‘How I built a social media network in eight months’


How I built a social media network in eight months

By Gene’O Gordon

Last summer, I started discussing the possibility of setting up a collaborative blog with a few friends. Over the course of three or four months, my sister, Diana, signed on and we went from talking to planning to designing blogs. We kicked off three WordPress blogs in November. We decided that if we were going blog we wanted real audiences. We didn’t want to put the time and energy into maintaining blogs if they were only going to be read by a dozen of our friends. We decided the way to do that was to build a cross-platform social media network.

The problem with that was, we didn’t have a very large social media presence. Most of us were only active on Facebook with 150 or so followers each at that point, with a handful of other social media accounts we hadn’t used in years. We’ve come a long way since November. Our success hasn’t been stellar in terms of daily page views, but we’re making steady progress, and our readers are very engaged, so we’re pleased and we feel like our effort has been worth it so far.

We experimented with at least nine different social media networks during the early months, and we’ve reached the point where we have an idea what works for us and what doesn’t. I’ll explain in this post how we use various social media networks and why we use them the way we do. I’m ranking them in order of their value to me. I think they can all be valuable if you can figure out how to use them and find people to engage with on them; this is just the way I rank them.

WordPress is the heart of our network, because we’re content-producers first and foremost. This is where we publish, and we strive to update three blogs at least once a day. We chose WordPress mainly for the easy pingbacks, tagging system, and ease of publicizing to other networks.

Twitter is valuable, but not for the page views it brings. It’s valuable because it’s public, it’s a good place to interact with other bloggers without having to load pages, and the character limit means you can never ask a question and get back a three-paragraph response that you must read before the conversation can continue. Twitter was difficult to figure out, but I understand how to grow a Twitter account from zero followers into the thousands now, and figuring it out was worth the effort.

StumbleUpon is an enigma to us, but it is potentially the most valuable source of page views we’ve encountered. It’s a bookmark-sharing service that allows you to add web pages to topic indexes. We don’t understand the etiquette or the ranking system yet, so we aren’t able to use StumbleUpon to get consistent traffic yet, but we’ve pulled hundreds of views in a single day from StumbleUpon several times now.

Facebook is the most difficult network I’ve encountered in terms of getting attention. We have fan pages for our blogs, but they don’t do much. I think we’ll have to package content specifically for Facebook and focus on one of our fan pages to build a big one, and we don’t have the time for that at the moment. The value of Facebook for me as a blogger, for the time being, is in the multi-user chat and discussion group features. It’s great for coordinating.

Pinterest is valuable primarily because it gives us an easy way to curate images, which can later be embedded on our blogs. It’s saved us tons of time searching for art to illustrate posts. We’re working on integrating it more thoroughly into our plan, and thinking about building boards with some of our best blog posts on them.

We also have a Tumblr page that all three blogs update to, but we’ve had limited success with it because we haven’t put the time and effort into networking on Tumblr. I think Tumblr could work very well as a blogging platform, but I’m not sure it’s very good for attracting WordPress readers.

We’ve also experimented with Google Plus and Linked In. I hid most of my G+ profile a few months ago because it started to feel like an identity risk, and I rarely look at my feed there these days. We don’t connect our Linked In accounts to our blogs, because our Linked In networks are loaded with colleagues and professional acquaintances, and that’s not an appropriate audience for the type of blogging we do. I’m looking at Reddit, but only looking for the moment.

At this point, we’re mostly focused on WordPress, Twitter, and StumbleUpon because those are the places that have shown the most promise for mass communication. The others are either on cruise control for the time being or are used in very specific ways.

Gene’O runs the blog Sourcerer and contributes to Part Time Monster.

You can also follow Gene’O on Twitter

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WANTED: Guest bloggers


Just a quick post to tell you all that I’m looking for guest bloggers.

I thought it would be great to give my followers the opportunity to guest blog on my blog.

If you would like to guest blog for me, or would just like more information then get in contact by clicking here

The only requirement to guest blog for me is that you’re a blogger who blogs about social media, marketing…similar topics to me (of course). If your blog post is featured on my blog then I’ll give you full credit with links to your blog and social media sites.

Also, if you would like me to feature on your blog I’d be happy to collaborate!

Don’t hesitate to contact me. Follow me on my social media, if you don’t already:

 

Mobile Blogging: Blogging On The Go


I will be doing a guest blog on Social Media Agency at the beginning of every month.

To read my “Promoting Your Blog” post published last month click here

You can also check out this months blog post by clicking the link below:

Mobile Blogging: Blogging On The Go

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Job seeking in a digital age | Guest blog by EmployCallumToday


How the digital age brings job seeking to your front door

The recovering economy means more and more employers are confident about recruiting but they haven’t forgotten the lessons learnt from several years of recession and with an ever-growing pool of talent competition is tough. Employers can no longer afford to take a first through the door approach so how can job seekers grab the attention of potential employers and secure their ideal job?

