My article about social networking as a business marketing tool, "Self-Promotion the Social Way, was just published in the October 2009 issue of How Magazine. The piece has also been posted on the HOW website.
In addition to the posted content, suggestions from myself and contributors Justin Ahrens of the Geneva, IL firm Rule29, Nashville, TN children's illustrator Holli Conger and photographer Paul Kline from Washington, DC were used to create a list of eight "tips and tricks" for a sidebar to the print version of the article.
Here are some recommendations from the featured creative professionals currently using social networking as a self-promotion vehicle:
1. Create a well-defined basic social networking profile and maintain that profile consistency throughout all social networking sites. Include keywords in your profile (like "designer" or "writer") that your network is likely to search, so that new contacts can easily find you.
2. Maintain similar consistency in the photo or graphic image you choose for your avatar (the small photo or graphic associated wiht your profile that represents you online) - in effect, branding your social networking presence.
3. Be generous in social networking site posts and updates, promoting and supporting the work of others - rather than exclusively marketing your own efforts.
4. Ask your clients what networks they participate in, and join those. Cross-reference your client and promotion lists on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to maximize your targeted promotional efforts. Invite people on your list to join you on FaceBook, to become a fan of your business and follow you on Twitter - and do the same in return.
5. Don't over commit. Social networking can be time-consuming. Set aside a window of time at the beginning and end of your day for social media, so you're not sucked into Twitter every time someone in your network tweets.
6. Keep things professional. Make sure you don't communicate anything you wouldn't want your clients, prospects or potential employers to read.
7. Provide easy-to-find links to your website and blog in your social media profile, so friends and followers may research and contact you with little effort.
8. Look for a network the fits your personality and industry, with a good mix of customers, vendors and competitors. Once you identify the network you want to create, start making contacts.
You may want to check out the social networking resources of those associated with the HOW Magazine article. The links are as follows:
Paul Kline: Twitter - @Ad_Photographer
© 2009 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives