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What is Social Networking Karma?

Friday, August 12th, 2011

I like to provide a lot of social media and social networking strategies to people, but what is it that really makes all that time and effort posting and sharing your content really effective? Social Networking Karma! So what is Social Networking Karma and how can you use it to make your online social networking more effective? I’m going to explain how your way of “being” and acting impacts the effectiveness of your social networking. The best sites to social network on, right now away, are Facebook and Twitter. Most everyone has a presence on those sites and spends the vast majority of their time there checking status updates and tweets. So obviously that’s where you should be hanging out primarily in order to touch as many contacts and friends as possible with your own content. Online forums are also great places to post and interact with others. If you know me, you know that I advocate posting a lot of original content on a frequent basis, and then sharing/syndicating your content socially through networking and bookmarking. But in order to make it really kick in and work for you you have to have a really loyal base of friends and followers that are willing to interact with your content and share it themselves. The way to achieve that is through pro-actively interacting with other people’s content and status updates so they become more likely to interact with yours.

I don’t think most people by nature are inclined to interact with other people’s postings socially unless they are really close to that person or find it super-compelling, so the way to overcome peoples’ lack of willingness to respond in some way to your postings is to interact with their postings first! I know this sounds somewhat commonsensical, but I know from social networking for several years that it just doesn’t happen by itself. I spend part of every morning, usually first thing, scanning through my Facebook status updates looking for anything I can either Like, Comment on, or Share on my Wall. I also go back to Facebook throughout the day to check all the new postings so I can interact. Since I’m connected to quite a few people and follow a lot of Fan Pages, it isn’t hard to find informative or interesting postings to interact with. You have to decide what you want to interact with and what you don’t. I don’t think everything should be interacted with, but definitely what’s appropriate in your mind. If it’s business oriented I usually interact with it. Family stuff sometimes but far less frequently because I’m using Facebook with business goals in mind. Every time I engage with someone else’s postings I build a little but more Social Karma with that person, making them more likely to reciprocate and interact with my postings, which increases my content’s exposure to their friends. Not to mention they like me personally a little more because I took the time to interact with their posting. Similarly on Twitter, I scan the updates and look for interesting posts I can retweet or reply to. Every time I do this I gain a little bit more social karma with people, making them more likely to interact with my stuff which gains additional exposure.

Social Networking in general tends to have a positive, upbeat tone to it, so when you are interacting with other people’s content or posting your own, you should do it with a really upbeat and friendly nature. No one wants to read depressing posts or be interacted with negatively, it’s just human nature. The nice thing about social networking is it’s really a great opportunity to uplift, encourage, motivate, and reinforce others acheivements and accomplishments, so definitely make sure to chime in when you see great stuff happening for your friends and followers. And if the news isn’t good then you can comfort and be there for them in your response. It’s also a great opportunity to show people that you aren’t selfish since you took the time to respond their posting. I think most people get so caught up in posting their own content and thoughts that they don’t take the time to interact with other peoples postings. But if you make a concerted effort to proactively interactive with other people’s content you will find them interacting with yours, which will make your efforts more effective! In fact, you should spend MORE time interacting with others than posting your own content. That’s as plain as I can say it. I hope you liked this little mini-article on social networking karma…now go out and make it happen!

12 LinkedIn Tips to Increase Your Business Networking

Friday, August 12th, 2011

LinkedIn is a fabulous business networking tool and should be utilized to the fullest to maximize your business development activities. Here are some quick tips on using LinkedIn effectively and with a purpose:

1. LinkedIn is a free service and you don’t need to upgrade to a paid member to use it effectively. They give you a ton of invites, so start invting people to connect that you know!

2. LinkedIn shows you who has viewed your profile. You can then send them a message or connection request and mention you saw they stopped by your profile. Paid users can see more profile viewer info, so that can help in that regard.

3. When someone you have invited accepts your connection request you will receive an email, send them an email thanking them for accepting and start the conversation. Similarly, when you accept someone’s connection request you can send them a message thanking them for the connection and telling them what you do and ask when they do, etc.

