Eight Secrets of Effective Online Networking
When determining an online presence, don’t just choose the most popular sites, or the site that you think matches your demographic; take some time to find the people you’re trying to reach and the convesrsations you’re trying to join. “Go where your network is, and focus on those few places,” says Doug Haslam, a social media consultant for Woburn, Mass.-based PR firm Topaz Partners.
5. Share the workload.
Of course, there might be times when it does make sense to have a presence on several sites. Once Google’s OpenSocial API is implemented, this will become easier because you will be able to access your contacts across networks or via a single hub. In the meantime, you can hire a full-time or part-time staffer to manage your social networks, or parcel out the work among your teammates.
One advocate of this strategy is Chan, who advises identifying “persona managers” to manage each network. The advantage of choosing this route is that each persona retains a level of authenticity, individuality and relevance that is hard to achieve if one person spreads herself across multiple networking sites.
Chan notes that having someone who understands the features and interface of each social-networking site, the culture of the community and the appropriate style for communication can make your efforts a lot more effective. The persona managers might operate as a team to share knowledge about each initiative and evaluate each other’s progress using metrics. Each member would manage one network presence, but the group would meet regularly to check in and evaluate progress.
Another way to share the workload while encouraging group participation is to focus efforts on a single network but divide up the administrative work of supporting various groups, causes or fan pages. This way, one person is not responsible for managing every aspect of a single network.