01 Social Networking

social networking

Grassfrog's Quick Guide to Social Networking

Social networking sites are an excellent way to extend your market reach, and to help drive traffic to your main site. Even if you are not quite ready to embark on activities with all of these sites, creating your account and reserving your username (so no one else can have it) is a great place to start. Below is a summary of some of the most popular, and upcoming, social networks, and recommended strategies for participating in them.

social networking


Description: probably the largest of the social networks, Facebook boasts over 200 million users worldwide. Originally developed as a university networking application, facebook users can join a closed network if they are part of a university or large scale company (like IBM or Apple for example), or they can belong to a network based on geography, or even no network at all. Some users have a handful of friends they connect with on Facebook, others have hundreds, even thousands.
How to link people to your Facebook page: http://facebook.com/username_or_id/

Facebook Badges and "Like us on Facebook"

Widgets: you can add your Facebook Badge to your web site (as shown here), or you can add a "like me" or "recommend me" button on your site, which then posts a recommendation or like on that user's Facebook page. To get your Facebook Badge as shown to the left, go to www.facebook.com/badges to get your code. Users can also press the "Like" button on your Facebook page, which then posts that "Like" to their Facebook wall.

Recommended Strategy: Create your personal Facebook account, then create a company page for your company. Design the page to match your existing website. Make both searchable on the web (public to the search engines).

A word of caution: Facebook can be really fun, or Facebook can be really effective for your business. If you are using it for both, separate out what' viewable to the public from what's viewable to your friends and especially your game friends if you play any Facebook games. Remember that your facebook page can leave a lasting impression on your customers, so Pete's sake please refrain from posting anything controversial, offensive or unprofessional on your Facebook profile or status updates.

Find us on Facebook:

Here is the code to use to post a "Find us on Facebook" button on your website. You can use it with any image, just be sure that the image is in your /images/ directory of your website, and name the file findusonfacebook.jpg (or change the sample code).

<a href="https://www.facebook.com/YOUR_FACEBOOK_PAGE">
<img src="/images/findusonfacebook.jpg"></a>

Like us on Facebook:

Here is the code to use to post a "Like us on Facebook" widget on your website:

<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=YOUR_URL_HERE" 
scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="border:none; width:450px; height:80px">
social networking


Description: Professional Networking Site, touted as the world's largeset professional network.
Website Address:
How to link people to your LinkedIn page: i.e. http://linkedin.com/in/rdulay/
Recommended Strategy: Create your personal LinkedIn account and network there with business contacts, past employers/co-workers and clients who are willing to give you a recommendation. The more connections you have on LinkedIn, the farther your reach will extend if you want to be in touch with other users on LinkedIn. To build your reputation on this site, request and gather recommendations from your connections.
Widgets: Connect with me on LinkedIn
Alternate sites for business networking: Ryze

social networking


Description: Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest stories, ideas, opinions and news about what you find interesting. Twitter for Business: Twitter connects businesses to customers in real time, and businesses use Twitter to quickly share information with people interested in their products and services, gather real-time market intelligence and feedback, and build relationships with customers, partners and influencers.
Experience Twitter on your mobile device by using one of our free Twitter apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry and Windows 7. To get the latest apps, go to twitter.com/download on your mobile device.
Website Address: www.twitter.com
How to link people to your Twitter page: http://twitter.com/grassfrog/
Recommended Strategy: You may have both a business and a personal Twitter account - depending on how strongly your personal relationships overlap into your business, you may want to use one or both accounts for your business promotions.

Widgets: you can add a tweet me button to your web site, or you can add a "follow me on twitter" button or link on your site.

social networking


Description: Pinboards are visual collections of things you love
Website Address: www.pinterest.com
How to link people to your Pinterest page: http://pinterest.com/username/
Recommended Strategy: You can create multiple pinboards to display collections of photos - use these pinboards to display photos of particular interest (for example, home inspection horror stories, or ecology in action) or samples of your work. If you have large photos uploaded to your website, use the "Pin It" button to add the photo to your pinboard, thus referencing the original work and website it came from.

Widgets: You can add a "Pin It" button to your bookmarks bar. Once installed in your browser, the "Pin It" button lets you grab an image from any website and add it to one of your pinboards. When you pin from a website, we automatically grab the source link so we can credit the original creator.
One caveat... the PinIt bookmark cannot pin image from Facebook.

social networking


Description: Social entertainment networking destination powered by the passions of fans. Aimed at a Gen Y audience, Myspace drives social interaction by providing a highly personalized experience around entertainment and connecting people to the music, celebrities, TV, movies, and games that they love.
Website Address: http://www.myspace.com/username
Recommended Strategy: Unless you're in the entertainment or arts field, or marketing to the twenty-something crowd, this is probably not the optimimum venue for advertising your business. Recommended strategy for MySpace is to reserve your business name (so no one else can have it) and to create a personal page with links back to your business site and other social network pages (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn). If you want these links to be beneficial to you via search engines, be sure to set your MySpace profile to be publicly viewable.

social networking

Google Plus / Google Circles

Description: Google Plus and Google Circles are an extension of Google's core business which is search. While it's still early in the game, the basic wisdom where Google+ goes is this: "even if your audience isn't active there, it's almost mandatory to have a profile and be active there because of the way the Google is showing more Google+ content in its regular search results". (Source: Search Engine Land) As of this publication, Google+ has already hit 100 million members in the short time it's been out there, so yes, jump on the bandwagon.
Recommended Strategy: Add a +1 button to your page. Also create your profile on Google plus and add your friends and colleagues to your google circles. Go on Facebook and ask your friends / followers to go to your website and "+1 it". Click here to join our Google +1 Project.
Widgets: You can invite your visitors to +1 your site, add you to their Google + circle or follow you on Google+.
Get your +1 button here:

Get your "Join me on Google" badge here:

Note: you must enter your Google PID to replace "01234567890123456789" in this code snippet.

Google Plus for Business

Click this link to join Google Plus and then build a special profile page for your business. Google+ for Business

Google Search Plus Your World

Google Search has already started integrating results from their Google+ / Google Circles in their search results. To the benefit of users who have joined Google Plus and to the detriment of those users / companies / celebrities who have steered clear thus far.

Join our Google+ Project to help improve your G+ numbers.
Join us on Grassfrog's G+ Project

02 Learn More

Social Sharing

Why do People Share?

Looking at what motivates people to share can help you to design content and/or features worth sharing on your website.

Articles on Social Networking

Why people share stuff on social networks
Countering the Google Plus Image Problem
Friend Me, Follow Me or Google Me
Forbes: A Eulogy for Google Plus

03and Get Social...

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Ready to join the social revolution? Join us on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus today.

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