4. Joining multiple LinkedIn Groups in your Industry will allow you to post your articles and blog posts into those groups, which can be a powerful syndication strategy for your content. But don’t post company profiles or promotions or it may get you banned from the group. It also increases to the number of connection requests you will receive if your content is good.

5. Leave LinkedIn Recommendations for others first proactively and they usually will reciprocate with a Recommendation for you. LinkedIn Recommendations can be really powerful at convincing people you are great to work with because they are usually really positive.

6. Look through your LinkedIn connections’ contacts and then send “connection requests” through your connections to the people you wish to connect with. This is the best way to do business development through LinkedIn in my opinion and its extremely under-used, so don’t be afraid to send connection requests through your contacts, thats what LinkedIn is for. Note: be nice, friendly and professional in your connection requests and don’t look at it as a “means to an end” outreach tool, and it will be more effective.

7. Any LinkedIn Group you join you are permitted to contact 500 members of that Group even if you aren’t connected to them. This is a great little secret that you can use to do a ton of business development within Groups.

8. You can customize your LinkedIn Profile to feature any aspect of your profile higher up on the page. You can add add-ons to your profile from 3rd parties which can really ramp up the functionality of your Profile. I have dragged my Recommendation up the top so they will be featured.

9. You can connect your Twitter account to your LinkedIn Profile so your tweets get posted on your LinkedIn profile. You can also connect other services as well.

10. LinkedIn has become more like Facebook, so you have to monitor the “status updates” of your connections and then proactively interact with those posts to increase networking and building up good social karma (where people will reciprocate for your links and comments).

11. You can set-up a Company Profile on LinkedIn that you can build out with content, add staff members, and collect company recommendations which can be powerful at convincing people to work with you.

12. You can export your LinkedIn connections to a spreadsheet so you can look at them all at once and send email to people you want to contact. You can also share your contacts with trusted people that will reciprocate…talk about getting ahead quickly!

These are a few tips for maximizing your LinkedIn time and efforts. LinkedIn is a fantastic business networking tool, but most people just don’t use it enough. So I’m on a little bit of a missions to get people using it more like it should be. Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions, comments, or more ideas! thx!

7 Great Ways to Maximize Your LinkedIn Social Networking

Friday, August 12th, 2011

LinkedIn in a social network that focuses on connecting people for business. I think that it’s an invaluable tool, so I wanted to write some of my favorite aspects of LinkedIn and how I think it can be used expand your business connections, grow your business, and be a valuable resource for information for you. I have built up over 2500 LinkedIn connections over the years in the Online Marketing industry so I have a good frame of reference on their system and how to leverage it. Uhg, there are so many social networks to be a part but where should you actually spend your valuable time that you want to maximize with your online networking activities. LinkedIn really is the best place to do “business development,” business networking, or putting partnerships together with other companies. There definitely is a certain amount of “couth” one should use when using LinkedIn because one of the main ways to connect with people is through people you are already connected to. But there is definitely an tremendous opportunity to build your business and professional network through LinkedIn if you work it properly. Here are some of the aspects I think are valuable when using LinkedIn:

1. Connecting with People – LinkedIn actually lets you import all your Outlook contacts directly into their invite tools, and will tell you who is already on LinkedIn and send them all an invite. They also support contact importing from: hotmail.com, gmail.com, yahoo.com, and aol.com. This is a great advantage but some people don’t use these email services anymore, but for those who do it’s amazing. I haven’t seen how myself how to connected LinkedIn with Facebook and Twitter to see who is on each, but someone out there may know or it will be added soon. Go ahead and send out a bunch of LinkedIn invites and you will build your LinkedIn connections quickly. You can also paste an email address into a box in their site and it will see if they are on LinkedIn already. Get comfortable with sending LinkedIn invites to everyone you email with and have some business relations with.

