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Have you ever launched a website, new product or a service and not known how to start driving traffic to your website? It’s virtually impossible to establish a meaningful presence on all of the major social networking sites. The old adage, “You can’t be all things to all men” is true. It’s important to have a social media strategy that works for you. What we need to do is focus on where our target customers are and establish our presence there.

Where Are Your Potential Clients and Customers?

First, ask yourself if your primary business is B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to consumer). There are certain social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Google+ that are more geared to businesses than individuals. A good place to start is searching the LinkedIn group directory (from the top menu, click on Groups, “Group Directory”). You can search on keywords, categories and countries. My personal preference is to join members only groups where you need to request permission. (This is signified by the security lock before the group name.)  These groups are moderated and tend to do a better job of keeping out spammers.

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have more of a mix of both consumers and businesses. You may be able to reach your existing and potential clients and customers on these sites as well. An interesting fact about Facebook is that their definition of “its ‘monthly active users’ at a whopping 845 million people” may be an exaggeration. According to their prospectus (for the sale of their stock), Facebook considers someone who clicks on the “like” button on a third-party website to be an “active” Facebook user. (Source: Those Millions on Facebook? Some May Not Actually Visit.)

Where Are the “Experts” in Your Niche?

Every niche has “gurus” – the “go-to” person(s) who are the perceived experts. They either have the answer you’re looking for or they can direct you to the resources that you need. Who are they in your niche? What sites are they on? Do they have a YouTube or Vimeo channel? If so, how many subscribers and views are they getting? Video can be an excellent source of search engine traffic. Do they answer questions on LinkedIn or Quora? Do they run groups or are active on forums where customers and clients are seeking information or support? Any of these could be excellent platforms for building awareness of your website and driving traffic to it.

Since many people base buying decisions on trust, becoming recognized as an authority in your niche can be beneficial to you. If you’re knowledgeable about your niche, join in the conversation. Start answering questions and contribute to the discussion.

What do you think? Which social networking sites are you active on? Are you involved in any groups or forums that are specific to your niche? What are the pros and cons that you can think of for joining or not joining some of these sites? I know privacy issues are a huge concern for all of us. Is there one of the sites that I’ve mentioned that you feel disregards your concerns for privacy more than the others. (This could be an entire post of its own.) Also, for those of you who don’t already know, several of us belong to the “Bloggers Helping Bloggers” group on LinkedIn. If you’re interested, please join us there. You should recognize many friendly faces there if you do.

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Published by Sherryl Perry

Welcome! If you're looking for help building an Internet presence that fits your needs and works for you, you're in the right place. I blog common sense articles about WordPress, social media and SEO. My goal is to help small business owners and entrepreneurs understand their core business. Together, we can develop and implement business strategies that make sense to you.

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  1. We’re at a time in society where the web is the see all and be all. People are able to buy food and clothes online, make payments, interact with people across the globe etc. With this in mind, it’s exceptionally important to be able to be found online. These tips are great.

    1. Hi Michelle,
      Your observations are so right. The majority of people looking to make purchases start online. A key factor for being the person who they actually buy from comes down to top of mind awareness and trust. Years ago, if you had a website, you had the advantage. Now, there is so much competition online, we really need to take steps to be found and to provide quality content that helps establish trust.

      Thanks for taking the time to join our conversation.

  2. Finding the experts in your niches and your potential clients are the two most important steps which are really very essential for the success of your campaign. Thanks for these fruitful ideas. These days everyone is now on one or more social networks like Myspace, Twitter, Facebook. Linkedin etc so the social networks has become a place where the whole world collectively gets social. This is the main reason why social media has become a great place to promote your business, but it won’t work if you don’t have proper strategy and plan.

    1. Sorry it took me so long to reply to your comment. I agree with you that social networking without a strategy doesn’t really work. Thanks for taking the time to join the conversation. I appreciate the input.

  3. This is a very good article. In just two tips, the article covered it all. I think finding the clients are easier than finding a true expert.

