Eight Secrets of Effective Online Networking
“I use my Outlook calendar to map out the week’s posts on my social-networking blogs,” says Carie Lewis, Internet marketing manager for The Humane Society of the United States. “That has me helped tremendously, not only with time management but in looking at the bigger picture. It also helps me integrate my activities with everything else my department does (e-mail, Web site and print) that is so important.”
However, don’t adhere to a schedule so religiously that you don’t leave room for some flexibility. Says Lewis: “When something big hits, I’ll go immediately to MySpace and blog about it, because that’s where our biggest network is. Next, I’ll tweak the content for Facebook and post there. Then I’ll go to Care2 and on to Gather.”
4. Don’t spread yourself too thin.
There is considerable crossover among social-network users, so it might not be necessary to maintain a profile or support a group on every single one.
“Choose where you really want to develop your community and where you really want to interact with the people who matter the most to you and your organization,” Heuer says. “Spreading attention and energy across all the sites is nearly impossible for one person, and you will end up with a diluted presence on each of them rather than a strong presence on one.”
Bill Snyder, a nonprofit marketing consultant, advises, “Focus. It’s better to do one site well then to do many sites poorly.”
Sebastian Chan, manager of Web services for the Powerhouse Museum in Australia, agrees. “I know there is a real attraction to having presences in multiple networks, but I’ve found little real benefit in doing so unless there are significant real-world synergies.”
Chan points to the example of Museum of Contemporary Art - Los Angeles, which worked with a live music event where the bands had a large MySpace fan base.