Social Media – Are You Doing It Wrong?

March 18th, 2009 · 2 Comments

Networking Isn't Always Simple

Networking Isn’t Always Simple

Have you been wondering what all the fuss about social media is?  You’ve maybe registered for Digg, submitted one of your stories and nothing came of it.  Seems like a waste of time, well…yes and no.

Social Media Is About Community

I had read this time and again.  As I am wont to do before I so much as joined any of these sites, I read everything I could.  They all agreed on one thing, if you just go on to a social media site, submit your links and wait for the visitors to roll in you’re wasting your time.  This of course makes perfect sense, you have no reputation, so how can they even tell you from a spammer?  You’re not looking to add value to the community, so why would anyone take you seriously?  It all makes sense.

Unfortunately, There is a Corollary

Sadly, this isn’t the end of the story.  In my tale, I joined Digg, didn’t submit anything of my own for several weeks, made clever comments that were voted up on lots of threads, dugg interesting articles.  Then one day I submitted one of my own stories and of course…no one read it.  It’s not that people read my article and disregarded it, it’s that no one even bothered to read it.  Ultimately Digg was a huge disappointment.

Digg is Too Big

Getting into the Digg “elite” seems like a full time job.  However there are tons of smaller communities out there where you can make an impact immediately.  I just get a few of my friends to join one with me and then I submit my stuff there.  People actually read it because it’s a smaller community and it’s much easier to get on the front page.  This actually drives traffic and seems like a much better strategy.  Moreover, it’s easier to network with those people because the “elite” isn’t nearly as well defined so you can make friends and expand your circle, instead of just begging people to vote for you.

Ultimately getting on the front page of smaller sites doesn’t yield to as many readers as getting on the front page of Digg.  But I’ve gotten way more value out of contributing to those sites than I have with Digg.  Moreover, I tend to only bother with sites that are dofollow, so at the worst case I have a link to show for it, even if I get no traffic.  Plus the administrators of those sites are usually grateful for a worthwhile contributing member (and his or her friends), instead of imperious.  All in all it’s a win-win.

Photo by: ivanx

Categories: Applied Use · Main blog narrative

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