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What is Social Networking

What is it?

from [WWW]wikipedia: a platform to build social networks or social relations among people who share interests, activities, backgrounds or real-life connections.

For our purposes, social networks include the social communities, as well as social bookmarking and the social aspects of media sharing.

Why Use Social Networking?

Social Networking can fulfill some of your marketing and research goals. It provides an easy method for communicating with many people at one time. Through different types of social networks you can create a community of support or broaden your audience, expand your research and deepen your relationship with your audience, peers and network.

  • Exponential power of social networking -Through social networks, you can easily connect to your group of friends. By engaging them & sharing with them, you have (through the automated system of the social networks) the ability to connect to your friends’ friends. This has the potential to expand your network.

  • Not everyone is thinking of you all the time -Which, admittedly, makes it hard to ensure that you are going to get remembered for the show, festival or screening that you want to be in. With social networking, if you are active and supplying resources, thoughts, events that are of interest, then that curator or presenter will be reminded of you in a passive kind of way and you will be at the top of their mind when they are planning.

  • Creating community of support/resources/promotions etc. -The broad social networks may allow you to discover a new network of friends/colleagues with similar interests. The niche networks – with the pre-existing similarity – provide a potentially rich resource of support. These broad networks are a great place to promote your work as you may find new adherents that didn’t previously know that much about your work. It is an ideal place to share resources, tips, knowledge. It is also a good place to promote to like minded people.

  • Get people invested in you & your work, start building that 1,000 true fans

  • You never know who people know

  • Easy to keep in touch with your fans

How

You can easily use social networking sites to maintain a vast array of communications. At the same time you will want to find ways to optimize your output so that people are getting the most important information and responding to it.

  • Facebook

    The long form social space, here you can have conversations with people, collect images into galleries, and archive your activities through the timeline.

    Personal Profile – the standard interaction on Facebook, useful for having both personal interactions and professional posts you just have to make lists to keep your communications organized. Because the personal profile allows you to interact with other individuals and pages, you have a way to deepen your relationships through conversations.

  • Pages – Pages are a great way to promote projects, your work in general, shows or a group (band, ensemble, dance troupe, etc.). They allow people to follow your artistic goings on without necessarily getting involved in your personal updates. People who have not “friend-ed” you can become “fans” of your pages. Pages allow you to post photos/videos, have discussions and communicate directly with your fan base. Pages allow you to add applications to them – things like a blog reader, so that your blog posts are reposted on the page – which can extend your page’s activity. Finally, the pages offer some metrics on your users. One thing pages don’t (currently) have is an easy way for someone to rsvp to an event posted from the page within their newsfeed. (They are required to visit the event listing to rsvp).

  • Events – Whether posted to your personal profile or attached to a page, events are convenient and easy ways to promote date/time specific occurrences. The events allow you to upload images, include maps and track rsvps. In typical viral marketing style, if anyone decides to attend your event, it shows up on their wall and potentially in their friend’s news feed.

  • Make sure you also visit: [WWW]How to Set Facebook Privacy Settings.

Twitter

Twitter is best with short bursts of information, events promotion, sharing research, and connecting with influential people.

  • Network – Twitter is the place to connect with people with whom you have shared interests (unlike Facebook which is meant to connect you with everyone in your world whether you have shared interests or not!)
  • Research – Twitter is a great tool for sharing the research you are doing with a community of like-minded individuals, and for increasing your ability to collect information (follow people who are also researching your topics)
  • Promotions – because Twitter is a short form of public communication, it is a great place to reach out to people who might be able to promote or influence your work. If you are working in a specific location, who are the regional influencers that you should “tweet at” about your work. If you have a specific topic or genre, who are the influencers in regards to that?

Two popular desktop and mobile apps for Twitter are [WWW]Tweetdeck and [WWW]Hootsuite.

LinkedIn

  • Network – LinkedIn is great for finding a way to communicate with a specific person or institution. You can find people who are already in your network and ask for introductions to the people/institutions you need to know and connect with.

Pinterest

  • Network – much like twitter, pinterest is a place to connect with people based on shared interests (and with different boards, you can have a lot of different research going).
  • Research – great visual way to archive your own research (complete with notes, images, tags, etc), also easy to follow the boards and users that are researching similar interests to yours.

Social Networking Best Practices

  • Participate fully. Don’t join a network and then never check your messages there or share information. Other members of the network will forget that you exist or assume you are not doing anything new.

  • Remember that you are using the social network to advance your artistic career – not get dates or play zombie wars. Be careful about how you represent yourself within these networks as your activities are visible to all.

  • Also remember that this is a *social* network so don’t be afraid to show your personality, be original and be yourself.

  • Participate in the community. Make sure that you are responding to others, participating in forums, discussions and comments and giving back to the community as a whole.

  • Certainly promote your work and websites within your social network sites, but it is also useful to promote your social network profile/pages outside of the network. Include links to your profile on your blogs or websites.