The Truth About Profiting From Social Networking (Book Excerpt)
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The Truth About Profiting From Social Networking (Book Excerpt) by Patrice-Anne-Rutledge...

The Truth About Profiting From Social Networking (Book Excerpt) by Patrice-Anne-Rutledge

Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, & beyond: “social network” your way to success, step by step!

• The truth about using social networks to supercharge your career

• The truth about building your business through social networks

• The truth about social networking privacy, safety, and security

This book reveals 50 Proven Social Networking Principles and bite-size, easy-to-use techniques that work



Social networking is one of today's hot topics, and its popularity is predicted to grow over the next decade. An integral part of the Web 2.0 strategy of online collaboration, social networks are enabling millions of people to make the most of online connections and social networking strategies.

Link to Live interview with Patrice-Anne Rutledge (June 4, 2009): http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Jon-Hansen/2009/06/04/The-Psychology-of-Social-Networking

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  • 1. Praise for The Truth About Profiting from Social Networking “Smart business people are using social networking to support their marketing and overall business strategies. But it is hard to do it right without understanding both social networks and the community norms you’ll find there. Rutledge’s book not only gives smart advice on how to navigate those waters, but does so with examples that are easy to understand and translate for use in your business.” Jason Falls, Social Media Explorer Blog “This book could help your business make money and sales using social networking. From using MySpace and Facebook to using an internal social networking system, it covers it all.” Linda Roeder, Social Networking Weblog, and Personal Web Pages Guide, About.com “Social media takes community effort. As such, networking is of utmost importance on social networking sites. To become a successful contributor, you need to be a team player. Don’t be afraid to reach out to anyone, big or small. Making that connection and maintaining that connection is critical; everything else will fall into place from there. Rutledge uncovers all the necessary skills to use these tools in this easy-to-understand book.” Tamar Weinberg, Techipedia “Using online social networks for business and professional advancement requires more than just understanding the technology. Social networks are all about human interaction. This book provides numerous examples, ample advice, and easy-to- follow guidelines for those looking to navigate the previously uncharted waters of technology-enabled social networking.” Amanda G. Watlington, Ph.D., A.P.R., Owner, Searching for Profit “With The Truth About Profiting from Social Networking, Rutledge provides deep insights into social networking and how to profit from its proper usage, both financially and in your career.” Allen Stern, Editor, Center Networks “There is a right way and a wrong way to use social networks. Rutledge uncovers these truths and makes understanding the difference between them clear so you can achieve success and avoid failure.” Jason Bean, Blogger, b5media
  • 2. THE TRUTH ABOUT PROFITING FROM SOCIAL NETWORKING Patrice-Anne Rutledge
  • 3. © 2008 by Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as FT Press Associate Publisher Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 Greg Wiegand Acquisitions Editor FT Press offers excellent discounts on this book Michelle Newcomb when ordered in quantity for bulk purchases or Development Editor special sales. For more information, please contact Laura Norman U.S. Corporate and Government Sales, 1-800-382- Operations Manager 3419, corpsales@pearsontechgroup.com. For sales Gina Kanouse outside the U.S., please contact International Sales at Cover and Interior international@pearsoned.com. Designs Stuart Jackman, Company and product names mentioned herein are Dorling Kindersley the trademarks or registered trademarks of their Managing Editor respective owners. Kristy Hart Senior Project Editor All rights reserved. No part of this book may be Lori Lyons reproduced, in any form or by any means, without Publishing Coordinator permission in writing from the publisher. Cindy Teeters Publicist Printed in the United States of America Lisa Jacobson Brown First Printing: May 2008 Copy Editor Karen Gill ISBN-10: 0-78-973788-4 Design Manager ISBN-13: 978-0-78-973788-5 Sandra Schroeder Senior Compositor Pearson Education LTD. Gloria Schurick Pearson Education Australia PTY, Limited. Proofreader Pearson Education Singapore, Pte. Ltd. San Dee Phillips Pearson Education North Asia, Ltd. Manufacturing Buyer Pearson Education Canada, Ltd. Dan Uhrig Pearson Educatión de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. Pearson Education—Japan Pearson Education Malaysia, Pte. Ltd. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Rutledge, Patrice-Anne. The truth about profiting from social networking / Patrice-Anne Rutledge. -- 1st printing. p. cm. ISBN 0-7897-3788-4 (pbk. : alk. paper) 1. Online social networks--Economic aspects. 2. Social networks--Computer network resources. 3. Information society--Economic aspects. I. Title. HM742.R88 2008 303.48’33--dc22 2008011517
