Effectively Leveraging Social Networking: FaceBook, MySpace, LinkedIn

Posted in Seminars, Social Media

Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter and others help people to develop and stay connected with networks of associates and friends. Know the rules and your company will find “friends” who are susceptible to your message and products. Screw up and the communities can turn on you and potentially harm your brand. This session explored Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn. The moderator was Danny Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Land.

Dave McClure, Entrepreneur & Startup Advisor, 500Hats demonstrated facebook’s features for propagating viral content.

Feed Me
Facebook is all about feeds. It’s not terribly complicated. Click on the mini-feeds area of your profile and take a look at the options of what type of information you can push out your feeds. You can also set priorities for which parts of others’ feeds you want to consume. By using the browser bar tools to use the Facebook feeds to share content, you can triangulate influential players. Depending on their feed prioritizations, your content – along with any graphics you select and text from the page – gets pushed to their networks.

The feed is used to keep friends apprised of what’s happening in each others’ lives. Members use applications to ask for friends and engage in other activities. The real trick is setting up your network appropriately. The primary focus is reaching people in your network or other notables who might be interested in your content.

Tag You’re It
One trick is to tag content to target folks who might be interested and in turn reflect it out to their network. For instance you can actually tag people embedded IN photos which makes the picture visible to that person. You can also share content by injecting into the feed by the “post to feed” function or send it directly to your friends in the form of a message. The people that you tag will definitely see it and it is very possible that those in theirs will see it too.

Facebook Groups
Who you add or invite to a group is visible to your whole network. All of the different content items in the group end up in the feeds of their members and often are reflected into their personal networks as well. If you indicate your workplace, school, or geographical location when you sign up, Facebook offers you inclusion in associated groups.

Helen M. Overland, Director, Search Engine Marketing, non-linear creations
LikedIn is a professional social networking site where you can connect with acquaintances and business colleagues. There are over 15 million professionals with an average income of 140K. Every 25 days another 25 million people join Linked In.

Increase visibility and branding
Display your expertise in the “Answers” section of the site. Announce your new website or services. Drive readers to your blog posts by answering questions with your blog post. Get your services recommended and get noticed. Generate traffic and reach potential clients and partners to service requests in Answers. Get your services recommended.

LinkedIn is SEO Friendly
LinkedIn is DO follow so all your links count and all the pages are indexed so it’s possible to drive traffic with relevant links AND get link love. Create a linkedIn “vanity URL” to add keywords to profile the URL. Have your employees link back o your website for a ton of free DO follow links. LinkedIn visitors are engaged averaging over 4 minutes on the site. LinkedIn is about reaching a highly targeted market – not a mass market. Most of the excellent networking services are free.

Cindy Krum, Senior SEO Analyst, Blue Moon Works shared MySpace case studies.
Flying Dog Brewery is a local company with national product distribution. Their MySpace profile establishes the company voice and personality by creating a community around the brand and notifying users about events and new products. They use their print flyer as the main picture which ripples throughout their friends’ profiles. They place products and pictures on their MySpace profile wrapped in edgy graphics and party pictures. Leveraging the “events” features in MySpace can be a great tactic because it ripples throughout your network and, if others’ blog about it, radiates even further.

True is a web based dating community to create brand awareness by offering tools, games, and advice. They establish the company voice and personality to drive users to sign up and use their services. Check out the “Sexploration Test.” This killer profile includes the “I’m Horny” application, “Hot mUnkey Love”, and the “True Fortunes,” a widget which allows you to send fortunes to a friend. Several of the applications offer cool cut and paste code snippets to send to a friend.

“Create ad Date” is a killer face mutation graphics app to alter faces and send to a friend. “Heart Beats” allow remising love songs as comments. Data-O-Rama is an application used to calculate an appropriate date based on budget, day of week, date number, and weather. Sitting right next to all of this is the actual date engine which is the company’s core business and the KPI.

MySpace Code Tips
MySpace encodes most links in profiles, groups, forums, and classifieds which renders them useless for link love; however, links to pages within MySpace, blog posts, news articles (though they are in frames), and events are not encoded giving the links greater value. When you’re creating a flash app to use in MySpace you need to use version 9 and action script 3.0. Links in flash files don’t work, and MySpace converts html into it’s preferred object format before saving. My space messes with your code. Widgets that work on other social networks might not work in MySpace. Unfortunately, widgets that work in MySpace/IE7 might not work in MySpace/FireFox. MySpace might launch a new developer platform and markup language rumored to be in released this week with deeper access and allow widgets network interaction and the ability to advertise.

Good profiles that are a good representation of your brand take time. You need to have a good CSS designer. Cool profiles need to be updated frequently. You have to manage friends in order to keep the quality of the friends up. Also the question of who will respond to email and approve comments has to be explored. Will you participate in groups and what blog communication is appropriate?

[NOTE: This is one of a series of posts Marty is blogging live from SMX Social Networking New York. They are packed with information and taken on-the-fly and include short comments and quick notes instead of more thorough descriptions. Watch for follow-on posts that expand on these ideas.]