In today’s digital age, a perfectly crafted CV is still a valuable use of time.

The only difference is that job seekers no longer need to trail door to door to let employers know they are looking for work. Many businesses today reject printed CVs, especially recruiters who commonly adopt a digital-only policy.

Popular sites such as Monster, Indeed and Reed mean you don’t even have to send your CV out to potential employers because they can find you. Although the success rate of being head hunted is considerably lower than actively approaching your potential future employers.

You are your own brand.

Richard Branson recently said the best form of advertising is the free stuff. This is particularly relevant for anyone looking to develop a successful career because employers are increasingly checking up on candidates using social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. How often do you see friends complaining about their job and employer online? If you were an employer and saw negative comments such as those would you take another second to consider that person’s application?

On the other end of the scale, how often do you see friends and other people you’re connected with talking about subjects that are relevant to their careers? If you are looking for your next career step or actively aware of your career progression, it will add benefit to strategically tweet information and post discussions that relate to your industry. I.e. if you are a digital marketer you should already know that content is king and you should have a regularly updated blog about your career learnings, industry news and technological advances.

Think of the 7P’s of marketing –  if employers are using social media then you should be using it too providing them with physical evidence that you are who you say you are.

It’s not all about attention in your particular category but attention per say.

Word of mouth is the strongest form of publicity and you are ten times more likely on average to succeed in an interview if you are recommended by someone the employer trusts. So why are you not running around phoning everybody you know to tell them you are looking for work? Because you don’t need to. Social media is word of mouth publicity and you can talk to any number of people at the same time using it. Don’t limit your reach by targeting a particular audience, aim to attract that audience and other people who might know somebody hiring that might point potential employers in your direction.

Consider these three rules and you could well be laughing all the way to the bank:

  1. Visual content is more appealing than just text across all social media channels
  2. People like subtle humour, they like ‘clever’ and they enjoy watching people try (take for example Ron Burgundy’s ads for the new Dodge Durango.)
  3. Use the Like Vs. Share rule and invite your friends and connections to grow your audience (Just remember to turn information and statements into a question answerable by liking or sharing.)

employcaltoday

Images like this work well on Twitter where you can only use 140 characters and equally on other social media channels.

To find out more about Callum Davies or his digital marketing campaign to find employment visit www.employcallumtoday.co.uk or get in touch with him by emailing info@employcallumtoday.co.uk.

Check out Callum on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube

social media - socail networking-media

Social Media in the Workplace | Guest Blog


The rise and proliferation of social media sites and its eventual utilisation by companies worldwide has resulted in the increased demanding for media graduates. Jessica Leeman, a first year student studying Media, has recognised this need in her interesting blog that tackles contemporary issues surrounding social media. In one of my many interviews since graduating from university, I (see my blog) had inadvertently discovered the power and gravitas that my grasp on social media brought to my CV. I had not anticipated it, for I knew that proclaiming that I was a fervent social media user – a system that had been widely abused by drunken students to humiliate each other – was an instant way to kill an interview. But when I saw my interviewer’s face noticeably droop when she mentioned the great difficulty that she had utilising the tool in a working environment, I saw the opportunity to convey my transferable skills in the workplace. I watched her jaw drop, when I told her about my social media ‘achievements’: that I had amassed 110,000 followers on Twitter; more than 1500 connections on Linkedin; 2275 friends on Facebook; 1000 followers on Pinterest and of course the 111000 views that I amassed on this very blog. Naturally during the interview situation it was pretentious to gabber on about these numbers. But seen as though this formal meeting was painfully going nowhere, I thought it would be only fitting to take an inch and then stretch it a mile. As a result I unduly padded out the remaining time in my interview about the ‘wonders’ of social media. Surprisingly I was offered an alternative role within the company than the one that I had applied for. The rationale behind this sudden change of situation? Apparently when I spoke about Twitter, it was the only time during the interview where my face illuminated and where I also spoke with a degree of passion. It is only reading recently on Jessica Leeman’s post about how social media can be utilised in the workplace that I found out that there is avenue to explore in the terms of utilising social media management as a full time job. In this context it was a contributing factor to me emphasising social media during the interview which helped me gain the internship.

Liked this guest blog? Read more from Zac on his blog

social media - socail networking-media

EmployCallumToday | Instagram Direct Vs Snapchat and Twitter


Guest blog on EmployCallumToday by myself & Chris Lisseman

“When we first heard about Instagram’s upcoming mystery event we were just as confused, yet excited as to, what to expect. We didn’t expect Instagram to come up with a whole new feature.”

Read the full article here:

EmployCallumToday | Instagram Direct Vs Snapchat and Twitter.