    1. Thanks for letting me know you liked my article Jane. I think LinkedIn is a good place to find knowledgeable bloggers to follow. You can use the search tool to find groups based on keywords. I prefer joining groups that you need to ask to join. There seem to be less tolerance for spam in groups that are moderated.

  4. Sherryl, thank for the advice on LinkedIn group directory to join members only groups. I did not know that! Also, I am surprised about the “like” counting on facebook. It is really misleading.
    You are absolutely right about the buying decisions. It is TRUST. Even when we don’t need something, when the recommendation is coming from a trustworthy source, we go for it. Go figure!
    Margarita

    1. I was surprised by that fact too Margarita but I guess I shouldn’t have been. 🙂 Trust is so important. It affects things that we may not even thing about. For example, when I’m sharing content and reading blogs, sometimes, I’ll find myself tweeting or “voting” for articles that I honestly may only scan at best. Why? It’s because I trust those bloggers enough to believe that their content adds value. I’m actually putting my reputation on the line when I do this but (so far) none of these bloggers have let me down.

      Thanks for taking the time to join our conversation.

  5. I agree with focusing on one social platform in that you can more easily expand and reach your target “audience” without diluting your energy. However I think to be really effective you may consider perhaps 3 platforms.

    As Archie mentioned a post or two up, getting in early in places like Pinterest and even expanding more into Google+ is a very wise decision.

    1. I think being on the big 3 (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) is a good strategy. Google+ makes it the big 4 and Pinterest may be valuable for some people. The key is to track where your referrals are coming from and adjust your actions accordingly.

      In my first year of blogging, Twitter was consistently my #1 source of referral traffic. Now, it ranks 7th or 8th. I still tweet but that’s not where I spend a lot of time and energy. When I needed to build that initial awareness, Twitter worked extremely well for me . Now, the best use of my time is on sites like BizSugar and LinkedIn.

  6. Pinterest is blowing up right now. Anyone who can harness its massive impact will be able to direct loads of traffic towards their site. I just wish I had enough time to understand it.

    If your business is concerned with products that are marketed towards women, I would strongly advise making a profile now.

    1. I’m on Pinterest but I’m approaching it with caution. There are real privacy concerns as far as copyright issues go. Also, Pinterest updated their user agreement and there are more concerns being raised around what rights we’re granting them.

  7. When you’re looking for people, those are definitely the first questions that you have to ask yourself. When you’ve found the places where your potential clients and the experts are, try hanging out with them in whichever social networking site you found them. You can also try asking them where they usually hang out online. That way, you’ll have a good chance of expanding your network.

    1. Gerald, Those are great points. Lately, I’ve been following a discussion where several bloggers are questioning if they should only be active on one social media site. I believe that at the very least, most of us should be active on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and I could build a case for Google+ too. Are those the sites that you mainly participate on?

  8. A good social media strategy evolves only from experimenting with different tactics. Taking into consideration, the brand awareness these social media activities brings into the business, one should be careful enough to get the right exposure.

    1. You bring up a good point Vijay. Experimenting with different social media tactics is important. What’s equally important is to track what we’re doing, measure it and then adjust what we’re doing. Thanks for taking the time to join the conversation.

  9. Using social media is one of the most effective tool if you like to be found online. Most internet users now are using social media as a way of entertaining other people or their own self.

  10. Hi Areya,
    I think its easy to waste a lot of time on social media if you don’t have a plan first. There are so many opportunities to join social media sites that it makes sense to be on the ones where your target customers and clients can be found. Thanks for taking the time to join the conversation.

  11. Good point re. determining who your customer is first. If you slow down a bit to reflect, that is an extremely important first question.

  12. Hi. More and more I am thinking that focusing on one social network is the best choice. If you are going to have some activity in social networks, try focusing all the time spent in one of them. This could actually result in more customers, since you will reach less people, but you will actually “reach” them :). I am starting to think about experimenting even with only one social sharing button in my articles. If there are several visible side by side it is possible this to act as a distraction and when people are presented with a choice, they tend to not do any of the choices. But when it is one, they could do it more often. I have not tested it yet though :). And it actually requires a bigger site to test this.

