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Audience Development Strategy

Has Online Social Networking Replaced Real World Networking?

There are many books and blogs already devoted to the “how to” of social networking. This is not a post about how to set up an account and get started. This post is about why you should get started and how you will benefit from social networking.

Take consistent action to reap the benefits of social networking

There are many books and blogs already devoted to the “how to” of social networking.  This is not a post about how to set up an account and get started.  This post is about why you should get started and how you will benefit from social networking.

At Mequoda, we believe that we should “practice what we preach.”  Everything we talk about in our blog and in the Mequoda System is based on real-world publishers and their successes online. We take what we’ve learned, what they’ve learned, and we bring these case studies to you.

As social networking has been snowballing in our industry, we’ve finally been able to see publishers successfully use this medium.

Now we’d like to share with you how we are taking our social networking strategy to the next level.

If you have already embraced Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and niche social networks – Kudos!  If you are one of the many wondering what to do next and, more importantly, how to benefit from social networking, pay close attention.

The most important thing to remember about any net-WORK-ing is: the emphasis on work.

A social networking site is a tool.  Albeit a powerful one, it’s still just a tool.  You must do the work.  Doing nothing will get you nothing.

If the abundance of email, texting, telecommuting and other technologies has you forgetting how to network in the real world, we encourage using social media to put networking back in your business strategy.

Download a FREE copy of Best Email Subject Lines for Selling Premium Subscriptions and Memberships and discover an extensive list of email subject line frameworks that are consistently proven to sell and boost revenue for publishers.

Build Relationships Online

When sending an invitation to connect on any social network, always include a brief personal message.

Yes, it’s easy to send the generic, automated message, but you won’t generate the same results.  Nor will that connection be as valuable to you as just another faceless name in your rolodex.

Instead, start building a relationship with each connection, starting with your first attempt at contacting them.

Once they accept and connect, spend a minute reviewing their profile, get to know who they are and what they’re about.

It’s the online version of a meet-and-greet.  Next, peruse their connection list, that’s the fringe benefit.  You are now able to network with all of their contacts.  As your network grows, so do your opportunities.

As with any type of networking, whether real world or online, if you are willing to consistently work at it, you will generate opportunities, contacts and success.

What is Mequoda doing now?

Mequoda on Twitter: Amanda now has over 1,050 Twitter followers (@mequoda) and posts 8-12 tweets daily. She uses the network to engage more personally with readers, drive website traffic, solicit story ideas, and conduct surveys for use in case studies. She’s also made dozens of valuable of industry contacts and has been recommended on Twitter by some of the most respected names in the business.

Mequoda on LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a best practice social network for B2B professionals.  It is geared more for professional networking, where you can create new business opportunities, support and productive contacts, all on a global scale.

We use LinkedIn to network with others in our industry, create content partnerships and find ways to mutually benefit from other publishers. We are actively engaged in LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Answers.

Mequoda on Niche Social Networks: Amanda is currently an active member of dozens of niche social networks for publishers. She engages these communities by contributing content, letting members know about our new free reports when they’re published, and by soliciting story ideas. Our audience on social networks has suggested many of the article topics you can find on our blog.

Are you ready to integrate social media into your online business strategy?

Join us in October at the Mequoda Summit Boston 2009 to learn how social media fits into your online business model. Not every social network is appropriate for every audience.

In our Social Media Marketing session at the Mequoda Summit, we’ll show you how to choose social networks in your niche, and how to manage your online reputation.

We’ll also showcase several publishers who are successfully mastering social media and using it to drive traffic, build email circulation, and sell more products.

Learn more about the Mequoda Summit Boston 2009…

By Michelle L. Rodriguez

As Mequoda's Research Editor, Michelle authors articles and columns for Mequoda Daily. Her column series "Blogging for Profit" includes profiles of successful bloggers and highlights their reasons for blogging and how it generates revenue. This series of interviews has culminated with a special report titled Blogging for Profit.

Michelle is also researching books written in the last five years referencing online publishing strategy, landing page templates, social media strategy, internet marketing, etc. The goal is to impart tidbits of insight from each author's ideas.

Prior to joining Mequoda Group, Michelle owned Another 9 Months, a resale maternity clothing store in Sacramento, CA. After implementing tips from the Mequoda Daily Newsletter, business improved. As a small business owner, she quickly realized the importance of developing a good internet marketing strategy. Starting with designing an appealing and user friendly website. In particular, her business benefited from Mequoda's numerous SEO and landing page layout suggestions. Internet referrals went from 25% to 40% in less than one year. After generating a regular email newsletter campaign, which included pregnancy tips, sales promotions, new business affiliates and printable coupons, there was a 20% increase in customer referrals. Also, customers were shopping more frequently. After having a baby in 2008, Michelle decided to sell Another 9 Months and work from home.

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