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What Social Networking Sites Do You Use? How Do they Benefit Your Blog?

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I’ve noticed over the last month that the numbers of requests to connect (or become friends) on social networking sites has dramatically increased. Every morning when I go through my inbox I find I’m approving more and more of these requests from Facebook and LinkedIn and even when I head over to MySpace I’m finding more and more friend requests (those links are to my profile pages if you’d like to connect).

What interests me is that while Facebook is on an overall growth surge at the moment that LinkedIn is sending me just as many connection requests this month – if not more.

I’m interested to hear what social networking sites people use, how they use them and if they’ve seen any tangible benefits of doing so – particularly for their blogging.

I’ve had a few low level benefits of being involved but am yet to see many tangible results.

One technique that I’ve seen a few friends using on LinkedIn is asking their connections questions through the ‘answers’ feature. While most of the questions I see asked are fairly basic, I wonder if there is some scope there to draw people together in some way that might benefit the blog. I’m still thinking that one through.

Keen to hear the experiences of others.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Michelle says:

    This whole thing makes me feel dizzy and a tad overwhelmed. Perhaps a personal assistant in India can assist me?

  2. Claire says:

    The idea is to connect with “new” members on a social networking site. Leave them a “Hello” message with perhaps some useful information specific to them. Curiosity drives them to come visiting your site web or blog. Like everything else good content will bring them back. You then increase your clicks, build relationships, build readership, and get referrals. Sometimes even a friend or two. (It does require effort but you could pay someone to do it if you think worth investment)

    If you monitor your stats well you can see who’s been visiting and even write one or two post to satisfy their taste/needs.

    Most social networks allow you to see who’s visited your profile you can even target them. “Hi. See you visited my profile….blah, blah”

    Some however go even further and get people to contribute to external skype calls and web conferences to discuss issues. The result is a gathering of people who are happy because they have shared knowledge or had problem solved and great free content for the host which can then be used as blog/web/ebook material to promote themselves.

    But be warned people get fed up when they become net/social wise and recognize what you’ve been doing. However strangely they then often return and start doing same thing themselves.

    I’m not sure if I like it or dislike it. It’s a net strategy.

  3. Rebecca says:

    I use facebook and I love that it imports the blog, so my kids’ friends can read it if they want. Other than that, connecting with the kids that is, it’s kinda boring. Blogs are much more interesting.

  4. Billy Mac says:

    I don’t know that much about it…but I am a member of Stumble Upon and earlier this week I got a rash of traffic from there…I must of been on the front page of something…Technorati does pretty good by me also.

  5. Chris614 says:

    I’ve just started with Stumble Upon. I haven’t submitted any of my articles there yet, I’m trying to learn a little more about it before I jump right in.

    I’d be curious to hear from some of the people here who have reported significant traffic from Stumble Upon – what exactly did you do to get the traffic from SU?

    Thanks,

    Chris614

  6. Sheila says:

    I use mybloglog and blogcatalog. I get some traffic from them, but they aren’t blowing my socks off

  7. kasai says:

    i’ve been a member of myspace for about two years and of facebook for about one. but it wasn’t until a few months ago that i went ahead and utilized those social networking sites to promote my blog (themaniacsavant.blogspot.com). on facebook, i created a group dedicated to my site, inviting about 200 of my 300 or so friends there, yet reception was relatively mild.

    on myspace, however, i created an entirely new profile and took great care as to the layout and content of the page. brushing up on my html, i to spread the gospel, i checked out the friends lists of bands/mags/artists/other blogs and sent out friend requests (rather randomly i’ll admit). additionally, after adding, i make sure to send out comments (spam? haha) with witty quips and a link to posts that i’ve deemed my best so far.

    the response has been appreciably better than with my facebook efforts, and a rather significant number of my hits now derive from that myspace page.

    the blog’s myspace page can be seen here:
    myspace.com/iheartthemaniacsavant

  8. Al T. says:

    I use LinkedIn. I am a tech person and the site is geared towards professional people with a heavy emphasis on tech. To date, I have reconnected with a number of folks whom I had lost touched with. I am interested in networking and I use it to stay abreast of job opportunities or tap into advice that I can use on the job. I have also helped relatives and colleagues connect with folks in my network for job opportunities.
    I recommend it.

  9. Oliver says:

    Since I live in Germany I use Xing (formerly known as openBC) and studiVZ (a hugely popular german-based student social network, I almost think that over 50% of german students are signed up there, I even found some friends I haven’t seen in 10 years!). When I left Indonesia I left an online social network that was popular in Asian countries (I forgot the name). I’ve gotten invitations for several other networks, but I’m trying to focus on 2-3 maximum. Blogwise, none of them has given me any traffic, though and I don’t expect to, either. I mostly use social bookmarking sites for that.

    Germany is not on the blog wave yet. I don’t know if they will, that’s why I decided to do an english blog. But my niche is already a bit small (sustainability, environment, consumption) it will be that much harder to do it if it were in german. (Although I’d have a bigger market share, probably :-).)

  10. 60 in 3 says:

    I use linkedin. I’ve found them to be more stable and useful than the other social networks. I use them for my day job, but I also use them for my blog. I have frequently used their “questions” feature when I needed information.