  • 4. CON T E N TS Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi Part I The Truth About the Social Networking Phenomenon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 TRUTH 1 Social networking is a lot more than MySpace and YouTube . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 TRUTH 2 Forget everything you think you know about social networking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 TRUTH 3 The traffic stampede: numbers don’t lie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 TRUTH 4 With social networking, change is the only constant . . . . . . . . 15 Part II The Truth About the Most Popular Social Networking Sites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 TRUTH 5 MySpace isn’t just for teenagers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 TRUTH 6 LinkedIn is the place for business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 TRUTH 7 YouTube is for profit, not just play . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 TRUTH 8 Facebook extends beyond the collegiate crowd . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Part III The Truth About Finding a Job Through Social Networking. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 TRUTH 9 Forget the old rules of the job search . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 TRUTH 10 Throw away your traditional resume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 TRUTH 11 If you want to get hired, go where people are hiring . . . . . . . . 43 TRUTH 12 Recruiters really do want to find you . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 TRUTH 13 It’s who you know that counts…most of the time . . . . . . . . . . . 51 TRUTH 14 Following up outside your virtual community is key. . . . . . . . . 55 Part IV The Truth About Recruiting the Best Candidates Through Social Networking . . . . . . . . . .59 TRUTH 15 The world of recruiting has changed forever . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 TRUTH 16 The best candidates are often the ones who aren’t looking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 TRUTH 17 Be your own detective: finding candidates’ secrets is easier than ever . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 TRUTH 18 LinkedIn is the recruiter’s favorite social networking tool . . . . 71 Part V The Truth About Networking Your Way to Business Success . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .75 TRUTH 19 A social networking marketing plan is not a traditional marketing plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 TRUTH 20 The right kind of “socializing” can lead to big profits . . . . . . . 79 TRUTH 21 Reaching key decision makers requires trust . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 vii
  • 5. Part VI The Truth About Launching a Product or Service Through Social Networking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .87 TRUTH 22 The $2.2 billion tip: advertising where the crowds gather pays off . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 TRUTH 23 If you don’t “get” social networking, your campaign won’t work. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 TRUTH 24 Marketing to the MySpace generation is different . . . . . . . . . . 95 TRUTH 25 Making them hungry makes them buy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 TRUTH 26 Viral videos are for business, not just fun. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 Part VII The Truth About Corporate Social Networks . . . . 107 TRUTH 27 Corporate social networking has arrived . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107 TRUTH 28 You need to embrace the virtual water cooler . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 TRUTH 29 You can get something for nothing: free, open-source social networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 Part VIII The Truth About Social Networking for Social Causes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 TRUTH 30 Social networking is changing the world of online fundraising . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 TRUTH 31 Networking for good makes good sense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123 TRUTH 32 Get social, get elected . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127 Part IX The Truth About Social Networking Success. . . . . 131 TRUTH 33 Online networking is still networking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131 TRUTH 34 Quality counts: more isn’t always merrier. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135 TRUTH 35 Online branding: your profile is how the world sees you . . . . 139 TRUTH 36 Learning from the masters can make you a master social networker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143 TRUTH 37 Six degrees of separation is more than just the name of a movie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147 TRUTH 38 Social networking doesn’t happen in a vacuum . . . . . . . . . . 151 Part X The Truth About Making Connections That Count . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155 TRUTH 39 Connect and reconnect: develop a network that works for you . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155 TRUTH 40 You can never have too many friends…or can you? . . . . . . . . 159 TRUTH 41 You can connect with the rich and famous . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163 TRUTH 42 You’ve got mail…but you shouldn’t always answer it . . . . . . 167 Part XI The Truth About Social Networking Privacy and Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 171 TRUTH 43 Social networking makes your past an open book. . . . . . . . . 171 TRUTH 44 You never know who is reading your profile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175 TRUTH 45 Knowledge is the key to safeguarding your privacy online . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179 viii