    1. Hi Nikolay,
      I think focusing your energies on one platform more than others is a good strategy. I certainly spend more time on LinkedIn than any other site. My thoughts are that by maintaining a presence on other sites as well, you’re increasing your exposure and this helps to build brand recognition. I get a surprising amount of traffic from Facebook and Twitter relative to the amount of time I spend on those platforms. A lot of what I’m doing on those two sites is simply sharing information. Doing this is relatively quick. My followers find value in the articles that I share and the bloggers that I share the posts from remember me and many of them reciprocated.

      Good luck if you experiment with only one sharing button. It will be interesting to hear the results. People like me will share articles on more than one site. So, if you only provide me with one option, you’re limiting what I can easily do.

      1. Hi.
        I could be wrong, of course. It is a theory for now. I am just putting the idea out there :). I can’t properly test it for now, since I have very little social activity for now, but when my site becomes more popular I will be able to test the 1 button strategy or others :).
        Regards.

        1. Sounds great Nikolay. It sounds very similar to a post that I read a while back about adding second tweet and like buttons at the very top of your post. (I can’t find the post right now.) That blogger had proved that it helps get your post shared. Their theory was that some people will tweet based on the title and first paragraph and that if your share buttons are at the bottom of your post, they’ll never see them. I used to have additional tweet and like buttons at the top. I don’t know why I don’t any longer. Your comment reminded me of this. You’ll be seeing them again soon. Thanks!

          1. Huh. I was kind of thinking once about putting the buttons in one more place. But mine are only at the top. So I guess I should definitely put then after the post as well :). Thank you for mentioning that. I will think about it.

  13. I also see immense potential in social networking sites. It is a marketers paradise, especially when one knows how to use them.I am also interested in the possibilities Pinterest can offer. It is the talk of the month and I’ve seen a lot of bloggers create an account, and most of the celebrities use it connected to Twitter now. It might just be a hipster thing, but if its popularity really takes off, I think it will be another platform to try and use for our own benefit. I hope we’ll come up with a strategy soon, or maybe you will, and we can just read it and use it. 🙂 Thanks for all the other tips as well! They are deeply appreciated!

    1. Hi Leonard,
      I’m interested in Pinterest too but I’m only dabbling in it at this point. I’ve been pinning infographics, a few blogs posts and some inspirational photos and I’m surprised at how many people are re-pinning my pins. I recognize most of the people who are following me but I don’t recognize a lot of the names of the people who are-pinning my content. I have no idea how they’re finding my pins. Some of them are leaving comments too. I have not been engaging in conversations though, mainly because the comments don’t lend themselves to conversation. Plus, obviously, I don’t have a strategy yet but when I do, I’ll share. I appreciate knowing that you appreciate my tips. 🙂

  14. Really good stuff… Following the current market leaders in your niche is a great way to stay up with what is happening in your market and what people (consumers) are looking for.

    Thanks for the tips!

    Ryan H.

    1. Thanks for letting me know that you liked my post Ryan. Following current leaders also simplifies sharing quality content on social networking sites.

      I just read your post about offering a free eBook and left my thoughts. It’s fodder for thought. Thanks for commenting. I didn’t realize that I wasn’t following you on Twitter. (I am now.)

  15. The rules of marketing have changed, and your business can benefit from this change. Inbound Marketing shows you how to get found by more prospects already looking for what you have to sell.

    1. Thanks Jason. For those of you who may be unclear as to what “inbound marketing” is, it means marketing that is focused on getting found by customers. More traditional marketing methods (often referred to as “outbound marketing”) focused on the company finding the customers. Today, many marketers recommend blending the best of both techniques together to form a cohesive marketing campaign. For example, an email or postcard campaign could promote following the company on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to receive exclusive offers.

  16. Social media are now the most effective way for a promoting a business with speed and efficiency. I personally use them heavily. Thank you for mentioning some helpful tips. LinkedIn, Facebook ,twitters- business has stretched it’s branches.

    1. Social media can be a very effective way for promoting your business but not all social media is alike. It’s important to know where your customers are. If they’re on Facebook, that’s where you should be too. The risk is that if we try to have a presence on too many different networks, it’s possible to waste a lot of time! Thanks for taking your time to join the conversation.

  17. Hi Sherryl,
    I am happy that I visit your post and I really like your tips.People like good content and they always appreciate quality content.Social media these days help us in spreading our words and promoting our brand and Facebook is one of the best social media website that helps many bloggers to spread their words all around the world.

    1. Hi Elena Anne,
      I checked out your blog and left a comment for you. I certainly need motivation to exercise at home! That’s great that you promote your brand on Facebook. Have you considered adding a Facebook box like I have in my sidebar? If you’re interested, you can generate the code for it here: http://bit.ly/zWi9xo. I selected the Facebook “like button” and when I configured it, I selected “show faces”. (You’ll need to know how wide your sidebar is to set the width.)

      I noticed a big increase in the number of people who were following my FB page after adding this box. (If you need more help doing this, contact me and I can probably talk you through it.) Please backup before you try this or anything else with your site. You can’t backup too often.

  18. Hi Sherryl,
    You have shared very informative two tips.I like your both points especially the first one and no doubt social media websites are a great way to reach Potential Clients and Customers.Thanks for sharing this post.

    1. Hi Pete,
      I believe that the easiest way to get your site found online is to provide quality content, do your best to optimize it for SEO and then build a community. It takes time but it works. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

  19. Twitter is definitely my favorite and most useful for promoting my tech blog but I have had huge success with linkedin promoting my career blog and resume writing business. I think it all depends on where your target audience hangs out online.

    1. Dan, That’s great that you’ve had success on LinkedIn. It makes sense that you’d find your target clients there. I think anyone who is seeking professionals or other businesses should be able to find their niche there. I agree completely that it depends on where your audience is. In that way, it’s the same online as off.

  20. Thanks for discussing the social media and the ways to use it to market our businesses. I personally use the main ones – facebook and twitter. There is a big discussion about Google+. It took me some time to start using Google Analytics, but it is simple and gives an overall picture of the daily traffic and much more.
    Margarita

    1. It’s good to hear that you use Google Analytics Margarita. The main reason that I want to become more active on Google+ is because of the impact that it’s having on search results.

  21. Hello Sherryl! A social media strategy is important as well. It can be a success and bring traffic and many customers. I think whatever the strategy is though, important is to do things correctly, carefully, with quality and love what you do. Thanks for sharing!
    John Mak

  22. Hi Sherryl,

    I’m just a newbie in terms of Social Media and I find it a bit overwhelming, as new things continue to pop-up, like Pinterest for example. I think a good idea is to see what specific social media channels are the most important for you and focus only on those. At least, this is what I plan to do, as otherwise I feel it’s just too much and end-up doing nothing…

    1. Cindy,
      You’re wise to approach social media the way you are. Do you have Google Analytics (or a similar program) set up on your site? I check my GA on a regular basis and take a look at my referral traffic. That way, I can easily see which sites are driving the most traffic to my site. (You may be surprised to see that it’s coming from another blog rather than a site such as Twitter.)

      I also track when I make changes to my social media strategy or tactics. For example, for a while, I experimented with tweeting breaking news stories in addition to my regular tweets. After trying that for about a month, I noticed that my percentage of traffic from Twitter had actually fallen. The key is to measure our results and then adjust accordingly. Good luck! My sense is that you’re off to a good start.

  23. I agree that we can learn from these people who we call “gurus”, however, not all things they say are factual and truthful. Sometimes they tell you this and that only to sell a product and make money from you.

