How to find the utility of social networks – Neal Schaffer

How to find the utility of social networks – Neal Schaffer

AIR DATE: Wednesday, June 11th, 2014, 12:30pm ET
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This week we welcome Neal Schaffer to talk about how an established power-influencer can use Google+.

Neal is an established profile on social media, a recognized LinkedIn expert, author, speaker, consultant, you name it. So why bother with Google+? How can we use some of the networking techniques we employ on G+ over at LinkedIn? What about LinkedIn and its publishing platform? Lots of questions, let’s get them answered!

Special guest co-host for this week: Mike Allton!

What’s Google+ for you?

Every social network is different, but we probably have one preferred social network.

Neal got active in February 2008, where LinkedIn was the only real network to join if you were a professional. Neal dove in, became influential, wrote some books. But didn’t stop at LinkedIn because he didn’t want to be a one-trick pony.

While we were talking about different networks, Neal dropped one of the best nuggets ever on us:

How do you break down each of the social networks for your business?

Neal spends the most time on Twitter than any other social network, mostly because of the media coverage, but he has committed to spending time on each for different reasons.

But here’s a question to ask yourself, because social media doesn’t have to be about marketing all the time: What network is comprised of your trusted business advisors? Right now, G+ is doing that, like LinkedIn does and like Twitter before the noise. But as a result, it can be a scary place because you are really getting into deep, personal conversations with real people.

Do you try to get people to follow you on other networks?

It’s a best practice, for sure, but remember that each network has its own audience and reasons for people to use it. And people tend to follow you on a network for a reason that has more to do with them than with you.

Look at it this way, if you follow someone on Twitter, you want to see their tweets. Don’t send that person a DM that says to follow them on Facebook.

How about cross-pollinating? Neal brings up a great point here at around 10:45. Don’t evangelize social networks, share your wisdom wherever you can, and engage with the networks’ audiences where they are and appreciate them for being and audience on that platform.

Let’s talk about the LinkedIn Publisher platform.

In honor of Neal, guest co-host Mike Allton and Stephan both posted their first blog posts on the LinkedIn publisher platform this week.

Both of us have blogs that meet our business goals, so why add LinkedIn to the mix, especially when this is “rented space” (LinkedIn is not content we can control)? Look at it as if it were a guest blogging platform, that should help you decide what type of content to put there. Think about the audience they have (probably larger than that of your website), the benefit to having that idea or piece of content reaching that audience more organically than having to promote your blog.

So we have LinkedIn as a vibrant blogging platform, guest blogs, Google+, and your own website where you can expand on your wisdom and reach pretty unique audiences.

What hesitations do you see from other experienced social media personalities to start using Google+ more?

There’s a hesitation with the speed of social media changes to adopt something new, plain and simple. With any network, you have to dig in and be present in order to the get the advertised benefits. So if that benefit isn’t actual marketing on Google+, you could use it as a “trusted business advisor” community.

Big advice from Neal: to make an informed decision about anything, you need data. Which means, in order to make an informed decision about Google+, you need to be present for a long enough time to formulate an opinion. So dig in.

And the moral of today’s discussion: If you can’t find the ROI, find a utilitarian reason to be on the network.

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