Beth used Facebook to ask for our time saving tips for professional and organisational social networking. She asked specifically about tools etc to help work across mutliple sites (something which I can’t answer) but I can offer some basics, and getting the basics right will save wasted time:
1 Guiding principle number one is to make sure your work and what you do on the network are compatible. Don’t go chasing audience for the sake of numbers if that takes you away from your core purpose. Doing so will just increase the number of people you might bore or irritate and waste effort.
2 Guiding principle number 2 is that social networks are fundamentally about people relating to people – not people to organisations. So be yourself. If you are bad tempered, arrogant, rude and ignorant, then please ask someone else to do your online social networking- and don’t give me that look either.
3 Don’t play the games or the just for fun stuff – cos it eats your life, clutters up your profile and gives a mixed impression. (This does not apply to scrabulous, or ……)
4 Use pictures where ever possible. Include people’s faces, names and link to them.
5 Groups or fan groups on Facebook are good because they allow your network to bring new names and faces into your orbit. Before you set them up have a plan of action for communications or invitations to act over, say, 3 months. Don’t make the demands too onerous or frequent – make them entirely relevant. Between invitations to act add links etc to keep the group ticking over.
6 Add links to other people’s work. You just need to to make a brief comment. It is quick and shows your breadth of interests. It is also generous – and generosity oils social networks. Indeed, generous networkers will hat-tip facebook notes etc.
7 One thing I don’t do – but think I should – is have a monthly stock take of online profiles etc. I should set aside half a day when I do my accounts, order stationery, update profiles and clean out apps and groups I don’t use any more. So plan an online-offline house keeping session.
8 If someone called Beth Kanter invites you to collaborate online – do it.
Interestingly Beth cites Amy Graham who talks about how she uses her feedreader to keep track of herself on online social networks. I’m already finding myself slipping behind – which is not the point. Better respond to David next re netsquaredUK.