    1. Exactly Danica. Also, many of these gurus have been successful for years and they have resources to tap into that the majority of us don’t have access to. When I talk about following gurus, I usually look for people who are steadily growing their businesses but I can still relate to them. They may have huge followings compared to where I am now but if they’re sharing tips and admitting that they’re still growing, I’m more apt to follow them. I find it best to connect with people who still have the time to engage with their readers. (I also appreciate it when people are earnestly trying to help and aren’t obviously promoting their products and services.)

      1. Like you, I follow those people/bloggers on the web who really find time to communicate to their audience or avid readers. As a known leader in a particular niche your connection with your readers/audience should not end in your post it must be continuous and progress and social media is the perfect place to grow your relationship and connection with other people on the web.

  24. Great article – Makes a lot of sense – i like guest posting on other personal development sites and found that helps get people to my site and Facebook.

    1. That’s a great tactic Heather. It sounds like you’ve identified sites where your target niche is and that’s where you’re creating your presence. You’re proof that this strategy can work.

  25. Hey Sherryl,

    These days, I don’t actually pay attention to many of those gurus, because as a matter of fact, their content is not that new anymore (and second of all, most of the posts are guest posts). Yes, I do still respect them for their work 😀

    I believe that no one is a real expert. We still have a lot to learn, whatever the topic is. We can only get better at it – better than some people, but not better than everyone.

    Now, to your question about social media sites I am active on, I prefer Twitter and G+ upon everything else (I am not that active on other social media sites and I don’t plan to be active because social media right now does take a lot of my time). I also hate the fact that we have new and new social media sites coming out everyday like Pinterest – but I don’t really worry about that anymore. I think we should just stick with what works for us 😀 (Yes, we still need to experiment with the new sites because we might learn something new).

    Thanks for the awesome post!

    Jeevan Jacob John

    1. Thanks so much Jeevan for weighing in on this. I agree that we can always learn from each other and I don’t put much weight on self-proclaimed experts. I do follow a handful of people who diligently try to keep up on the newest changes affecting a specific social media site. I follow a couple of people on Facebook, another for Twitter and another for Pinterest. Actually, I find myself following 2 or 3 people for each and some of them follow each other as well. Some say it takes a community to raise a child, I feel the same way about keeping up with the changes online. 🙂

  26. Did you know that Google is indexing Facebook content? If not, then shame on you! Just google some keywords and you’ll see a number of pages fetched from facebook notes, groups, pages, etc. So, my tip #1 would be to post relevant content to your fanpage, create notes regularly (these seems like blog posts), and, of course, update your profile to contain all the information about your business (incl website name).

  27. Hi Sherryl:

    Thank you for the article. I have been trying to nail down my social networking strategy, but it has been overwhelming with all the choices. I was amazed at how many have popped up. Solid advice on looking for the experts.

    I could be wrong (or it could be a bit of a Google “crush”), but to the readers discounting Google+, you are doing so at your own peril. They are Google. Resistance is futile.

    1. Hi Joe,
      I agree with you about Google+. From what I’ve been reading, participating there can really help with SEO. I think the problem for a lot of us (myself included) is that Google+ came a little late to the game and we had already established presences on other social networking sites. The risk is that by spending less time on other sites to spend more time on Google, we may lose contact with some of our readers. Now, we have Pinterest to contend with too. It’s definitely a challenge.

  28. hi Sherryl , I like the 2 points mentioned by you. I feel Micro-blogging or micro specialization is the need of hour if you need to get noticed early and faster. Specializing and concentrating on particular thing or topic or product is better rather than full industry or category. Becoming an expert is not easy but pretty practically possible these with internet and other tools available to study and explore. There is no harm in taking advice and help from so called industry experts but it depends on us how much useful thing we can retrieve from them and make it to full use and advantage for us.

    1. Hi Pranay,
      I agree with you that specializing is the best way to build awareness of your brand. We do have to be careful following the “experts” though. As others have mentioned, not everyone who promotes themselves as experts really are.

      Thanks for joining the conversation!

  29. I believe the best way to promote your products or blog is too see what works. I see a whole range social sites work for me and tend to work on those that work.

    If you do join a group make sure to be active so you can benefit the most from what the groups can offer. Be an active member. Doesn’t have to be long to spend on, but just enough to be current with it.

    Excellent article, Sherryl! 😀

    1. Thanks Samuel. I’m glad you enjoyed my article. I’m really enjoying reading the comments. It’s good to see so many people who have well thought out plans for social media.

      I’m very active in at least one LinkedIn group but they can take a lot of time. I find myself monitoring a few other groups by subscribing to the weekly digests and I jump in when I see a discussion that resonates with me. I think it’s important to start discussions too. It’s amazing how helpful and knowledgeable some members are.

  30. `Hello Sherryl,

    I agree, you do have to have a plan. I have found that clients are not really willing to put in the time it takes to have real Social Media connections, so the plan must be really simple and there must be some one that is willing to put it into action.

    Every niche is different and has to have a different plan.

    I will get really busy and do not keep up which makes me loose ground, which is good lesson when it comes to setting up plans for clients.

    1. Hi Sheila,
      You’ve brought up a good point about being willing to put in the time to have the connections. I think you can really damage your brand if you don’t make the time to connect on a personal level. If all you have time to do is promote yourself, that’s the image that you’re building and we all know how quickly we can damage our online reputation. It’s one thing if we’ve measure the results that a particular platform is producing for us and decide to not participate but to lose interest in a platform that is working for us can result in a tremendous loss of opportunity. Thanks for bringing this up!

  31. “You cannot be all things to all men” – very wise words which are definitely applicable to building a social media presence online for your business. Comparative to other social networking sites, I am a fan of Facebook – but it all depends on the individual and their choices of marketing strategy.

    1. Some people do an amazing job connecting on Facebook. That’s great that it’s a good platform for you. What people should take from this is what you send about your “marketing strategy”. Unfortunately, not everyone has a strategy and not everyone measures which platform works the best for them. Thanks for commenting Ryan.

  32. Great post, Sherryl! It seems like Pinterest is wery close in taking over Facebook and other popular social medis sites, as it generated massive traffic to your site…this is what I have heard at least. 🙂

    1. People have such mixed feelings about Pinterest. I think there’s huge potential there but not everyone embraces the same platforms. It comes down to what’s the best use of your time. It is kind of fun to see what people have pinned to their boards.

  33. Hi Sherryl:
    I’ve recently done a post about this same topic as I think it is an important one and one worth discussing.

    Love Twitter because it’s quick and enable you to make incredible connections. Love the LI groups for expanding my professional networks and developing support for my online efforts.

    And I echo how important it is to become known as an expert in our given field or chosen area of interest. Two years ago I switched my focus and had credibility in my new area of interest. It took a lot of time and effort, but I’m now finally known as someone worth watching in the world of chocolate. Glad to see my hard work paid off.

    1. Hi Doreen,
      I enjoyed that post Doreen. You have a lot of comments on it. I like Twitter too because it’s quick. The 140 characters prevents me from writing mini-posts.

      Congratulations on becoming known in the world of chocolate. Has your book come out yet?

      1. No, I’ll be writing the book in earnest when I return from South Am on April 1st. Hope to have it done by Sept, but not sure yet of the publication date. Thanks for asking. Will keep you posted!

  34. As I am mainly working in B2B then LinkedIn is the best source for getting connections and rising awareness.
    I have joined many groups there and I am active contributor there and more and more clients call me and say that they have found me on LinkedIn and I am very happy about it and it very much keeps me going.
    Thanks Sherryl for ideas!

    1. You’re welcome Steven. That’s great that you’re successfully using Linkedin to engage potential clients. Do you know Leora Wenger? She’s running a survey and is looking for success stories like yours. If you get a chance and would like to help her, she left a link in her comment above. Thanks!

  35. Good and true post Sherryl! Personally have found that Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ works best for me. Am at the moment trying out Pinterest but it may very well turn out to be a waste of time. The whole site may actually turn out to be “the flavour of the month”.

    1. Hi Catarina, I’m trying to figure out Pinterest too. I haven’t pinned much at all but so far a few of the blog posts and infographics that I’ve pinned have been repinned and I’m connecting with people who I may not have met otherwise. At this point, I don’t have any real strategy for using it but I do have a couple of ideas.

  36. Great article – Makes a lot of sense – i like guest posting on other personal development sites and found that helps get people to my site and Facebook.

  37. I feel like getting in touch with bloggers within your niche always helps in going a long way. Not only will their work interest you; they will soon start recognizing your work and they might help you spread the word and that might be a great help!

    1. That’s definitely true Harja. You’ll find great content to share and you’re bound to form a support system where it becomes natural to help promote each other. (I’m off to visit your blog now.)

  38. While using social media for business, the most important thing is to find those channels that are frequented by your target audience. Every social networking website has its own type of audience. Unless you target and use the right social media channels, you can never expect to get the maximum benefits.

    Social media is also a lot about listening to your target audience. If you are active listener, you’ll be able to find out what your customers are actually looking for and provide them just the right thing.

    Thanks for this wonderful post.

  39. Hi Sherryl,

    No surprise that I agree with Sean regarding being a specialist. Today with worldwide competition I think it is far easier to gain awareness etc by being a specialist as it is simpler to stand out with potential customers.

    I know this article is about networking platforms, however as your first sentence was about launching something I think it is wise to not forget about email. These relationships you can develop over time. I would suggest instead of spreading yourself across a number of platforms use some of the time saved to build your email list.

    1. Building our email lists is a great reminder Susan. It’s something that I definitely need to do more of. You do an excellent job of updating us with your newsletter. My newsletter is sporadic at best.

  40. Great post & really helpful comments. I’m a novelist & still relatively new to blogging so still learning the ropes. Will join LinkedIn bloggers grp. Gd point u made about blog hopping. What’s the point if there’s no connection. Thanks everyone

  41. I’m most active on LinkedIN where the multitude of groups I can join lead to lively discussions about niche related topics as well as some wonderful collaborations. After LinkedIN, I divide my time between the Facebook and Twitter and have a small presence on Google + etc…

    In the end, I suppose one will feel the draw iin those social media sites where the (authentic) relationships are born.

  42. In the past few months there has been a lot of buzz about Pinterest. The ease of use of Pinterest for visually bookmarking, organizing and sharing things you love has made it a hit among individuals and businesses alike.

    1. The only really negative press that I’ve read about Pinterest is the risk of copyright infringement and the fact that Pinterest is making money through affiliate programs. I don’t believe people are upset with the fact that they’re making money. Some people feel that the company wasn’t upfront about it in the beginning.

  43. Sherryl,

    Great LinkedIn info here! “My personal preference is to join members only groups where you need to request permission. ” – a good approach! Also, I’m going to join the Blogger you mentioned right now. I was wondering about bloggers’ groups on LinkedIn.

    I’m giving a talk on LinkedIn in a month, so I’m gathering as much info as I can. I would love to hear success stories. I’ve already learned and plan to teach that joining groups is a great way to connect on LinkedIn.

    – Leora

    1. I’m so glad you’ve joined our group Leora, As Dennis mentions above, there are a lot of new members. I think this is good for multiple reasons. I’ve never wanted to see that group follow the path of other groups where people blog hop leaving comments for each other. Conversations and friendships should develop slowly and organically. I don’t try to leave comments on blogs that I can’t relate to. My comments would be forced and it would be difficult for me to bring value to the conversation.

      Feel free to start a new discussion explaining what you’re looking for. It would be interesting to hear what members have to share.

      The only real rules in the group is that the discussion area is for just that. When people post links to posts directly in the discussion area, I move them to promotions. There are 2 new discussions created every 2 weeks for sharing posts.