  • 6. Part XII The Truth About the Future of Social Networking. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183 TRUTH 46 Social networking will expand exponentially in the next decade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183 CON T E N TS TRUTH 47 Social networking is going mobile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187 TRUTH 48 Not all social networking occurs on social networking sites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191 TRUTH 49 Creating your own social network is easier than you think. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195 TRUTH 50 You don’t have to follow the trends just because they’re there . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203 About the Author . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207 ix
  • 7. Introduction Social networking is just one component of what’s called INT R ODU C T ION Web 2.0, the next generation of websites and services that emphasize collaboration and connectivity. Although the experts continue to debate the exact definition of Web 2.0, one thing is certain: Social networking sites, blogs, and wikis are connecting the online world like never before. Web 2.0 has changed the way the world connects and communicates, and the evolution is continuing. Social networking has generated a lot of buzz, media coverage, and conversation in the past few years. In spite of all this attention, however, many misconceptions remain. Social networking isn’t just for the young. It now reaches a large, mainstream audience. Many popular sites report than half their visitors are over age 35. It isn’t just for fun or pure socializing, either. Companies, organizations, and individuals around the world are profiting from their participation on popular social networks such as MySpace, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Social networking also isn’t just for the tech-savvy. Strategy counts far more than technical skill in developing a successful social networking campaign. In this book, you learn 50 “truths” about real-world social networking and how you, too, can profit from your social networking experience. This book is written for anyone who wants to tap the power of social networking for professional reasons. Marketers, publicists, small business owners, independent professionals, job seekers, fundraisers, and activists all can find ways to profit from strategic social networking. It’s a viable business tool that opens up new ways to connect with others who can help you achieve your business goals. The goal of this book is to provide you with a solid foundation on the basics of social networking, give you some insight into future trends, and encourage you to think strategically about the best ways you can leverage the power of social networking to enhance your business, your cause, and your life. xi
  • 8. PART I: THE TRUTH ABOUT THE SOCIAL NETWORKING PHENOMENON 1 TRUTH Social networking is a lot more than MySpace and YouTube 1
  • 9. Just what is social networking? Ask three people, and you’ll get three different answers. Although most people have a general idea of the basic concept, social networking means different things to different people depending on their background, interests, goals, and level of computer savvy. MySpace (www.myspace.com) and YouTube (www.youtube.com) Just what is social are two of the most popular sites networking? Ask on the web. For many people, these three people, and two sites satisfy all their social networking needs. But the world you’ll get three of social networking is much larger different answers. than its two highest profile sites. Business networkers could determine social networking isn’t right for them after visiting MySpace and YouTube if they didn’t also check out the many business-oriented sites that could offer them much greater benefits. In other words, the world of social networking is wide and diverse. Although early adopters of social networking skew to the young, the trend has now moved into the mainstream with sites for all ages, backgrounds, and interests. There’s something for everyone, but you need to know where to find it. A quick tour of the world of social networking gives you an idea of the vast differences between these sites as well as the possibilities for how social networking could benefit you. Some of the best-known and most-visited social networking sites include Bebo (www.bebo.com)—Bebo reports more than 25 million members and is particularly popular in the UK. Bebo Bands and Bebo Authors draw musicians and writers looking to connect with their audience. Ecademy (www.ecademy.com)—A business networking site with 150,000 members, Ecademy offers numerous networking groups based on your interests. It also offers in-person networking events, primarily in the UK. 2
  • 10. TRUTH Facebook (www.facebook.com)—Starting as a community for Harvard students, Facebook opened its doors to anyone with an 1 email address in September 2006 and increased its membership SOC IAL N E T WOR KIN G IS A LOT M OR E THAN MYSPACE AND YO UTUBE by 89 percent in less than a year. Friendster (www.friendster.com)—Friendster has a member base of 50 million users worldwide and is particularly popular in the Asia Pacific region. hi5 (www.hi5.com)—With more than 60 million registered members and 25 million unique visitors per month, hi5 aims for an international audience with a localized interface available in multiple languages. LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com)—The largest and most popular of the business networking sites, LinkedIn offers profiles of more than 19 million professionals and is particularly popular with recruiters…and those who want to capture their attention. MySpace (www.myspace.com)—Arguably the most popular social networking site on the web, MySpace is expanding from a youth-dominated demographic to encompass members of all ages. Although poor site design and numerous less-than- professional MySpace pages can be a detractor, MySpace is still a great networking tool for the right people (think musical artists, marketers aiming for a general audience, authors of mainstream novels, and so forth). Orkut (www.orkut.com)—Google may have founded Orkut, but that hasn’t translated into worldwide popularity. Its most significant user base is in Brazil and India, where it captures a high market share. Ryze (www.ryze.com)—Another business-oriented social site, Ryze has more than 500,000 members and offers a number of special interest networks. XING (www.xing.com)—An active business-oriented social networking site that is particularly popular in Europe. XING was renamed from openBC/Open Business Club in November 2006. YouTube (www.youtube.com)—The world’s most popular video- sharing site. 3
  • 11. Want even more options? Niche social networking is a hot trend, with microsites sprouting up for almost every conceivable niche audience. Some examples include aSmallWorld (www.asmallworld.net)—By invitation only, for celebrities and the business elite BlackPlanet.com (www.blackplanet.com)—Emphasizing connections between African Americans 85 Broads (https://secure.85broads.com)—For career women who attended a select list of leading universities CafeMom (www.cafemom.com)—A networking site for mothers Dogster (www.dogster.com)—For dog lovers everywhere Gaia (www.gaia.com/community)—For the socially conscious crowd GLEE.com (www.glee.com)—For the gay and lesbian community MilitaryPlanet (www.militaryplanet.com)—For members of the military New England Venture Network (www.venturenetwork.vc)— Social networking for venture capitalists Ning (www.ning.com)—For do-it-yourselfers who want to create their own social network Shelfari (www.shelfari.com)—A site for book lovers and authors ShoutLife (www.shoutlife.com)—A Christian social network Ultrafan (www.ultrafan.com)—For sports fans Although these “person-to-person” sites represent the most common type of social networking, other sites also fall under the realm of the somewhat fuzzy definition of social networking. 4
  • 12. TRUTH These include 1 Photo-sharing sites—Flickr (www.flickr.com), Zooomr (www. SOC IAL N E T WOR KIN G IS A LOT M OR E THAN MYSPACE AND YO UTUBE zooomr.com), and Photobucket (www.photobucket.com). Social bookmarking sites— Digg (www.digg.com), del.icio.us (http://del.icio.us), and StumbleUpon (www.stumbleupon.com), which enable you to share your favorite sites and news stories with other users. Micro-blogging sites—Twitter (www.twitter.com), Pownce (www. pownce.com), and Jaiku (www.jaiku.com), which merge brief blog-like text updates with social networking functionality. Video-sharing sites—Revver (www.revver.com), Veoh (www. veoh.com), and Google Video (video.google.com), as well as the frontrunner YouTube. Savvy social networkers have found ways to promote their businesses, products, and causes—and even themselves—on the variety of social networking sites available on the web. 5
  • 13. 20 TRUTH The right kind of “socializing” can lead to big profits 79
  • 14. The huge traffic that social networking sites generate makes many marketers see equally huge dollar signs. To be sure, any site that draws in hundreds of millions of visitors on a regular basis has the potential to bring big profits to savvy marketers. The key is understanding the right way—and the wrong way—to make “socializing for profit” a viable business model. There are two main ways to use social networking as a business development tool. First is the advertising and sponsorship model. For certain businesses, this can be a good way to generate awareness and drive traffic to their site. Advertising on the major sites can work well if the goal is to attract Any site that draws a large, general audience. If the in hundreds of target is a niche audience, such as millions of visitors dog owners or moms, advertising on relevant niche sites can be on a regular basis even more lucrative. There are has the potential some downsides to this approach, to bring big profits including competition, expense, to savvy marketers. and the inundation of this type of advertising that has resulted in visitors conditioning themselves to ignore website ads. The campaign must be compelling enough to stand out from the rest. The other way to use social networking as a business development tool is the active participation model. In this model, investment is in time rather than money. By creating a solid presence on a social networking site, you can engage with potential customers and develop brand loyalty. The main downside to this approach is that it takes time to develop the kind of presence that creates a true relationship with your customers. It’s an ongoing effort as well, not something that you can do once and then ignore. When talking about a social networking marketing campaign, the second approach is what most people have in mind. Using a comparison to the traditional business world, social networking is more like public relations than direct sales. It’s what creates the buzz that makes people aware of your products and want to buy them. 80
