How To Win Friends And Influence People In Social News Networks

How To Win Friends And Influence People In Social News Networks

Aug. 14, 2007 at 7:23am Eastern by Chris Winfield

still wondering why you submit an article on Digg or Reddit and it goes
nowhere? The key, as with most things in life, is who you know. But as
with links, clients or affiliates: you want quality over quantity. You
want people who are active and have strong profiles. So how do you go
about building your network? Here are eleven ways to get started. Please note this post assumes you have a basic understanding of how to use sites such as Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon and Netscape.

Profiles = information. For example on Digg, click on a user’s name and then click on their Profile link (ex: top Digger Zaibatsu).
On Digg people have the option of giving some pretty important
information: their real name, where they are from, their website URL
and also their instant messenger client and ID. If you met someone at a
networking event wouldn’t it be easier to connect with them if you had
all of that information already?

Use internal messaging systems. Both Netscape and Reddit have
internal messaging systems where you can send messages to other users.
Think of it like a link request, only something really good is going to get through and be noticed. Many users are over loaded by messages in these systems – so don’t abuse this.

Get them to notice you. Most people hate unsolicited contacts
so it’s best to get users to notice you before just contacting them out
of the blue. Most users look closely at who is voting for their stories
on a regular basis. For example on Digg, you can use this tool
to see who is voting for anyone else on a consistent basis. Once you
feel you have "put in your time" then its time to make contact. Joe
Schmoe is contacting you" means a lot less than "Joe Schmoe the guy who
submits relevant stories that you have found interesting and seen on
the homepage numerous times is trying to contact you."

Talk to them on IM. Instant messenger is one of the biggest
weapons in your social media marketing toolbox. Register your user name
on all of the major IM networks (AIM, YIM, GTalk) and then use a
program like Trillian to
help manage all of them. Once you have made contact with someone the
chance of them voting on your submissions increases exponentially. The
reason? You now are more than just some weird icon.

Be a real person. "Can you please
Digg/Netscape/Reddit/Stumble this link?" Those should definitely not be
the first words you type when you are trying to win friends. Spend five
minutes and get to know a little bit about them or at least discuss
what you have in common (the social network). Talk about an article
that they submitted that you found interesting, discuss any major
recent happenings in the social network you are on.

Hang out where they are (online). Most active social
networkers are in multiple places online. You’ll find them in the usual
places like Facebook or MySpace but another great place is the
microblogging sites such as Twitter. If you are focusing on building up
your Digg account, check out Pownce, Digg co-founder Kevin Rose is one
of the guys behind it so it naturally attracts lots of diggers. Many
people use their same account name and even icon on these networks so
it’s easy to find them. Remember clubbing when you would wind up seeing
the same people at the same hotspots? It’s like that.

Hang out where they are (offline). The next time you are at a
search marketing conference and are talking to someone – ask them what
social networks they are on. It’s a quick way to build a stronger
relationship with the person and to also strengthen your accounts. Or
use a site like Meetup to find people with like interests, like this group in Maryland or this one in New York City.

Submit their stories and promote them. A great way to build
contacts is to submit people’s stories and help them to hit the front
page. I only recommend doing this if their content is good and it will
also help you. If so – once it happens, let them know.

Network with colleagues. Go through your network listing on
LinkedIn or your Outlook contacts and email a few to find out if they
use social networks. Sometimes it’s really just that simple.
Joejimbob123 on Digg might actually wind up being Joe that nice guy
from SMX that you met.

Empower your friends and family. Sometimes this will require
going to their house and setting everything up for them (along with a
brief tutorial) but friends and family members can be an excellent
resource. A lot of my friends surf the net all day long at their jobs,
they were more then willing to setup a few extra accounts. By doing
this you also introduce them to places where they can find content
that’s always new, and they just might thank you for it.

Recruit remote employees. Voting from the same IP addresses
is big no-no for the major social networks (hint: on most of the small
ones it doesn’t really matter). Do you have employees or contract
workers in remote locations? If so, have them create accounts on the
networks you are on, they can keep it simple and use the same user name
& picture on each. Have them spend a few minutes each day
participating (voting on a few stories) and building up a natural
account. Then when you need a vote, they are there.

With everything above, one of the most important things to remember
is that you want to be a good member of the community. For anyone who
you encourage to setup an account (whether it be a friend, employee or
colleague) make sure they are participating at least a little bit and
not just voting on your submissions.

Follow these tips and you will be on your way to more friends and much more influence in the major social news networks.

Leave a Reply