    For example, when I first thought about starting a blog, I posted a question about which blogging software to use. I got multiple recommendations and eventually settled on WordPress. Since then I’ve asked about various plug ins, RSS feeds and a variety of other issues and have always been impressed by the information I get back.

    Gal

  11. Zach Everson says:

    I’ve had accounts with MySpace, Facebook, and LinkedIn for a while, but just updated my profile. While I haven’t been active in them long enough to reap web traffic, I’ve found Facebook to be the better of the three sites. MySpace looks trashy. LinkedIn appears good for professional contacts, but there’s not enough interaction.

  12. Mert Erkal says:

    I used Stumbleupon, Spicy and Facebook. They are more or less the same. I recently discovered Peopleized.com which is a new way of socializing. You make interview with others in Peopleized.com. After you finish the interview, you may easily copy/paste the interview to your blog or website. Very easy to use. You can use it for link exchange, too. You can make interviews with someone you are curious about. Ask them great questions, know each other better.

    I can clearly see Peopleized.com’s true potential. That’s why i am not spending my time with thousands of other old fashioned social network websites.

    If you are interested in Peopleized.com, please sign up and be prepared for my great interview questions. Please be patient, there are hundreds of interviews in my agenda. My nick is merkal2005 in Peopleized.com. Looking forward to make an interview with you…

  13. You dont think that is more important to build social networks the content,the culture and also the idiom that the technological instruments?.USA has only 260 millions inhabitants.The world 6.000 millions and 5.500.million dont speak english at all.This is the first barrier to a world internet network.

  14. LinkedIntelligence.com is a great site that had interesting and useful ideas of how to use social network sites such as LinkedIn.

    http://www.linkedintelligence.com/

  15. Elise says:

    I guess I tried MySpace because everyone else was using it, but I don’t really use it for any purpose other to find people I’ve fallen out of contact with. I’ve actually been trying to get some friends to from MySpace to try out Facebook to save them from the bad layouts, videos and music.

    I don’t think it’s fair to compare LinkedIn to Facebook or MySpace. LinkedIn is really intended for business purposes, while Facebook even though you can add schools and business, was intended more for social purposes.

  16. Nadav Gordon says:

    Diigo (www.diigo.com) is a decent networking tool that is packed full of features that make it highly advanced IMO compared to similar tools. It takes blogging, social bookmarks, discussion boards & web interaction to a new level. It’s still small compared to del.icio.us & StumbleUpon but deserves anyone’s attention.

    I’ve been using it for months and find it extremely helpful, especially with it’s powerful toolbar for Firefox. All my bookmarks are saved there, I see fellow boomarkers with similar interests and can start a discussion with them on the bookmarked page itself using highlights, notes, and posts. After all this, I can export all this data to my blog with almost a single click. I would say that’s quite useful.

  17. Steve Tylock says:

    I’d encourage you to think of LinkedIn as a professional networking site.

    It’s not a social site like facebook or myspace – you want to connect to your professional contacts that you have a relationship with, not just anybody that writes you wanting to be a friend…

    With strong connections, you can use it to find and get found – professionally.

    So – it will help you meet contacts and make deals, not necessarily add readers.

  18. Bob says:

    I just came across this article from Coding Horror – He writes:
    “I occasionally get requests to join private social networking sites, like LinkedIn or Facebook. I always politely decline. I understand the appeal of private social networking, and I mean no disrespect to the people who send invites. But it’s just not for me.

    I feel very strongly that we already have the world’s best public social networking tool right in front of us: it’s called the internet. Public services on the web, such as blogs, twitter, flickr, and so forth, are what we should invest our time in. And because it’s public, we can leverage the immense power of internet search to tie it all– and each other– together.”

    He goes on to talk about AOL had their “wall” around them. They weren’t open enough and the public didn’t grasp them.

    While Facebook is definitely large, I’ve had a hard time trying to figure out how to use it and reach people. I’ve seen greater success using the internet in ways that aren’t protected by “walls.”

  19. Bob says:

    I just came across this article from Coding Horror – He writes:
    “I occasionally get requests to join private social networking sites, like LinkedIn or Facebook. I always politely decline. I understand the appeal of private social networking, and I mean no disrespect to the people who send invites. But it’s just not for me.

    I feel very strongly that we already have the world’s best public social networking tool right in front of us: it’s called the internet. Public services on the web, such as blogs, twitter, flickr, and so forth, are what we should invest our time in. And because it’s public, we can leverage the immense power of internet search to tie it all– and each other– together.”

    http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000898.html

    He goes on to talk about AOL had their “wall” around them. They weren’t open enough and the public didn’t grasp them.

    While Facebook is definitely large, I’ve had a hard time trying to figure out how to use it and reach people. I’ve seen greater success using the internet in ways that aren’t protected by “walls.”

  20. Molly says:

    So far, I have found Technorati to send the most traffic, but from all I have been reading, I will be trying out Stumble Upon.

  21. Daniel says:

    I have been using http://www.highflya.com its a social networking site for professionals all over the world i find its features and the people benefit me as a professional. But also have a myspace account which i dont use that often.

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