You Tube, which is a must for those who post video; Goodreads; and even BlogTalkRadio.

Just beware: social networking can easily monopolize your time. A quick check of your friends updates after breakfast; next thing you know, it’s time for lunch.

Allow yourself a certain amount of time each day to devote to promotion using these channels. Use social networking as a 15-minute break a few times per day. Make a schedule. Set a timer if you have to. If you are aware of how much time you spend, it will be easier to keep your social networking under control.

One more thing: Social networking is not a replacement for going to events and meeting people in real life. It’s a way to stay in touch with new connections you meet at mixers, lectures, etc. Use social networking responsibly – the rewards have no limits!

Debra Eckerling is the creator of Write On! Online, a website and community for writers. Debra, a communications specialist and writing coach, has written for national, local, trade, and online publications.

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13 comments:

Donna M. McDine said...

Deb:

Terrific article! Taking social networking in small portions is definitely key. I can't agree more that social networking is very time consuming. I set limits and it helps tremendously to have my blog posts automated to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Great advice!

Best wishes,
Donna

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Very good article reminding us of places to promote our work and the importance of doing so.

Thanks.

Karen Cioffi said...

Hi, Donna and Beverly, Thanks for stopping by.

Donna, I have to look into automating my posts!

Karen Cioffi said...

Debra, Thank you for being my guest today, and providing such valuable marketing info!

Magdalena Ball said...

Great article Debra. All writers need to master social networking. That said, I particularly like your little warnings - to budget time carefully and not to use as a replacement for meeting people in real life. That's critical! I've seen too many people confuse the meaning of that word "friend".

Karen Cioffi said...

Maggie, I agree too, while we can develop wonderful friendships online, there's nothing like tangible friends.

And, not to mention the time spent doing the daily networking jog.

Debra Eckerling said...

Thanks for hosting me, Karen! What a great way to start the month!

And thanks everyone for stopping by. Really glad you like my tips. Social and live networking are really essential for any business. One truly reinforces the other!

And if we are not already connected, I am at:

http://facebook.com/deckerling
http://facebook.com/writeononline
http://twitter.com/writeononline

Cheryl said...

Great article, Debra. I use most of the sites you listed every day. I've seen the difference in my blog traffic as a result.

Wishing you the best,

Cheryl

Karen Cioffi said...

Hi, Cheryl,

Social Networking definitely help with promotion!

Thanks for stopping by.

Mari said...

Love the article. Great advice about continuing to engage in person.

Debra Eckerling said...

Thanks, Cheryl and Mari! Happy Networking!

- Deb

Virginia S Grenier said...

Great post and all very good points.

Karen Cioffi said...

Virginia, thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment!