Everyone uses social media in their own way. While some people want to be connected with everyone, everywhere, others would rather keep certain profiles private for friends and family only. The following is for those who want to be found on social networks, or for the networks on which they want to be found.
Why You Want to Be Found on Social Networks
Think of your profile and activity on social networks as creating brand recognition. At the recent Social Media AZ event, the keynote speaker talked about how having a catalog on your coffee table increased brand awareness. Sure, that catalog may sit there for months and months, but one day when you are ready to purchase something that the company sells, that catalog will probably be in the front of your mind and lead you to hopping on the company’s website or going into their stores to do your shopping.
The same thing can be said of social media. One day, you may realize you need to brush up on your SEO, and the first resource that comes to mind is the SEO expert whose tips have been coming through your Twitter timeline. Alternatively, someone could be reminded to visit your site after seeing your name pop up in their Facebook news feed, simply thanks to your recent activity. Any reminder of your presence online could translate to a hit to your website, comment, promotion, or even a new client.
How To Make Yourself More Socially Accessible
Do you want more people to connect with you socially? Here are some tips on ways you can make yourself more socially recognized and accessible.
Include Your Top Social Profile Links on Your Website
This seems pretty obvious to most, but there are still some sites I go to where I know the person is on Twitter, but if I had to base that off what I could find on their website, I would never know. If you want to create a stronger social presence / brand for yourself, be sure to start with including your main social network links on your website. There are many ways to do this, from simple links or icons in your sidebar, embedding your Retaggr profile link or card, or using WordPress plugins such as Cute Profiles to display your profile icons on the side of your webpage.
Include Social Profile Links in Your Email Signature
Another great place to include your social media profile links is within your email signature. Think about how many people you send emails to… some of which may not even know you are online. Include simple text links to your Twitter or Facebook along with your website, or use add-ons such as WiseStamp to create a signature with icons linked to your social media profiles.
WordPress Customizations, SEO, SMO
WiseStamp has almost 50 different social services to choose from to add to your signature, although you may not want to actually add that many to your signature.
Connect Your Email Addresses
Do you use one email address for responding to your blog readers, clients, blog comments, etc.? Make sure that email address is linked to the social networks on which you want to be found. Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, and many other networks allow you to have more than one email address associated with your account, so if you have a few different email addresses that others may have in their online contacts lists, make sure they are all linked to your social media accounts.
Create a Recognizable Presence
Are you using a particular image for Gravatar when blog commenting? Do you have a well known image on Twitter, and are now trying to build up your Facebook profile contacts? Why not also use the same image across all of your social networks so that you will be easily recognized? This way when someone sees a new friend request, they will know who it is coming from and be more likely to accept.
Since Facebook, LinkedIn, and many other networks go by your real name, you will want your name to be known so people can easily connect your real name to your website. It can be as simple as changing your WordPress admin to display are your full name, displaying an author’s box at the end of your posts, or including a small snippet in your sidebar naming yourself as owner of your blog. Branding your real name helps if you have created social profiles with various usernames – your name is more important on some networks than your username / URL.
Interconnect Your Social Profiles
For all of those sites that allow you to somehow connect your social networking sites – make sure you do as much as possible. This can be done by:
- Including HTML links in your About Me section (like I have on StumbleUpon).
- Including applications such as Web Profiles that will let you add social networking profile icons and links to your Facebook profile.
- Filling in your other social network usernames (sometimes referred to as “services”) as a part of your profile, like you can on FriendFeed.
One thing to note – you will want to make sure to fully understand how your accounts are being linked. Some networks simply include a link to your other social profiles, while some networks will update your other social media profiles with your activity on their network.
How to Socially Connect with Blog Readers
Prior to the WordPress 2.9 upgrade, I was using a nifty little plugin called Meet Your Commenters. It linked the email addresses of my commenters to their social media accounts, so I could easily browse through and connect with my commenters socially. Unfortunately, after the upgrade of either WordPress or some of my other plugins, Meet Your Commenters went haywire and had to be deactivated.
So how can you find your blog readers socially?
Export Commenters’ Email Addresses
WordPress offers a plugin that will allow you to export the email addresses of your commenters. Please note that you should not spam, sell, or otherwise distribute the email addresses of your commenters. That’s not the point of this plugin. What you can do is take the list of emails, import it into your contacts list (I used this method of creating a CSV file and importing into Gmail), and then search for them via the friend finder searches on the social networks you use most.
Look for Social Profile Icons on Blogs
If you can’t export your commenter’s emails, or they are not using emails linked to their social media accounts, your next best bet is to visit your commenter’s websites and look for their social media links and icons. Most blogs or websites will have these in their sidebar, header menu, footer, contact page, or about page.
How Socially Accessible Are You?
Can people find and recognize you easily on social networks? What are some more benefits of being socially networked, and what other steps can you suggest to help others build their social networking communities?