This is a guest post from Lisa Illman
Creating a Social Network can be overwhelming and even feel daunting when starting at ground zero. But if you are trying to increase the traffic to your blog develop a brand, increase sales, or introduce a new product to the marketplace, building a powerhouse of a social network is exactly what you want. The return will far exceed the investment of time and hard work. Below are three social media channels and the steps to take that will help you accelerate your goals and quality network. It is assumed that you have a blog already in place. If you do not, you will want to get one added as these three channels will be driving Internet sales and / or traffic directly to your site.
Twitter is an obvious one that many companies and individuals have capitalized from. Twitter is your relationship-building outlet and should be treated as such. If you have not already created an account on Twitter, do so now, it is free. Be sure to include a photo of yourself or even your pet; something more intimate than an egg or a logo. Even though Twitter is a great place to advertise your business, it is the relationships with the customers that will build you a strong foundation. I launched my cat enclosure product on Twitter and sold the first 100 pieces. This was done through relationships I had made with other pet loving tweeps and tweeting links out to my website and blog that promoted my product. Using the hashtag (#) sign in the search bar with key words can help you find other like-minded tweeps to follow. In no time you will create a following of tweeps that are interested in you and your value. You are now ready for StumbleUpon.
Now that you have a good foundation on Twitter with like-minded people from your niche following you, it’s time to increase the volume to your blog. StumbleUpon is your volume medium. Presumably you are already posting articles and content to your blog. Open up a StumbleUpon account and connect it to your blog. Now you are ready to start posting your articles on SU. It is important to note that even though SU is your volume medium, you still want to remember the ‘social’ in social media and develop a friend network on SU. Run a search for people interested in your blog niche and create a friend following. Look up folks from your Twitter following and get connected with them on SU. For a more in depth discussion on how to develop SU, read “4 Social Tips to make you a Better Stumbler”. You can now use your following on StumbleUpon to start sharing posts from your blog. Let your friends know your toolbar is wide open for them to share to you as well, making sure you give a thumbs up to them and other Stumblers. Spend a little time Stumbling everyday, clicking through posts and giving thumbs up where applicable. Start to take notice of the types of shared articles that are being ‘liked’ by other Stumblers and gauge your shares with this feedback. StumbleUpon will bring you traffic you used to dream about. The amount of hits you get will depend on the work you put into using SU. What you put in is what you get out. Traffic from SU is often criticized for not being qualitative, but keep in mind the traffic will show up in your Google Analytics. The added traffic will help your SEO and get you on the map with ranking systems. In addition, if you are using SU with the social mindset, there will be plenty of people who bookmark your blog, favorite your posts and leave you comments. The overall picture of SU is a wonderful piece to your Powerhouse Social Network you are building.
Now that you are tweeting and stumbling regularly, the key-networking medium is ready to be injected at lightening speed. Triberr is an up and coming site for Bloggers to share all their wonderful blog content. If you are not on Triberr, you can sign up here. You have a wonderful following on Twitter at this point, so simply hashtag the word Triberr and run a search for the folks tweeting about their Tribes. Once in Triberr you will connect your Twitter account (s) and link your blog as well. Now all of your tribe mates’ posts will be tweeted by you and your posts will be tweeted by them. Your range of audience has just magnified immensely. Your reach more than doubled, your retweets are going gangbusters and you are meeting other Bloggers with similar goals. Just like Twitter and SU, being social within the site is very important. Hang out in the Bonfire section of Triberr, build your own Tribe, and provide guest posts. Before you know it, you will not only be driving even more traffic to your blog, you will have developed a blogging network that will rock your world. Best practices will be swapped, guest posts will be accepted, and tips and ideas will be discussed. You are now feeling the power of your social network.
Combining Twitter, StumbleUpon and Triberr together can accelerate your goals to developing a Social Network that entails relationships, traffic volume and networking. As each of these mediums grows, they will begin to morph into each other. The existence of each will become even more important than the day you started. According to Sitemeter, I had approximately 8k monthly pageviews in September of 2011. My number jumped to 130k in October 2011 from a video I posted on SU. Shortly after I joined Triberr and continued with all three mediums. My monthly page views are tracking between 20-50k a month. I am so thankful to the people who have the creativity and tenacity to build such wonderful Internet tools for the rest of us to embrace. These tools have enabled me to build a powerful social network and continue growing my business.
Lisa Illman is the Publisher of Kritters that Twitter, an online Social Media Blog for pets and the people who love them. She is also the Inventor of an outdoor cat enclosure product line, the Kritter Kondo and Founder of Kritter Kommunity. Two adorable cats, Madison and Abigail, own Lisa; they are her inspiration for her products and pet social media network.
Follow Lisa on Twitter @kritterkondo