Becoming More Accessible on Social Networks

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.

Kristi Hines
WordPress Customizations, SEO, SMO

Portfolio: http://kristihines.com
Blog: http://kikolani.com
Directory: http://dofollow.info

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.

Name Branding

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?





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Comments

  1. says

    Kristi,
    Excellent insights and a real tour-de-force on using social media more effectively. Great Social Media Dataflow graphic. Quite a few sites/services to keep up with. Hard to find enough hours in the day on many occasions. Challenging to come up with a strategy that can optimize my time spent on social media each day without it ruling my life. I found the tips about locating your blog Commenters via social media interesting and very useful. Thanks.
    .-= New from Mike @ Computer Tips New Intel Processor for Netbook Computers =-.

  2. says

    Good stuff Kristi, I have cut myself down to 6 (maybe more, but that is all I can think of off the top of my head) social networking services because it is easy to get wrapped up in doing more social media than creating content.

    I much prefer to comment on blogs these days, it seems to provide more sometimes with networking and discovery.
    .-= New from Keith@ Hot Blog Tips Passion Without Knowledge Won’t Make You Money =-.

    • says

      I think social media sites can help with generating new content. Take Twitter for example. If you can tie an article in your nice to a trending topic, you can expose your content to a larger audience just by applying the hash tag. Or if you look in active groups on Facebook, you can see what people are asking questions about, and write on those topics. Plus, if you are socially connected with people, they are likely to promote your content on that social network as well.

  3. says

    Good stuff,

    I haven’t been around in a while, but glad I dropped in. I knew I was forgetting something; email signatures. i am all over the place beautifying my brand and getting my name out there and I forgot something as simple as email signatures.

    I am finding the best way to get your name out there is to get involved with people and communities. Share information and go wild with possibilities.
    .-= New from Freddie @ social media marketing 10 Reasons You Must Have a Website: #8 Exposure =-.

    • says

      I wasn’t too big on extended email signatures until just recently, but it definitely pays off. I have had a few freelance inquiries based off of people checking out my portfolio link, and I have gotten new readers for my blog based off of people following my blog link who didn’t know I was even online. It may not be significant, but since it’s a one time setup, it’s a good method to reap the occasional benefits.

    • says

      I’m actually experimenting with the “cleansing” process on a particular social network. It never worked for me even though I had a large contact list because the contacts were ones I made before blogging, and I’m sure that 90% of them could care the less about blogging and social media. So I’m starting it from scratch, building contacts based on interest, and seeing if I can make it become useful.

    • says

      That’s a good point.

      I hadn’t thought about it before because I was using that plugin that checked your commenters for their social media accounts, and before that, my comments were being fed through Gmail which picked up the email addresses automatically and put them into my contacts list, and I regularly use that address book when I search for contacts on social networks.

      I did add a little disclaimer in my privacy policy that says I will not use email addresses for any purpose than to contact the email address owner directly via email or social networks.

  4. says

    This is a really great article! With social media, I basically use only three which are Twitter, Digg and Stumbleupon. These are the ones I use frequently but I also have a profile in all other social media marketing networks. Like you said, make yourself known, if you want to be found :)
    .-= New from Andrew@BloggingGuide How to Make Money with E-books =-.

  5. says

    Hi Kristi,
    I love using social networks. I have found that there aren’t enough hours in my day to go to many of them. But I’ve concentrated my efforts on Twitter right now as it’s so easy to use and fun :)
    I definitely need to improve and start using it all more. I’m slapping myself (on the wrist) because I haven’t done anything on Myspace nor Friendfeed. (I’ll get there eventually – LOL)
    Blessings,
    Eren
    .-= New from Eren Mckay Family bonding activities – insights to help connect deeply =-.

  6. says

    Thanks! This is very useful especially for a person like me! I always wanted to socialize.. Meet new friends all over the world! Endorse my business and etc. These tips can be my stepping stone in order to meet new friends and promote what i got.. :)
    .-= New from Kathy Holiday Holiday Cottage in Cornwall =-.

  7. says

    I just started using WiseStamp not long ago and quite impressed with the feature. It’s something I need yet never thought of doing before. :)

    The email-add-export plugin sounds very useful, I’m glad Ari brought up the policy issue and I need to check on that too. For me, generally I’ll try to stay connected with commenters via post-visits & add them to my social media sites. However, the job doesn’t end here so I’m constantly thinking how to really bond with them effectively. Real time conversations to me is still the best.

    Great plugins shared, will tweet this for visibility. ^^

    @wchingya
    Social/Blogging Tracker
    .-= New from Ching Ya 6 Points To Ponder Before Using Automatic Status Updates =-.

