Connect the Social Networking Dots

Anyone with a Twitter account is a social networking ninja! Well, so it seems. Even Guy Kawasaki cringes at that! Of course, he is actually a social networking guru. However, simple practices can make big differences. I see many eLearning webinars on how to leverage your social efforts and drive more traffic.

In reality, it comes down to content. Just like in eLearning material. Good content shines, regardless of it’s packaging. I use the example of Plato drawing in sand to teach profound things. These things became timeless because of their value and pertinence to others. The same with your eLearning. If it helps someone do their job better and/or have a better quality of life, then you have done well.

Certainly, very poor execution of delivering your content can have a terrible affect. But I find that we often focus so heavily on the technology, that we sometimes place the content second. I see LinkedIn questions that make me shudder on this topic.

The same holds true with social networking. There are some things you can do, like connect your blog to LinkedIn and Facebook, connect Twitter to those two as well. Use a Flickr image in every blog post (my preference because Flickr is growing faster than Photobucket and since Yahoo owns it, it helps with SEO as does Photobucket).

None of these things are rocket science and blogs such as will help you select what is best for your particular goals.

As you likely know, I set up the accounts and wired them together for the former iliveisl Second Life estate. Now that has changed focus from Second Life to OpenSim hosts Reaction Grid. Much trial and error went into finding the right places to help broaden the reach of iliveisl. From CafePress to t-shirt affiliates to Facebook to Ning and so on. In the end, what worked for us, was a blog, flickr, and Twitter.

And the important thing? Content.

In the two years of blogging for the iliveisl estate, very few posts ever pushed land sales. Topics are predominantly the ramblings of an everyday avatar (and there are also 3 other authors, including me, who added a different perspective on more technical topics). The same for the iliveisl Twitter – casual conversations.

Many people think of Twitter as a sales tool and push their branding message like mad. Even Coca Cola has had poor Twitter results because of this. Granted, Dell has done very well, but they pass on very real savings via Twitter, not just hype about their product.

If you have good content that your audience enjoys, you will grow your influence. So try out this and that, give it time – if you are starting a Facebook fan page, be attentive to it, deliver useful information, and wait. It takes longer than you think to see results. At least in our case it did.  Six solid months of blogging an average of 10 times a week yielded solid results for iliveisl.

Here are the results of that effort. Keep in mind that iliveisl is predominantly one person and a shoestring budget versus a 300 person company with a million customers (Second Life) and I added Reaction Grid in there because we want to see it grow and will do our small part to aid that.