Three Ways to Make Social Networks Work for You

How can you get the most from social networks? There’s a lot more to it than posting photos and status updates.

Tune in to the Conversation
People are talking about you behind your back. Its up to you to find out if it’s good, bad, or otherwise. Search sites like Twitter for your brand, school or group and get a sense of what’s being said in real time (for example, here’s what people are saying about Trident Layers gum on Twitter). The conversations you tune in on will help you judge how current communications initiatives and goals are being received, and help you adapt your approach accordingly. If there is no conversation…then you have another problem on your hands.

Use Your Audience as a Resource
Your fans already have a vested interest – they know your brand and product best. Solicit them for feedback and get new ideas and advice. Sites like My Starbucks Idea and Vitamin Water’s Facebook presence are examples of the ways you can solicit feedback and participation from your biggest fans and advocates.

Research Key Players
Sites like LinkedIn give you a direct channel to connect to and learn more about people. These could be individuals you don’t know yet but want to, or people you’ll be interacting with in the future. LinkedIn can give you valuable information: who you know in common, professional and educational background, groups and interests. These points of reference can be very helpful in a fundraising meeting, job interview, or on a sales call.

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2 Responses to Three Ways to Make Social Networks Work for You

  1. Mary Kennard says:

    I have been asked to manage an already existing linked in group for alumni at a college and am looking for some input in directing the group. Several small subgroups (50 people and less) were created with little to no discussion activity to date . Do you suggest I move these groups back into the main group for more engagement? and if so any suggestions on how to do it? Currently, I have to post twice – once to the main group and once to a subgroup. Any suggestions on managing a group that has not been managed for a while?

    Many Thanks!

    • Elizabeth Allen says:

      Hi Mary – sounds like you’ve been tasked with a big project. I have a few ideas for you, but it is a little too complicated to address in full here; I’ll email you separately. In a nutshell, I think your first step is to assess the subgroups and see which ones are actually being used and which ones are a waste of resources.

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