  • 15. TRUTH If your goal is to make a lot of money through direct sales on social networking sites, think again. A presence on a social networking 20 site that comes across as a hard sell puts you at risk of alienating T HE R IGHT KIN D OF “SOC IALIZIN G” CAN LEAD TO BIG PROFI TS your audience and driving them away. On some sites, you may even violate their terms and agreements. Emphasize a low-key, relationship-building approach when using social networking for business purposes. That doesn’t mean that you can’t be strategic and focus on increased sales as one of your primary goals for participation. In fact, if you don’t have a solid plan, you’re unlikely to succeed. It just means Emphasize a low- that you need to understand the key, relationship- unwritten rules of social networking building approach and play by them to develop that when using social special connection with your audience that makes them buy. networking for For an example of what works and business purposes. what doesn’t, let’s look at one social networker’s experience in carrying out a social networking marketing campaign to increase the sale of his products. Andy is a fitness trainer who creates his own line of fitness DVDs. To compete with DVDs produced by larger companies with bigger budgets and better distribution, Andy decides to generate some good buzz and word-of-mouth marketing through social networking sites. To start, he creates a presence on MySpace. He uploads sample clips of his DVDs, highlights his qualifications as a fitness trainer, and reposts the heavily sales-oriented, call-to-action web copy that’s focused on driving sales on his own website. He also tries to befriend as many people as possible who share his interest in fitness. Unfortunately, he sees little impact on overall sales. He even receives a few messages from people who tell him to stop trying to sell them things. It’s time for a new approach. With a revised strategy in place that emphasizes building awareness and generating buzz, Andy reworks his MySpace presence. The new page offers a custom design geared to fitness enthusiasts as well as blog posts and other useful content of real interest to his target audience. With Andy’s new commitment to posting content on a more frequent basis and 81
  • 16. becoming a truly active participant, his audience begins to grow. Andy also develops an innovative contest with valuable prizes that encourages viral, word-of-mouth marketing and additional publicity. Within weeks of launching the revised site, sales are picking up. Andy then decides to create a similar campaign on a social networking site dedicated to fitness buffs. He also posts a number of video clips on YouTube. These videos include clips from his DVDs and a series of quick video fitness tips that become popular with the YouTube community. Andy soon becomes known as “the fitness guy” on YouTube. With his combined campaign on three targeted social networking sites, Andy’s sales—and his reputation as a fitness expert—continue to grow. By focusing on the right way to use social networking, you can definitely generate a profit. But you need to clearly understand the kind of “socializing” that really works with this medium. Social networking is about relationship building. It’s an online opportunity to develop a connection with your target audience, to generate the kind of buzz that makes people think of you first when they need a product like yours, and to convert casual visitors into loyal customers. 82
  • 17. Acknowledgments Special thanks to Michelle Newcomb, Laura Norman, Karen Gill, and Lori Lyons for their feedback, suggestions, and attention to detail, all ABOU T T HE AU THOR of which made this an even better book. About the Author Patrice-Anne Rutledge is a social media consultant, bestselling author, and Certified eMarketer (CeM). She specializes in teaching others to maximize the power of new technologies, such as social networking, blogging, podcasting, and social media, to promote their business, career, or social cause. Patrice is the author of 25 books on technology, business, and communications for leading publishers including Pearson, Macmillan, Prentice Hall, Random House, and Ziff-Davis Press. Her most recent books include Special Edition Using Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 and The Web-Savvy Writer: Book Promotion with a High-Tech Twist. Her books have received strong reviews and endorsements, several awards, and have been translated into 11 languages. Patrice has also contributed hundreds of articles to magazines, newspapers, and websites around the world including Interactive, Business Strategies, Microsoft Office Solutions, Dot-Com Builder, Small Business, Career Woman, InformIT, and ZDNet. In the corporate world, she has held senior communications management positions at leading technology firms including Oracle and PeopleSoft, where she led a team of 60 professional communicators around the world. Patrice is a member of the eMarketing Association and Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). She is active on several social networks—including LinkedIn, Facebook, XING, and Ning—which she credits with further developing her own career as well as increasing sales for her many books. She can be reached through her website at www.patricerutledge.com. 207