‘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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Stumbleupon as a marketing tool?


A lot of people use social media websites such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest to increase traffic to their blog, and to basically market their blog. Stumbleupon may be unknown to a few people, but if you’re into social media I’m assuming that you’ll have AT LEAST heard of Stumbleupon.
I’ve been thinking for the past week “what could my next blog post be?” and it occurred to me that I don’t, 100%, know what Stumbleupon is, so I thought I’d do a little research, find out what other people are saying and see what you think to it…have you used Stumbleupon? If not, maybe you’re like me and don’t really know what Stumbleupon’s purpose is. Well if you want to know, keep reading…

What is Stumbleupon?

It’s both a social bookmarking tool and a social voting tool.

Stumbleupon allows you to save (bookmark) the links to pages which you like, which is similar to other online bookmarking tools such as Pocket, Instapaper and Delicious.

Also it allows you to either thumbs up or thumbs down articles, if you like an article you are randomly shown when you press the “stumble” button you can hit the ‘thumbs up’ button, if you don’t like the article then you can hit ‘thumbs down’.

How to use Stumbleupon?

Go to www.stumbleupon.com

Sign up for free and what interests you – this will help Stumbleupon to find articles of interest to you

It’s that simple, then you can ‘start stumbling’.

 

I have shared my blog posts on Stumbleupon and have found that I have gained quite a bit of traffic, so it’s definitely a good marketing tool.

BUT could it be the next big thing in the marketing world? …I don’t know about that. I just don’t quite get it.

I will continue researching about Stumbleupon, researching how other bloggers/marketers are using Stumbleupon to promote themselves and I’ll get back to you with a “how to use Stumbleupon as a marketing tool” type post, or something similar.

Let me know if you’ve used Stumbleupon or point me in the right direction – let me know how you use stumbleupon as a marketing tool.

As always I enjoy hearing your thoughts and hearing about what methods for marketing you do.

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you’d like to guest blog for

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Stay tuned to my blog as my next blog post will be done by a guest blogger..

Follow me on my social media, if you don’t already:

THANK YOU!


          Thank you to everyone who has read my blog, who follows me and interacts with me. It means the world that I have ALREADY hit the 200 follower milestone. It might not seem a lot … Continue reading

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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:

 

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Get YOUR content to stand out!


Sharing and creating content has become much easier with the use of the internet and its many social networking platforms. So, how can you ensure that YOUR content stands out?

Offer a unique perspective

Try to express and offer something different from what you would expect from the average company, blog, etc. Also, expressing something different from what the average reader might expect on a topic will ensure a unique perspective; and make your content stand out.
DON’T be afraid to say what you truly think – even if this means creating a little controversy, after all people like controversy; something to get them talking about you/your blog.

Be engaging

It goes without saying that your content should be created with one person in mind; your customer. Think quality, not quantity; it’s better to create a couple (or one) blog post per week which are quality and relevant to your audience, instead of creating 5/6 blog posts a week which don’t engage your audience.

One of the most important things to do to get your content to stand out is to… Get found

There’s no point in creating content if your intended audience isn’t going to find it. Make sure you can be found, be searchable. If you’re producing content which is relevant information then you’ll make it easier for search engines to index you; making you more searchable. So, make sure you’re producing the right content for your topic and audience.

An easy way to get found is to be on many social media platforms; Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. Linking these accounts to your blog can help you gain more viewers for your blog, increasing your readership and also vice versa; people who follow your blog may go on to follow your Twitter, like your Facebook page and connect with you on LinkedIn via. links on your blog homepage.

So, how do you use your content to be unique, engage and get found? Let me know in the comments section, I’d love to know what you’re doing with content.

Don’t forget to connect with me on my Social media, I look forward to interacting with you on:

LinkedIn; an online CV?


LinkedIn; a social media site which is considered the ‘Facebook’ for business people, students, graduates and so on…

On LinkedIn you are able to add sufficient information to your profile to entice a potential employer, including; adding information about different types of experience you’ve gained, gaining recommendations from your connections, endorsing connections for skills you believe they have…the list goes on. LinkedIn is, effectively, a detailed online CV…Isn’t it?

In all honesty, even though I’m a fan of traditional methods, I do believe that using LinkedIn as an “online CV” would benefit you, especially because you can gain recommendations from people who are in the same/similar profession as you. This is a huge benefit over the traditional paper CV method, as secondary opinions regarding the skills you have (and the recommendations which you’re able to receive on your profile) would be much more persuasive to a potential employer than a list of your skills bullet pointed down a page.

