Social Networking Tips and business plan

Birds of a feather social network together

I have been totally overwhelmed by the amount of the social network invites that I received lately. There is no way you can actively participate on all of these networks, be effective and actually get work outside of the internet done. I have never had the time to really just work one and create an actual plan to make it effective. It seems that I have just been following the flock to the next new network. So, as part of my 2008 New Year’s resolution…manage the social networks, before they get the better part of me.

I plan on focusing on less than 6 networks in 2008. I intend on building a plan for each one on how I will market myself…truthfully that is what it is all about, marketing yourself. Just as in real life, you cannot be everywhere all the time. You are going to drop one of those balls eventually. I feel that also applies with the cyber-world. You have to tend to each of these sites in order to be effective.

I am always asked about internet technology in the office. I tend to gravitate to all of the technology mumbo jumbo and then it’s followed with “do you make money on it?” Actually no, but I know my time spent here and there and over there is money in the bank, but only if I use my time and effort wisely. I plan on creating a series of my thoughts and plans the whole Social Networking idea.

Avoiding the MySpace MistakeMySpace has been the pioneer in the Social networking sites. If you haven’t been part of all of the other networking scenes, you have at least heard of MySpace. The netiquitte that is recommended here can be extended into any of the social networks. I think one of the biggest problems with new people jumping into the social network scene as a business…they immediately want to push their goods on you. You have seen it and still see it on Active Rain. (one of the most popular Real Estate Networks)

“This isn’t a direct marketing tool, this is human communication,” says Rob Key, chief executive officer of social marketing firm Converseon. “You don’t have to beat people over the head.”

How many times have you seen the copy and paste of every advertisement the author has in his arsenal? My friend Jeff Turner said it best and it has really stuck with me. When you are on the internet you are constantly thinking about SEO, but it is much bigger than that. It’s about YEO!!! My social network needs to go face to face more aggressively this year.

My 2008 Social Media Plans:

Facebook. Update and network on it at least once a week. Dump all the garbage applications – don’t poke me, don’t buy me drinks, and don’t throw sheep. I want to see what you have to offer and read your blog post. I do want to get to know you, but lets keep it somewhat professional until we get to know each other a little better.

LinkedIn. Is one of the more professional networks that I have found. Build on the idea of Six degrees of separation. I have been building a network of past collegues, friends, and industry experts. But one problem is that I have not been using all of the features and functions it has to offer. The Answer section helps you build a reputation of an industry expert. Utilize this once a week.

ActiveRain Post once a week and comment more on new members post. It is about building relationships. My issue here has been it lost the pizzazz that it once had and I lost the desire to network here. It used to be fun and engaging with people until the whining starts. If you don’t like what someone has to say or do, stop following or commenting on their blogs. Don’t whine about it. Just let it go and move on, life’s too short to be miserable. This blogging platform has all the right tools to let the newest of Real Estate Professionals to be found on the internet.

Blogs

Focus On Frederick – I currently write 3 times a week here. This one needs more Real Estate information. I currently post Market Updates on Monday, Wednesday has been Industry related, and Fridays have been fun. One more day of Industry related content needs to be added. I also intend on removing the Adsense on this blog. I experimented with it for a while and feel it’s distracting in its current format. If I can find the right app to implement cohesive ads, then I might continue. The question about the local competitor ads on adsense…they should be scared that their ad was found on my site. I have been to their sites and I’m not concerned, consumers click away. Customers are finding my site for free…it just cost you a buck and I still get the customer.

Focus On Mt Airy - Office blog – This one I am teaching a group of agents on the blogging basics, the mechanics of WordPress.com, and the basics of blogging SEO. Google seems to love WordPress if you manage to talk to it right. The idea is to make it invisible to the reader. (I am still learning this one)

Bob’s Brain Dump - This is where I will post my thoughts on technical mumbo jumbo. This is the place where I can say what’s on my mind. I want to stay focused here for the web stuff…but not exclusive. If it doesn’t fit anywhere else…it’s dumped here. I need to grow this one adfasfd

2 other blog in the making and they not ready for publication

Twitter – Microblogging (aka chatroom) but its more fulfilling. You can Twitterfeed your blogs for everyone to read. With Shareaholic Plugin you can share what you are reading on the internet. Right now, I am finding this to be a very viral form of marketing. But I must caution you, it is addicting. What I like about this is also, you have the choice of who is allowed to follow you and who you follow. You don’t like what you’re reading just stop following. It is great to follow some of the major players in Web 2.o, makes it easy to keep up with the latest information.

Flickr has to be top with me. They say you hobby should make you money…I am far from making money at it. But truly enjoy it. Flickr is not only a storage place for photos, but it is also a social network. I have met quite a few people just from finding some great local pictures and people finding my photos. Photography has been a hobby for me…now it’s a way to meet people in my area. Flickr has a great interface that lets you also post to your blogs. I specifically use it for a Mobile Phone Blog. It’s just a creative release for me….or simple acts of geekdom.

www.flickr.com

gotbob's Frederick Community photoset gotbob’s Frederick Community photoset

Plaxo Pulse. This has to be my last one for the year. This decision was made today after seeing all the hubbub on Twitter about Robert Scoble “scraping” data from facebook. I admire his insight and expertise on the whole internet convergence ideas. I have been following him for sometime now and actually have one of his books…just haven’t started to read it yet. This is only the beginning of my research of him. There’s a variety of opinions on him…but isn’t there about everyone?

