Monday, April 13, 2009

Social Networking - What to expect!

Networking on Squidoo -

The worldwide web offers sites which offer stellar networking that can drive traffic to your business. Anyone can set up a page whether it be a blog, Squidoo lens, ning, or other social networking site. The optimum networking is how the owner/administrator of that page networks to get optimum views from an audience.
What follows is how to move that page on the web so buyers other than other sellers are viewing it. While sellers are buyers, there is a limit to how much sellers buy from each other, so prospective new buyers that are not sellers must be targeted.
Choosing Squidoo was a wise choice and learning how to use it has taken much time. The question I asked myself then, is "how will people know I have a Squidoo lens?" This is where the "hard work" starts. The process is a continuing one that requires information to be updated and regular networking.
If we want to think about our personal lives, how does our network of people grow. Take for example that we attend PTA meetings, and meet other parents and teachers. Exchange of information is critical. We are there to learn, offer information, or perhaps find a reciprocal solution to our purpose in attending the meeting.
For example, a parent that works, has a transportation problem getting their child home from soccer practice. They learn that another parent lives in the neighborhood and their own child plays on your child's team. A new acquaintaince makes an offer to drop your child off at home after practice. As our networks in real life work, so does social networking on the web.
Another example...if you have a garage sale, you place an ad in Craigslist, or newspaper, put out effective signs and call your friends.
Social networking is no different and as powerful as our daily networking with people. We are exchanging information that allows someone to either read, give out our link to another person, or move it ahead by sharing it via other social networking exchanges, Twitter, DIGG, Stumbleupon and many others.
A written page must move on the web to be effective. If you write a page and expect people to find you, it is not going to happen. It is like publishing a book. If you do not advertise your book, the likelihood of selling it is not very promising.
This is where the "real work" starts with social networking. Roll up your sleeves. Writing a Squidoo lens for the first time, is unchartered territory. Do so with an open mind, and that it is not going to be written and marketed in one day.
For those that say they are technically challenged, most networking sites like Squidoo have created user friendly pages that move you easily through their process. It may take you a few hours, days or months, but the first step is a commitment to use it. Working a new page is best done when taken in little bites.
If I can do it without the benefit of having honed technical computer skills, so can you! It has taken me nearly one and a half years to learn how to use most of the tools which Squidoo offers.
Key to successful networking on Squidoo
Your topic is critical. Decide what interests you have and then move your selling subject into it if you are a online seller. Like any story or information you wish to impart, the who, what, how, when and where are important. - Once you have written your lens, remember it is only the beginning!
It will require updating frequently and is wise to never bite off more than you can chew. - What do I do with this publication once finished?
The first key to networking is letting the people within the Squidoo network know you have a lens. Reading is key to networking in Squidoo. Reading others lenses on different topics is pivotal. If you like what you read and know someone else would, you likely will refer the link to someone else - or at least should.
Squidoo happens to be one of those sites where the author may allow comments from readers, be favorited, join their fan club, roll the lens so that when you have a message you want all in your network to know, they are on the list/roll you have created. There is a star system that allows you to give the author a heads up that you like their lens. By merely going in to leave a comment without doing the rest shortchanges the full advantage you have with Squidoo.
By favoriting their topic and joining another's fan club, your picture and link appear on their lens. A picture of yourself is wise. It tends to lend more credibly that a "real" person exists. As with all networking, posting in forums, as we do in cyberspace, it will have a similar effect as when we meet and deal with people in person.
I have read almost 200 Squidoo lenses, commented, favorited, joined fan clubs on topics that interest me, (not just sellers or people that sell online). Those are folks that may and do reciprocate curiously, or with interest read my lenses. In turn some will comment, favorite, lensroll, and join my fan club. Social networking is key to marketing any message and bring in people that share common interests.
To further your goals of moving your Squidoo lens outside of their site, it is necessary to apply other networking systems such as Twitter, DIGG, Stumbleupon and others you choose. You need to sign up for those services. When you do so, be sure to set up your profile page with those networking sites. Just merely signing up for other networking systems is not fully effective unless people know your interests. If it's searching for treasures, say so! There are lots of treasure hunters out there.
Built into the Squidoo process is a direct application that allows you to go direct to twitter, DIGG, Stumbleupon using your password. Sites like this are especially nice because you can do it direct from your lens. Networking takes sustained time and effort. Your network will not happen overnight. Your effort may not be apparent for months or years, but once established it can be most effective for traffic. In time, people get to know you and vice versa, and bring in new people to your network.
There are many Squidoo lensmasters that I regularly follow because of their topic content and others that bring stellar marketing tips critical to selling. As more people follow those people, you expand your own networking because a new reader may click on your link, comment, roll your lens and become a fan.
Blogs and other social networking work the same. Reading a blog, following it, or moving it along with a friendly twitter, DIGG, or Stumbleupon may result in someone else doing the same for you. Networking is about sharing, not just your own links, booth or store, it's about moving others with you.
When commencing my selling venture on alternative sites in early 2008, there was a fellow seller immersed in social networking, and were selling "successfully". What I did was to key in their seller name in google and pulled up each place with a link. Perused the sites where they were networking, and what I learned from that experience was critical to selling. I followed them into territories that were well established. Squidoo was one of those sites.

Networking should be a twofold venture. First to bring interest and a buyer base to a new and budding selling venue, and secondary to one's booth specifically. Many times, sales result from this joint effort which makes it a win-win for all. With this in mind, consider that all effort made by sellers to move ahead a new selling venue, makes for a successful investment in Bonanzle's future.

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