Often when I talk to people about building a network in (place name of online social network here) I am met with a blank expression or an astounded and confused “but how?”
The effectiveness of your social network marketing depends upon two things. The breadth and the depth of your connections.
Like all media marketing your aim is only as good as your reach. If you can shoot a bull’s eye at 400 yards it only matters if you have a whole quiver full of arrows. With just one it is nice, but not nearly as effective. So you need a large network in all your online marketing.
So How do you do that?
Well, the first thing you always want to do is add value. Make certain you are contributing helpful content. Then you can feel comfortable seeking out other users and adding them as your friends. If you go to digg and click “add friend” 100 times, you will get about 50 new mutual friends. If you interact with the community you will get about 50 new friends who add you.
Either way is fine, but remember you want to be contributing to the community, not leaching off of it like a parasite hoping only to drive traffic back toward yourself. Interact, contribute and add friends and you will develop a WIDER network.
Of course there is more than just breadth, you need to develop depth in your relationships.
Like all human relationships, your online relationships depend upon sincerity and honesty. This is a bit tricky for people because most of us are seen as clicks rather than humans. But the reality is that the person on the other end of the mouse is a human being with feelings and needs of their own.
If you interact with people – as people. Your network will grow. The most helpful relationships I have with others online are the ones where we have interacted more than a couple of shouts on digg, but have exchanged emails a few times and maybe even talked on the phone.
These people are often the most helpful in helping me achieve my goals, and likewise I will often do whatever I can to help them.
Achieving Breadth and Depth in your online relationships will greatly enhance your online network marketing and increase traffic to your website.
So to recap add value, add users, be helpful – and you will see your numbers go up!