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Too Many Social Networking Websites, Too Little Time...

By: Brody Dorland at Allure New Media, LLC

Submitted on Mon, Apr 14th, 2008 12:10 pm

In the past few weeks, I’ve come across several new social networking sites that, upon an initial audit, seem to be high-quality, active sites that might generate some business for myself and others. So, I proceed to set up my professional profile for each site, entering my carefully crafted bio and company contact information.

Then I get to the common, but inimitable process of “inviting” others within my social network to join in the fun. Who should I invite? Oh look...this particular site allows me to invite all of my LinkedIn contacts in one click! Done deal.

You know how the rest of this story goes...the invites go out, a few of your friends and colleagues get signed up, yada, yada. But what do you do when your network starts showing signs of exhaustion (like below)?

Hey Brody,
I can't keep up with all these networking websites. My thought, whether right or wrong, is to be more targeted in belonging to groups and managing networking sites. Therefore, I don't plan to get involved with this one. Give me your thoughts if they differ.
Thanks, Dave

I understand Dave. There are certainly a lot of social networking websites out there and if you are among the many that haven’t yet experienced much tangible benefits from participation in these sites, getting yet another invitation to join another site can leave you feeling exhausted.

Some Participation Is Better Than None

Here’s the good news. You don’t have to be an active participant in these websites to get some benefit. Just taking 10 minutes to completely fill out your profile will help you achieve several important benefits, including:

1. Increasing Your Presence on the Internet – Marketing your company or yourself online makes you part of the World Wide (spider) Web. But how big is your portion of that web? That’s an important question because the bigger your portion, the more flies you’ll catch. Each new networking site that you join expands your presence, increasing the chance that a qualified prospect finds you and your company.

2. Branding Yourself Online – Let’s say you’re looking for a new financial advisor online and you come across an advisor (we’ll call him Marc) on LinkedIn that happens to be “linked” to one of your good friends. Marc’s professional profile is very well written. He has several professional certifications, hundreds of contacts, multiple client recommendations and links to financial articles and podcasts he’s developed. Are you going to contact your friend to ask about Marc? I would. Marc’s comprehensive profile has positioned him as an expert in his field and his prospects can learn about his products/services in a softer selling environment.

3. Growing Your Network – Most social networking websites are designed specifically to help people connect based on shared interests. Active members use all sorts of search topics to locate people for all sorts of reasons, like rekindling a friendship from a past life or searching for a service provider. By including a lot of detail in your profile (the schools you attended, your areas of expertise, etc.), you’ll see your network grow steadily as people find you and invite you to connect.

4. A More Personal Connection with Prospects – Many social networking websites also allow us to integrate personal interests, photos and blog posts within our profiles. You may find that a prospect has decided to do business with you not because of what company you work for or what you sell, but because of a common interest, like music or underwater basket weaving.

5. High Quality, High Quantity Website Traffic – Over the years of building websites for clients and analyzing their website traffic and visitor conversions, I’ve found that promoting your corporate website or blog on popular social networking websites brings very high quality traffic, and lots of it. Taking a quick glance at the Google Analytics stats for this website (, has consistently ranked as one of the top five referring websites and one of the top three in number of visitor conversions for the past six months. If there’s another out there, I want to know about it.

6. Search Engine Optimization / Building Backlinks – Search engines have always used the quantity and quality of backlinks, or how many high-quality websites link to your website, as part of their equation that determines your site’s rank. Thus, including a link to your website from these high-quality social networking websites is a simple, powerful search engine optimization tactic that will help each of the sites to which you link.

Don't Dismiss Opportunities

I hope this explanation helps you to understand that when someone invites you to join a new networking website, you don’t have to be an active participant in that new site to gain some benefit. Look at this new website as another high-quality internet marketing opportunity that, with an initial investment of 10 to 15 minutes to set up your professional profile, may be the new piece of your spider web that snags some big flies.

About the Author

Brody Dorland
Allure New Media, LLC
Since graduating from Kansas State University with a BA in Public Relations and a Minor in Marketing, Brody has worked on both the marketing-agency side and the corporate side creating integrated marketing programs for companies in a variety of industries (financial services, consulting, commercial real estate, water/wastewater, building products, automotive, food and information technology). As the president and creative director of Something Creative, Inc., Brody provides small and mid-sized businesses with high-quality, creative marketing services at very competitive rates. Something Creative's services include strategic planning, branding, graphic and web design, advertising campaign development, search engine optimization, internet marketing and copywriting.

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