2. Using Your Connections – Once you connect with someone on LinkedIn, you will be able to see who they are connected with…fun! And even more exciting is that you can reach out to those connections by sending your connection a “request to forward” email, which are almost always passed through, although they have the right to not do so if they don’t think it will be a fit. When approaching people through LinkedIn you have be very nice, professional, and have a partnership idea in mind, don’t just say, “Hey Bill…you want to parter with my company??” You have to be a lot smoother than that and don’t always look at it like a means to an end, actually try to make solid friendships and relationships with your connections and the people you are reaching out to. I call LinkedIn “the greatest, most under-utilized business networking tool on the planet” because for as many people as I’m connected to, I get so few forward requests, so people aren’t trying to connect through me enough. So, step up your forward requests people and you will do a ton of business!

3. LinkedIn Groups – I absolutely love LinkedIn Groups for a few reasons. Firstly, if you start them about a topic with a decent amount of interest in a particular industry like say “Internet Marketing”, “Affiliate Marketing”, “SEO” or whatever it may be, people searching for Groups on LinkedIn will find them and join them. I have been running a Group called Linked Affiliate for the last 2 years and it’s up to 5700 members and gets 4-5 new joins a day. So, it’s a great way to build a focused group of professionals in a certain industry. Another great feature with Groups is they let you email blast your entire member base once every 7 days through their mailing system. It can only be a text email, but the web addresses and email addresses hyperlink in the email so you can link to sites. If you run a Group of decent size you will have to “moderate” it by actively managing the posts, responding to people, and posting new topics, to really maximize the activity in the Group. LinkedIn recently made all the Group discussion topics spiderable by the search engines, so that content gets into search which is great. I use an outsourced moderator to make sure my Group stays spam-free and active, which is key to running a good Group.

4. Syndicating Content into Groups – As a LinkedIn user you have the opportunity to join 50 Groups, which is a decent amount, which they will probably raise. One of the nice things about being a group member is you can start topics and comment on other topics just like a forum. You can also Like and Star people’s topics to interact easier, although this is a work in progress and will probably get better. LinkedIn Groups can be a great way to syndicate your blog or article content because through tools like Addthis and Sharethis you can “share” your posts into as many LinkedIn Groups that you are a member of. However, don’t share in Groups that aren’t relevant to your topic, otherwise it’s spammy and may get you kicked out of that Group. Also, when you share into Groups, it goes into the daily email updates that gets sent to Group members which brings more syndication and traffic. The last point about Groups is that you can actually reach out to up to 500 other Group members even if you aren’t connected with them on LinkedIn. But again do it with a strategy and purpose and you will be effective.

5. LinkedIn Recommendations – Getting LinkedIn Recommendations from your LinkedIn connections is a great way to build up your good reputation as a professional. People tend to leave really good recommendations for each other, so they look really impressive to people checking out your LinkedIn profile. You can build up your Recommendations by leaving them for other people first, then they are emailed and given the opportunity to leave you one back. I have 130 Recommendations which has taking forever to build up, working it now and then, but they are really impressive and it works in my favor with new business and people in general wanting to work with me and my company. So definitely make sure to work to increase your Recommendations and you can start by leaving ones for other people you think highly of.

6. Status Updates – LinkedIn has recently made people’s status updates visible like Facebook’s, with similar sharing options, but it’s still need work. But you can definitely do a lot of interacting within the status updates and build the relationship with your connections. They also send an email with a list of your connection’s status updates and if they changed companies or profile information which is a great opportunity to comment back on the site, which they are notified about. They more you pro-actively interact and comment with your connections, the more they will return the favor, which their connections may see.

7. Company Profile – LinkedIn recently rolled out Company Profiles which is a great feature! you can really build it out with all your staff, company details, services you offer, and Recommendations for your company (which are separate from personal Recommendations). Here is a great LinkedIn blog post about Company Profiles that will explain most of what needs to be said about it. I think it’s a must though personally for your business.

These are some ways to maximize your time and effectiveness on LinkedIn. It really is a tremendous business networking tool and should be focused on if you are interested in doing any kind of business development or expanding your company. I didn’t even go into Jobs, but LinkedIn is a great place to find companies to work for and if you have a nice LinkedIn Profile if may just get you hired over someone with just a resume. You can also find jobs through connections that may know a company hiring. So from a job finding outlook its a great tool. I hope you enjoyed my little article on LinkedIn and some strategies to maximize it. Let me know what you think and I look forward to hearing from you!