Now will I really just stop at joining networks...probably not, but I do need a plan in order regain control of my time. I need to utilize each of these social networks to the best of their ability. And then taking that time to actually relate to new people…and that’s what it’s all about!

18 comments ↓

#1 Kristal Kraft on 01.03.08 at 9:10 pm

You are right, it is hard to keep up with the enormous amount of social networks coming online everyday. It’s hard to tell which one(s) will be the most beneficial.
As with everything, moderation is the key. Your business plan is wise.
Happy New Year!
kk

#2 Chris Griffith on 01.03.08 at 9:15 pm

I just love that you’re out there testing them all and sharing with us all. As usual, you’re the best, Bob.

#3 gotbob on 01.03.08 at 9:22 pm

Thanks KK, just like drinking…must be done in moderation.

Chris, you know I am there for you.

#4 Jennifer Wilson - Agent Solutions on 01.03.08 at 9:44 pm

I would swear you were reading my mind Bob. I have stuggled with this very thing as of late and I have also made a conscious decision to limit myself to a select few sites. I know this will be hard for me cause I want to be a part of all of them, but I would never get any work done.

You have created a great plan for yourself. Wish me luck in developing my Social Networking plan.

Ciao!

#5 Speedlinking 4 January 2007 on 01.03.08 at 9:52 pm

[...] Brain Dump has a useful post – Social Networking Tips and Business Plan. Thanks to JeffRoyce on Twitter for the [...]

#6 Cyndee Haydon on 01.03.08 at 10:28 pm

Bob, I thought it was my brain dump you were reading – love this blog – need to develop my plan too. Missed what Robert Scoble is “scraping” – I am just discovering Flickr and with my new camera (KK’s old one :-) 2008 is my year for indulging my interet in photography – maybe I’ll learn a thing or two from you as well.

#7 gotbob on 01.03.08 at 11:37 pm

Jennifer, I try not to read minds…hard enough time deciphering mine.

Hey Cyndee Hope to help you somehow..

#8 Sarah Cooper on 01.04.08 at 4:50 am

I quit Facebook today. It felt good and my spam filter thanked me. I’m getting pickier about where I play. Er, network.

#9 Mark on 01.04.08 at 4:53 am

Facebook once a week?! I make my life simple, I use FB as my “personal publishing platform”, (the others be damned!)

#10 gotbob on 01.04.08 at 7:07 am

Sarah…YOU ARE SARAH DAMN IT AND YOU DON’T HAVE TO JOIN ALL OF THEM. (Your personal coach told me to tell you that)

Mark, That might change for me once I find productive ways to use it. Thanks for stopping by.

#11 Friday are for Friends | Focus On Frederick.com on 01.04.08 at 8:30 am

[...] to my RSS feed or Subscribe by email on the right. Thanks for visiting!Last night I worked on my Social Network plan for 2008, one of the many parts of a business plan.  Used to be what brick and mortar activities are you [...]

#12 Jeff Adams on 01.06.08 at 8:14 am

My name is Jeff and I am a Facebook addict. There, I admit it!!! Seriously though loved the article, especially the comments abuot being bombarded with drinks, pokes, requests for application like “Which Mental Illness Are You?” (thats a REAL one by the way!).

Nicely written, cheers.

#13 gotbob on 01.07.08 at 11:26 pm

Thanks Jeff…4 out of 5 voices in my head say I’m normal. LOL.

#14 columbusbestblog.com » Blog Archive » Social Media Plan 2008 on 01.09.08 at 9:08 am

[...] Carney of Frederick M.D. started it.. on his BobsBraindump.com – Social Networking Tips and Business Plan Bob is only going to do six “social networks in 2008… I am afraid to count [...]

#15 Real Estate Solutions » Blog Archive » How social do we have to be? on 02.05.08 at 9:41 am

[...] Read more about Bob’s idea to tame the social networking beast in his blog post Social Network Tips and Networking Plan.    [...]

#16 Carole Cohen on 02.05.08 at 8:23 pm

You had me worried at first when you said six but it included blogs phew! Very good advise from a man wise beyond his yrs :-)

#17 Rajesh on 09.27.08 at 3:04 pm

I think Bob have selected the best in the world. I also use only these 6.

#18 Tom Psillas on 11.19.09 at 3:02 pm

Bob made some good points about social networking. Yes. It is getting crowded. But, I truly think that LinkToMeet.com will solve most of the business problems faced on other sites. LinkToMeet.com plans to take the best of most web 2.0 sites and incorporate it in one site. How well that model suceeds? Time will tell.

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