One Social Network Aggregator May Be All You Need.
Just as a business website needs a few key components in order to be more than just “window dressing,” it’s important to stay on top of maintaining your social networks if they’re going to help you grow your business. But which networking sites to join?
A Google search reveals hundreds, if not thousands, of social networking sites for all sorts of businesses and individuals. My business development coach (and a good friend!) is a member of more than 30 social networking sites. I’m part of about 10 myself. Some are specialized within my field(s) of expertise, and others are general sites. You might think it takes a lot of time to maintain all these social networks, but it really doesn’t.
Many tools are available to help you maintain social networking sites in just a few minutes a day. One of my favorites is www.ping.fm. In about a half hour (depending on how many sites you want to add), you can configure Ping to post updates to all your chosen social networks with the click of your mouse. It can also post to various messenger/chat programs, as well. iPhone apps let you easily post on the go or you can send SMS/text updates from any cell phone. One of the reasons I like the program is its flexibility to deliver your messages.
One for All, but Not All on One
If you read the site’s “Helpful Tips,” you’ll also discover you don’t have to post to every network every time. This is especially effective if you have different types of customers (for instance, wholesale and retail), multiple businesses, or if, like me, you use one social network (in my case, Facebook) to keep up with family and friends.
You may not want to share the same information on every network, and you can filter your messages in a number of ways.
Post to individual sites by prefixing your message with specific letters, as shown here. This is good to post a message to one or two sites only.
Post in specific formats: Microblogs, status updates, or blogs. This tells Ping to only post to sites that you’ve pre-set to post updates in that particular format.
Combine multiple sites into a “posting group” so all messages you post to that “group” will appear on all services within that group. This is similar to creating a specific mailing list in your email to reach a specific group of people (i.e., family, friends, buyers, vendors… whatever.)
Ping is an incredibly handy service to share important information and links with large portions of your social network (or your whole network) all at once. But don’t forget to continue to build relationships through personal interaction – respond to other people’s blog posts, forward their links, and (most importantly) start and maintain one-on-one conversations with anyone you’d like to get to know better.
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