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Editor's Note: Network on ::a ::href="http://www.smmconnect.com" target="_blank">SMMConnect.com::/a::

I'm a dyed-in-the-wool print journalist—I've been editing and writing for print magazines for the last 17 years. But SMM went solely online back in March, and I've been dragged kicking and screaming into the digital age along with it. And I do mean kicking and screaming—just ask my staff, who have had to listen to me rant and rave. Twitter? I don't get it. Facebook? Fun for all of about five minutes until high school acquaintances I hadn't spoken to in 20-plus years started hounding me to help them find jobs, join esoteric causes, or tag them in photos.

That said, I recognize that social networking does have powerful benefits, particularly for the sales and marketing community. It provides an avenue for job hunting, recruiting, communicating with customers, sharing ideas and best practices with your peers, discussing challenges and solutions, and much more. That's why SMM recently launched SMMConnect.com, a new social media community exclusively geared toward sales and marketing professionals. I invite you to join this professional network and create your own free profile at www.smmconnect.com

Once you've had a chance to familiarize yourselves with the community, we hope you'll be inspired to participate regularly and spread the word among your colleagues. As you'll discover, sharing content, presenting Webinars, and starting discussion groups with your peers are just a few of the options available on SMMConnect.com. We invite you to submit content and suggest topics for Webinars you'd like to host. This is your social network, and we'd like to hear your voice.

Social Networking Tips

As you are joining SMMConnect.com, here are a few tips on social networking recently posted by Sachin Kelkar on Intel Youth Network (because, of course, Millennials are the experts on social networking):

1. Building Meaningful Relationships: Social networking and the human side of it is vital, so the more real and transparent you are, the better. For example, on Twitter I get a lot of direct messages, but the people who send them don't introduce themselves, say my name, or personalize the message in any way. I understand the time savings of having automated messages, but those who do personalize and actually interact with me are the people I trust, the people I remember, and the people I want to help more because they put the effort and time into building a relationship with me.

2. Building Traffic: The more networking you do, the greater chance you have of getting traffic. And the more real and valuable your networking efforts are, the more traffic you will get. Building traffic from certain social networks can be targeted and beneficial. For example, if you're looking to target blog owners, then go to blog social networks and comment on other blogs. Each social network has its own audience and user demographics, so your approach to each should be tailored specifically.

3. Building Links: Link building is the lifeblood of search engine optimization. The more links and quality links you get, the better. If you can get those links with your choice of anchor text, then you'll rank higher in the search engines. Most of your social profiles will allow you to link to your blog and/or your other social profiles. Building as many links as possible is a key to successful blogging.

4. Increasing Visibility: The more social profiles you create, the more content you create on them, and the more you interact, the more you will increase the visibility of you, your site, and your brand. That said, don't spread yourself all over the Web if you can't contribute, interact, and give time to each of those networks and communities.

5. Mind-Sharing and Insight: The idea here is that you can engage with your target audience and find out new insights. You can give them help and advice, and in return, they give you feedback and trust. It is powerful to be able to talk to your prospects and audience and hear their point of view directly from them.

I look forward to networking and interacting with you on SMMConnect.com. I may have been dragged into the digital age, but I'm finding it's not so bad after all—especially since it offers me another way to get to know all of you.

Lorri Freifeld is editor-in-chief of SMM. Her profile can be found on www.smmconnect.com, or she can be contacted via e-mail at lorri.freifeld@nielsen.com.