Advanced Social Networking Techniques for Increased Productivity and Popularity
In case you work in blogging, social media or search you probably know what I mean:
you got to be an Internet addict and you socialize online all the time to maintain some popularity.
Is social networking online really work?
Social networking is more than liking baby photos on Facebook and hitting “retweet” a dozen times a day on Twitter though.
After a few years you get a bit more advanced in order not to spend all the time “not working” as using social media is often called jokingly.
Many people probably envy me: I spend time on social media and get paid for it.
I don’t have to hide or trick my employer. It’s not just the fact that I’m a freelancer. I wouldn’t waste my own time either. It’s just that social networking is part of my work.
Social networking is both work and fun! In fact it’s one of the more pleasant parts of my daily routine. For a while I had to dig through link profiles of penalized sites to identify unnatural links.
Social networking vs “real work”
Boy, fixing incoming links is a tedious task! I do social networking to relax afterwards. The most demanding task is content creation or rather blogging though.
You need to increase productivity to make time for quality writing.
Otherwise you’ll spend all day creating user generated content for third party sites that do not pay you.
I have already noted in the past that you need to be strategic about your social media usage not just use all sites all day long.
You need to schedule the time you want to use for social media activity.
You need tools that make the social networking experience less overwhelming than trying to watch all the streams with dozens of messages per minute all the time.
How not to get overwhelmed
I do not want to dwell too long on the basics but I have to repeat them for those who are just starting out.
In case you are in the travel sector for example I’d advise you to do the exact opposite: use Pinterest, Tumblr and Facebook above all. As an
I use Google+ and Inbound.org on site but for Twitter I use TweetDeck. Nimble offers good Social CRM tools as well. Twitter lists and Tweeted Times are useful to manage the sheer onslaught of messages.
When it comes to productivity and time management I use Teuxdeux to plan the week in advance including the times I want to allocate to social media or SMO (as in Social Media Optimization).
I divide the tasks into simply “social media” which includes finding out what’s going on during a given day, what’s popular in the areas of my interest.
The “SMO” time is for social networking and content curation. I make extra time for research, which again is often browsing social networks looking for inspiration or concrete resources I’m after.
Usually I spend 1h for both “social media” and “SMO” but whenever I’m researching and writing a new post this might take longer. Also I look up my Twitter account whenever I pause or get too tired to be able to write.
The point of this article is showing you the advanced part of social networking. I can’t explain that as easily as I did with the basics some of you most probably already know.
I decided to take examples from the wild and to use them to demonstrate the actual techniques used.
One of my favorite guys I connected with online is Paul Gailey Alburquerque. I don’t communicate a lot with him – only from time to time – like I do with many other people.
I tend to forget many people though despite repeated contact. It’s just that they’re too many I “meet online”. What did Paul do that made a lasting impression on me?
Paul created a list of the 50 most active Inbound.org users and shared it. This was a great start.
Not only was this a helpful act by itself. It was also an excellent way to become friends with these 5o people.
To this day many people with whom I have been sharing stories and resources most actively during 2012 are from the Inbound.org circle.
Paul doesn’t even have a real website and he does not write a blog. Nonetheless he was able to stay on my radar throughout the years.
Paul was even among the first to become part of my inner circle of “engagers”. That’s my list of real people who listen and respond on Twitter.
Introducing the promising rookies to a wider audience
Who are rookies? By rookies I don’t mean newbies. Just think the NBA – the National Basketball Association rookies have in most cases already played in college basketball teams.
Rookies are known for their talent to a select few experts who have the time to keep up with who plays where. Rookies are just new to a particular place, scene or simply the lime-light.
Gaz Copeland has made a post where he introduced several high-profile SEO rookies to a wider audience. He turned out be to be prophetic.
Most of these guys are at the fore-front of an hyperactive younger generation of SEO community right now.
Gaz didn’t write another post about the experts we all know and outsiders should know as well but he chose to hail the few new guys that excelled.
Now that’s cool isn’t it, but why? Well, Gaz confessed recently that he doesn’t want to become an influencer.
He does not have the resources to become one. He’d rather act like a connector and connect the people who matter now despite most people no knowing them yet.
These budding influencers will remember Gaz and keep on network with him. So indeed he performs better on Inbound and other social media as well.
Unlike the experts everybody knows already these people notice such a mention. Rookies are far more likely to connect with you actively. They are engagers in many cases.
Crowdsourcing a blog post
What is and isn’t crowdsourcing? The term crowdsourcing is often misused these days to describe grey-area business models.
Crowdsourcing initially meant that many people contribute to something who ends up being more than the sum of its parts.
Crowdsourcing is not about everybody submitting a logo idea, working for free that way and a client chooses one at the end while all others have wasted their time.
When I speak about crowdsourcing a blog post I mean combining as many contributions as possible and ideally including all of them.
The most common way of a crowdsourced blog post is the group interview
where a blogger approaches experts on a topic via mail and ask all of them to reply to the same question or set of questions.
This kind of crowdsourcing is very work intensive though. The blogger who approaches the others has lots of mails to reply, clarifications for example, reminders have to be sent out.
Reach out spontaneously to your audience to make them contribute
There are other ways to crowdsource with less of an effort. I prefer just asking a question on Twitter and getting answers from my followers.
It sometimes works even better on Google+. In my case Twitter is still the better tool though.
You have to ask a question specific enough to require expertise but broad enough to appeal to a large enough number of people.
Ideally you ask only one question that allows the people to contribute their own ideas. Once you publish a post written with a little help of your friends you contact them on publishing it.
This way they are more than happy to share it. Last time I tried to crowdsource a post like that it worked quite well: I got several replies within minutes.
Notable group interviews are:
- Anchor text future according to 19 experts by Giuseppe Pastore
- 62 Experts Share Their #1 Actionable SEO Technique on Writtent
- The Most Creative Link Building Post Ever by Jon Cooper
Just look at how popular these group posts were on social media!
Even here you can streamline the process of crowdsourcing by selecting existing expert quotes without asking them to provide new ones.
Delay your gratification
It’s not only about productivity and spending less time on social media. You have to invest more time in your social relations to get more popularity later on.
This “delayed gratification” approach works both directly as a an effect of your article or by making people aware of you and listen to you once you need them too.
Of course you have just to plunge in! Do not only strategize. It’s about meeting and connecting with the right people.
People can tell whether you’re genuine or just in it for the money and fame. Increase your productivity and popularity by caring about your inner circle!
Listening to a few dozens of people closely and noticing a few hundred. Trying more than that is really not working.
* Creative Common image by carterse
Last updated: March 3rd, 2017.