LinkedIn, like any social media site, is accessible 24/7 and therefore you would be able to access your profile to edit and update it at any time of the day, likewise a potential employer could access your LinkedIn profile at anytime; also checking to see whether you’ve added more information, gained further recommendations or even more skill endorsements. Paper is static, the web is (most definitely) not. It’s ALWAYS changing!!

 

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Couples Now Demanding ‘Social Media Prenups’


I was searching the internet for social media (SM) related news for you guys and came across this, and wondered what you thought. Is this taking things over the top regarding SM? Or is this the beginning of SM taking over our lives, shaping how we act/behave?

Divorce Prenuptial agreement

Sky News have reported that couples, in America, have begun asking their attorney’s for social media clauses in prenuptial agreements. According to a top attorney a third of her clients are asking for this clause to be added to their prenup. A breach of this prenup agreement can result in a fine of up to $50,000 (£29,700).

Read the original story below:

Couples Now Demanding ‘Social Media Prenups’.

and here’s another, similar, post by The Daily Mail

Are couples taking social media too far/too seriously?

What are your thoughts on this story?

Don’t forget to connect with me on my Social media

 

5 MUST HAVE apps for students going abroad


If you’re a student and are looking to go abroad, then what apps will you need? Yes, I really did just say ‘what apps will you need’!!!!

The time has come where we no longer only consider what we need to pack to take with us, but (apparently) we are considering what apps we’ll need installed before we journey away from what we deem ‘home’, in order to stay in contact with our friends and family.

Top 10 apps to install before going abroad:

  1. This one may seem obvious (to some), but a great app to have whilst abroad would be WhatsApp. WhatsApp is a FREE to download app which allows you to contact your family via. using 3G or WiFi services. You can send multimedia messages, enjoy group chats, no pins or usernames (uses your mobile phone number), no international charges. Available on BOTH iPhone and Android
  2. Viber – Make calls to anyone anywhere in the world for free with Viber, as long as the person you want to contact has the application on their phone. It is similar to Skype, but without the video calling, although you can send video messages and text as well. Available on BOTH iPhone and Android
  3. Skyscanner – Plan your next trip home (or adventure to another country) and find the cheapest flights using the handy search results display, which allows you to view prices by day, week, month or even a whole year. It also directs you to the cheapest company for each flight when booking. Available on BOTH iPhone and Android.
  4. XE currency converter – If you’re a student and you’re going abroad then you’re definitely going to have to be watching your pennies. This app lets you know just how far your money is going with this currency converter, which stores the latest rates to give an accurate figure when you’re not connected to WIFI or 3G. It also comes in a selection of different languages, which is a bonus. Available on iPhone and Android
  5. BBC Weather – you never know what the weather is going to be like, so be equipped with a weather app installed onto your device. This app allows you to have several locations available at the swipe of a finger, so you’re able to check the weather in multiple countries. This app is free and is available on iPhone and Android.

Don’t forget to connect with me on my Social media

Related articles

The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/student/study-abroad/10-musthave-apps-for-students-on-their-year-abroad-9301734.html

TheStudyAbroadBlog: http://thestudyabroadblog.com/top-50-iphone-apps-studying-abroad/

DiscoverExcursionsBlog: http://discoverexcursionsblog.com/the-13-best-apps-for-traveling-abroad/

The Internet.


I know the internet is used by millions of people on a day to day basis but I wonder what it would be like without the internet. Would people feel socially outcast? Would people feel as self conscious? Would there be as many medical/scientific advances? Would people be more sociable?

Without the internet the world would be a completely different place.

For me the internet is a vital part of every day life; after all I am a student studying a media degree…making the internet important for my studies. The internet enables people, who in the “real world” may never meet, to speak…converse…get to know one another. The internet can create relationships, partnerships, careers.

On the other hand the internet can break relationships, it can destroy someone’s career…I believe the internet is what you make of it. If you put information, pictures etc. you aren’t proud of on the internet then, at the end of the day, you’ve only got yourself to blame if that information, or a certain image, comes round to bite you.

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The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.
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Social Media: Do We Share too Much Information Online?


Some people share more information online than others, but the question is….

Do YOU think we (as a society who uses the internet) share too much information online?