  44. Thanks Sherryl.
    Social media is amazing platform to work upon.It can help you to expose your product to targeted customers, get genuine visitor on the site, establish a wide network with people of your interest etc.But I have observed that webmasters are unable to make best out of it. Proper strategy and plan is very essential in order to use it for your business.I like your points.

  45. I think everyone knows what works best for them in terms of social media. I opened a pinterest account and have yet to do anything with it. I think twitter and facebook are what work best for me, and allow me to start, continue and cultivate the relationships that matter. I think we can all agree that Google + was a failure, but I commend google on always taking chances. Went off topic there but…

    I think bloggers helping bloggers was good to me months ago, but with all the new faces and my own inability to stay as a committed as I was able to be in the past, has changed things for me, but I’ll do the best I can there.

    1. Dennis, I would have thought that Pinterest would be a great opportunity for you to engage new followers. I have barely dabbled in it and quite a few people (who I don’t recognize) are following me. I’ve pinned a few blog posts and some infographics and that’s the content that’s been repinned from my boards. If you were open to posting samples of your work, you could probably build brand awareness and potentially meet new clients there.

      As for the Bloggers-Helping-Bloggers group, there are so many new members there that it would be overwhelming to try to connect with all of them and I honestly don’t try. If someone new from the group leaves a comment here or sends me a personal email on LinkedIn, I’ll visit their blog and leave a comment if I can. (I have made connections with 3 new members.)

      To me, the value of encouraging people to join is that more small contact spheres are forming within the group. Bloggers in similar niches who share the same target readers are starting to make valuable connections. More people are starting discussions too.

  46. People are now increasingly turning to Google, social media, and blogs to find products and services.

    1. Charlesetta, I think the key is to not use social media to promote products and services. We’re all tired of hearing sales pitches. We will listen to what you have to say if we know who you are and have formed a connection with you.

  47. Sherryl — I agree that it’s virtually impossible to be active equally on all the social networks that keep springing up (such as Pinterest). My target audience is B2B and I have found my blog and LinkedIn to be my most effective marketing tools. I also post to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and a number of other networks. But I’m not nearly as active. I dropped out of Quora and decided against joining a couple of other lesser known social media communities. I’ve committed to making more personal contacts. You can’t expect prospects to find you. You’ve got to go out and find them.

    1. Jeannette, Thanks for letting us know that you’re no longer on Quora. I joined and I never made the time to be active on that group. So, it’s good to hear that you’re no longer on there. I concentrate mainly on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. I’m amazed at how much traffic I get from Facebook without much effort. It’s mainly from small businesses and sole proprietors. Do you target medium sized businesses? I get so much satisfaction from helping small business owners that I just gravitate there.

      As for Pinterest, I want the presence there but I haven’t spent much time on it. What’s interesting is that I’ve pinned a couple of blog posts and some infographics. They’re getting repinned and I’m getting followers who I’ve never met before. I’m thinking that Pinterest would be a good site for me to play with when I don’t want to think too hard. 🙂

  48. Sometimes more refine or specialized you become it may make it easy to become the expert. Also being more specialized and having a real targeted niche you sometimes get easier to find on the web.

    great read Sherryl!

    thanks

    sean

    1. That’s a great point Sean. If you see Susan Oakes leaving a comment here, she’s always blogging about the importance of specializing on her M4BMarketing blog. She would enjoy seeing you mention that!

  49. Be careful of those so called experts though – some of them just have better PR machines than others. An expert is only and expert for you if you can use their knowledge, skills or information to improve yourself. One of our greatest challenges today is that we keep buying in to the media hype instead of making good decisions for ourselves.

    1. Excellent point Roberta. I’m fairly lucky in my niche in that there are a number of well respected bloggers who can document the results that they produce. There are definitely resources available. If someone is researching, it can be a good idea to go to known and trusted resources first rather than depending on search engines and paid results.