If you are trying to increase your productivity on social media sites, here are a few things to keep in mind:
– Don’t be selfish or greedy. Like in real life, people want nothing to do with someone who is just looking out for themselves. Show some understanding and interest in other’s lives and work, and you will see the same.
– Figure out the culture of the particular site you are using. For example, Digg is full of apple lovers, tech nerds, intelligent though immature high school students and pot smoking human rights believing young 20 some-things that would hang a Darwin poster on their dorm room wall before Jenna Jameson. Netscape on the other hand, has a more mature, mainly politics oriented crowd, and it goes on – every site really does have a slightly different to completely different demographic.
– Use your real picture for your avatar if that is the trend. If the trend is something else, do that – again, we are going with the flow of the particular site you are using.
– On Social Bookmarking sites, don’t bookmark crap. That means your crap, someone else’s crap, the neighbor’s dog’s crap, just don’t do it. Nothing will kill your credibility more on a social bookmarking site then someone who a) is a spammer, or b) has no taste. Either way you are toast.
– The largest sites have become harder to reach the front page and the smaller sites are now large enough to send decent traffic and links. Make sure you are using a vast selection of social sites, not just the very top ones. Save all of your accounts on a spreadsheet to stay organized.
– Get to know the site features of any particular social media site you are using. Ask yourself the following questions:
– Do I have a public profile?
– Is it search engine friendly and can be indexed in Google?
– Can I insert links into my public profile? With anchor text? Is there a no-follow on these links? (Tip: Use Aaron Walls Firefox extension tool and you can see all no follow links on a page easily.)
– It helps to have an older account – this is true among almost all social media sites, right across the board. You can often find a friend with an old dormant account or grab one in any of the popular forum marketplaces.
– Is there a RSS feed for your profile? Put it on the excel spreadsheet and submit it to various RSS engines/directories.
– Stay focused with your goals – it is way too easy to get distracted on all of these sites and 20 YouTube videos or a conspiracy theory later, you just wasted an hour. If you want to read a great article on setting and keeping goals, a friend of mine Justin Goff I met at the CAC in Las Vegas wrote one recently on the topic.
– If there are any groups, join and post topics, become an active member. Like a forum, within time you will be recognized by the regulars and become a reputable member if you act like one.
– Be friendly. People on these sites are generally nice people and you would be surprised how far you’d get by just being a genuinely good person.
– Do not ignore real people – This is especially true for marketers who are only building one account per site. If people add you as a friend or message you, vote for their stories, message them back, acknowledge them. I compare this to a lone person moving to a new city where he/she knows nobody. You have to start with the first person, and network on from there – you can’t just show up in LA and walk into a playboy mansion party.
– If you are sneaky, push the limits already. There is absolutely no point in trying to game social media sites if you are going to do it half assed. If you decide to go this route you need to know what you can get away with and what you can’t so you can press up against the wall every time to maximize efficiency.