I'm definitely making progress on adopting Web 2.0. Slow, but moving forward.
I've chosen LinkedIn, Plaxo and Facebook as my social networks. I use all three because their purposes and applications are different -- and certain groups of my contacts tend to use only one or two of the three. Most of my business contacts use LinkedIn, many traditional network marketing folks use Plaxo (it's been around for a while and started as an online contact management system) and Facebook tends to be used by friends as well as non-traditional business people and entrepreneurs. I use the word "tend" because there are exceptions to all. For example, I have a few contacts that I thought for sure would be on LinkedIn but they're on Facebook instead. Go figure.
I use Twitter for micro-blogging, and added a list of my most recent tweets to my blog. Also use Ping.fm to help me with status updates so I can type it in once not thrice. My blog is registered with Technorati, BlogCatalog and the local RVABlogs, and I've figured out how to ping those sites when I have a new post -- still working on making all the pings automatic, though. And of course, my Blackberry helps me manage the posts and notification emails -- still working on updating my mobile applications -- apparently I need an app called Twitterberry.
Being on the social networks and writing my own blog helps me to much more fully understand the idea that email will be used in a more limited fashion. Connecting with people -- for individuals and businesses -- doesn't happen as much in email. Interaction, and lots of it, takes place on the SN's and Twitter, even for businesses like Starbucks and news magazines. But not everyone is up-to-speed on all this yet -- not even as far a long as I am and I feel pretty behind the times compared to many -- so email will be used for quite some time. Especially for outbound email to your social network contacts, using online software programs such as Emma, Vertical Response or Constant Contact. Customer Relationship Management or CRM as we marketers refer to definitely just got a complete makeover.
I admit I didn't "get" Twitter at first but once I started following some cool people with cool things to say in one or two lines of copy, I realized how fast I could keep abreast of new technology, social networking, relevant links, blogcasts, and news. I can keep up with people that I may never have a chance to meet, like Lance Armstrong or Steve Jobs. And a quick glance at the tweets and that's all that's necessary. My blog is now linked to my social networks so the latest posts appear on my LinkedIn profile, Plaxo and Facebook. Rather than always trying to get people to my blog, there are more ways to bring my blog to them.
LinkedIn has added several new applications which make that social network more robust and interesting although I think they will have to smooth some things out a bit. I added the Amazon read list to my LI profile but what I don't like about it and is different than the widget that appears on my blog is that it doesn't get hooked into Amazon's affiliate marketing program. So I may drop the LI application for that purpose as I seem to be loading in my favorite read list twice. So the only benefit is keeping my name out there because every time I add a book to my LI Amazon read list, it generates that notice for my connections.
LinkedIn also added TripIt so that when I plan a trip to Denver, I can see all the people who live or will be in Denver when I visit there which certainly helps to plan for an effective trip. Great application for sales professionals or to meet up with colleagues at association conferences. I also added Bloglink to my LI profile which not only incorporates my blog for others to see on my profile, but lists all the blogs of my connections for me to see. Because I have so many connections, though, the latter takes forever to load and seems to defeat the purpose. Again, I think LI has to smooth out this app to make it beneficial and helpful.
As for blogs... someone mentioned to me recently that she heard a brand marketing speaker say that blogs are dead. That speaker is short-sighted, in my opinion. While I do agree that you can use social networks and micro-blogging to gain awareness and brand recognition, clients still want to know how you think and what your perspective is on certain issues so that they can choose to identify, agree, disagree, contrast, etc. You have to do things to put the Law of Attraction to work -- know what I mean?!
In addition, if you're interested in earning residual / passive income by using Google ads on your website or blog, you won't get any traffic nor ad clicks if you don't continue to post relevant blog content. Lastly, as I mentioned in a previous post, blogging forces the author to write content in short blurbs (well, long in my case) that can then be used later for online articles, ebooks and books -- all things that can earn the author some online cash. So if you have goals to earn money while you sleep, then blogging is still the way to do that.
While I've come a long way in adopting Web 2.0, I still have many other goals to meet. But I've got a good foundation and platform set for future branding and marketing. And that's worth a lot.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
My Web 2.0 status: Social networking, blogging and more