    • says

      Thanks for sharing! I updated my privacy policy to basically say that I was the only person who would contact them via email or social networks using their email addresses.

  8. says

    Your Social Media post is good and brings up some valid points, glad I found your post! I believe that social media is going to be the future home for any and all advertising and marketing. With Google’s real-time search and other search engines catching on quickly you will see many SEO Companies becoming Twitter SEO Companies very soon!

    I am an avid Twitter user and focus on building the value that I add to the rest of my social network, I help to promote any and everyone that asks me for help (as long as they are not loco in la cabessa!). I believe that optimizing your profiles is very important, just as optimizing your website is, but the most important part of any SEO efforts is having quality content. The same goes for Twitter, you need quality content and updates for people to read and link to. If you tweet about the right subjects you will notice more and more incoming links to your twitter profile when your tweets start being republished on other people’s blogs (provides some temporary page rank). Also you can do your own personal “Social Media Press Release” and some good old fashioned article directory link building with your Twitter profile.

    Social media is the first step to an “open-source” media and news. My twitter username is @gohewitt for anyone looking to follow. I am excited to see what comes of all of this and feel that we still don’t have a clue what being “Connected” really means just yet!
    .-= New from Florida SEO Twitter Profile SEO =-.

  9. says

    Kristi-

    Just wanted to say that you gave me the motivation to go back to Twitter and see what was new. I found out some cool things have changed, such as using the hash symbol to instantly put your tweet into real-time results.

    Ok, ok, I might see what Twitter is “cool” now. It’s just neat to post something to a specific region, subject, or emerging topic.
    .-= New from Mid Mo Mortgage Feb 2 – Small Business To Get $30 Billion In Loans For 2010 =-.

  10. says

    I do understand the importance of becoming accessible on Social Medias, however, I still need people to connect with. In fact, I have a very few friends on my social circle from the blogosphere.

    Anyone would like to connect with me may find me out on facebook at facebook.com/aisajib and twitter @aisajib.

    Thanks Kristie, for a nice post.
    .-= New from Aminul Islam Sajib Twitter Tool: How to Unfollow All =-.

  11. says

    I was recently told that you should feel flattered when people copy where you get links from and attempt to spam your comments. It means you are popular on the web!

    As usual a great article about social networking. I think the advent of better social networking applications on phones is really going to drive user interactions in the future. When you look at the capabilities of mobile phones and how much EVERYONE is using them, it’s not hard to see what platform is going to drive social networking in the future. Heck mobile devices have been leading the social networking trends since the beeper!

    I’ve discovered tweetcaster on my android device really helps me stay connected on my most imporant social platform. Connect with me @sithburns!
    Chris Burns just posted Top 5 Things Every Car Dealer Website Needs

  12. says

    Awesome reminder for me to get my e-mail signature in order. I was a bit jealous of a persons email signature just today! I was like man I need to set up mine like that.

    I’m still amazed that people haven’t come across the use of gravatar for commenting. I am totally appreciative of commenters that don’t have a photo but I wish everyone knew about it. Hopefully this post helped a lot of people put a face to their comments and profiles.

    I love places where I create an account and I instantly have a profile picture because of gravatar or twitter/facebook. Very nice experience too.

    Be everywhere too!

    Scott
    http://www.nuwomb.com
    Scott Webb just posted Cool Photography Stuff Worthy of Your Attention 1

  13. says

    Kristi,
    Great tips! It would also be effective to use Gravatar and use the same picture profile for all of our other social networking sites, so people would easily recognize our image.

  14. says

    Now this is a novel approach. This entire Comment by Alberta Business Plans was lifted verbatim from my Comment — see Comment #1. I’m not so sure that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.

    This would kind of make me wonder what type of “Business Plans” this commenter generates. Perhaps Business Plans lifted/copied from other people?
    .-= New from Mike @ Computer Tips Powerline Computer Networking – Home Wifi Alternative =-.

  15. says

    Sorry about that… that’s what I get for approving comments while still waking up. I spammed him!

    I’ve been noticing more and more of these kinds of comments… I think there is some kind of software / automation involved in lifting comments off of the page and then posting them.

  16. says

    Krisiti,
    No problem. My reply to @Business Plans was written kinda tongue-in-cheek and with a bit of humour. Managing comments on a busy site can definitely be a time consuming task.

    I had not seen this method of Comment Spam before where the commenter just regurgitates an earlier comment. Seems that the spammers never stop evolving. ;-)
    .-= New from Mike @ Computer Tips Powerline Computer Networking – Home Wifi Alternative =-.

  17. says

    I have seen it before, but not recently. Some of the more creative ones grab a piece of several comments and stick them all together. Those are hard to spot, unless it just flat out doesn’t make sense.