Do Social Network Profiles Help Your Business?

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Sometimes people question the benefits of belonging to multiple social networks and building out all those detailed profiles on each.

I don’t know that I want to use this post to try to convince you on all the long-term merits of doing so as to simply point this out and let you draw some of your own conclusions.

John Jantsch on business exchangeGoogle my name – John Jantsch and you will find some of my various websites (good), some interviews I’ve done on other sites, and, as of this writing – my profile on LinkedIn, Business Week Exchange, and Facebook – all on page one of the Google results.

So, what does that mean? Well, this value could be debated by some, but from a pure reputation management standpoint, I own the content on those profiles, so that could be good thing.

So, what do you find when you search your name?


Tags

Business Week, Facebook, LinkedIn


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  1. For years the drummer for Culture Club and a car engineer always came up under a Google search of my name. Thanks to LinkedIn I’ve made it to the first page (albeit the very bottom) Quite an improvement!

  2. A search on my name gives you my my blog and several profiles for social networks and groups I’ve joined (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Biznik, Ning groups, Meetup groups). As long as what you put in those profiles is carefully controlled, they can do wonders for your online reputation.

  3. Couldn’t agree with you more! Those sites also work hard on their SEO, so in a sense, they are doing the work for you to get their site up there in search. If you search for us, our blogs and social networking profiles come up, which is just the way we like it.

  4. Being listed on social media sites does help you be found. Two years ago, a search for “Adrianne Machina” only returned 540 returns – most of them press releases for my prior employer.

    But now “Adrianne Machina” returns almost 2000 search results thanks largely to social media sites. Right after my own company website – TornadoMktg.com, I see BusinessWeek.com, Amazon.com, LinkedIn.com, Facebook.com, Twitter.com and MeetUp.com.

    My cousin and a long-lost college friend both found me easily – thanks to social media!

    Adrianne Machina
    Duct Tape Marketing Coach

  5. I have to beat the David Sandusky who owns davidsandusky.com which I used to have until someone dropped that ball for me – I am over it and davidsandusky.net is working for me. I also have to beat any David in the local Sandusky, OH news.
    So far so good 😉

  6. Sometimes social networking sites remind me of Chamber of Commerce meetings — filled with people not doing business trying to sell to other people not doing business and nobody buying anything. But like those C of C meetings, the people who ARE doing business know how to leverage the site to their best advantage. Signing up with a site isn’t good enough. Your profile has to sell you and you have to give value and content in order to attract followers. At the end of the day, whether it is your website, twitter or a networking meeting, good business practices win out.

  7. I’m not sure of the value of these profiles outside of reputation management, as you stated. Better to own the first page on google for your name than some other guy with the same name who could somehow tarnish your name/brand.

  8. The mistake that many people make is thinking that online social networking is different to the social networking we have been doing for centuries. In the physical world we are all members of different social networks – colleagues in the office, neighbours, a local society, our hobby club and so on. You wouldn’t only belong to one social networking organisation in the physical world – so why do people think you only need one network online? As you say John, you really do need to be in multiple online social networks, reflecting the varied activities you take part in.

    And when I search for my name? Well it’s rather more common than yours, but four of the entries on Page 1 are me and in the UK version of Google, I’m No.1 – whoopee…!

  9. To punctuate what John said, there are two valuable and different ROIs to building your web presence with social networking.

    Your Name:
    People will search for you by name to learn more about you and evaluate your credibility. The more you appear, the better you look.

    Your Products & Services:
    If your profiles are structured to make your name synonymous with the products and services you offer, then searches for the products and services that you offer will yield more, and better, results that include your name.

  10. So I googled John Jantsch – you certainly have significant global reach. And I googled myself – not so significant (but growing). So I’d agree that social media (and more) has an impact.

    However I think the impact is more significant when the name/person is the main business brand. I don’t think that the president of a large corporation is as closely tied to his/her business as the president of a small/medium size business.

    That is, John’s name is out there (on the social media sites) along with his website and that connection is tight and far reaching. I don’t see (or even know who it is) the president of Coca Cola, or Nike, or Starbucks – big companies with big reputations – with big social media presence.

  11. John you encouraged us DTM coaches to start doing this a year ago, that is building a social profile. I did and was always competing with an ice cream maker in Columbus, OH. FYI, you find him on the 4th page now. Thanks for the advice. Not exactly the social service that Steve accomplished.

    I guess, if you want to own anything in the world, it should be your name?

  12. Hi John,
    Great Post, and I agree with your other readers and their comments that it is really important. Google and the other search engines are the new yellow pages, the new phone book. If you aren’t coming up on page one with lots of content, you are lost in the shuffle.

  13. I’ve found many business owners just don’t understand social networking so they do what they can to avoid it. That can be a very costly mistake as marketing continues to turn more toward the internet.

    In my most recent blog post my advice is this: just pick one site and create an account. You don’t have to be on every site yesterday… you just need to get out there and do one at a time to start helping you promote your small business.

    Start by getting listed on the sites that your competitors and potential clients are using. For instance, I still haven’t set up a myspace page, but I’m on LinkedIn, Squidoo, Facebook, etc. because those are more valuable to me at this time. Down the road I’ll add the others.

    Jared Young
    The Original Quill

  14. This was a good exercise…I found out that my name is shared by quite a few other “Linda C Smith”s – but my FaceBook profile was quite high on page one of the search. I limit the number of social sites I’m part of due to Time – but the ones I’ve chosen are beginning to do amazing things for my business. I got a retail customer from my LinkedIn presence which was awesome. My blog readership is growing amazingly due to advice I’ve followed from your blog, John, especially the one about putting your latest blog post title and blog address on Twitter…it’s also increased my Twitter following which is increasing my FaceBook activity…it all ties in together if you have a plan and know why you are on the various sites you’re on.

  15. I know someone who blew off any sort of online presence until other people started talking about him online and the #1 ranked page for his name was the listing for a class action lawsuit PDF mentioning his name.

    If you’re not in control of at least some of the content about you online, someone else is in control of all of it.

  16. In today’s world you can count on your potential clients looking up your name in Google. It is very important to present them with your background information in this way as it builds trust. Social networking sites are usually ranked very well so your profiles on these websites will likely appear at the top of search results.

  17. I believe if you are using social networking to augment your normal networking strategies you can reap great benefits from using it. The ability to gather your contacts and communicate in mass with your contacts with Twitter, Facebook, or linked In can really help you in your networking efforts. I have seen real estate investors and brokers use social networking to make it easier to communicate with their vast networks of investors / backers with great success.

  18. Social network profiles is a marketing strategy everyone should be doing. You have to do it right. You have to treat your “friends” right. If you think of your friends in a respectable way, it works well.

    I have seen many marketers fail on social networking sites because they didn’t respect their “friends” and tried to use direct marketing in comments. People view that as spam and will simply remove you from their friends list. Worse, the social networking site will ban your account.

    For example, using comments to link to a squeeze page is a bad idea. Instead use comments to actually talk TO your list. When you want to pitch a product to your list, do it indirectly. A highly effective strategy is to post a YouTube video and in the description of your YouTube video on YouTube, link to your blog or a post within your blog. Then, on your blog, make the sales pitch. When you comment to your friends, you use something like, “Hi [name]. I just posted this video on YouTube that I thought you might find interesting. Not sure if you are into conspiracy theories, but if you are, check it out. If you have time comment me back, thanks.”

    Make it a point to spend 10 minutes after each mass comment campaign you do to give personal responses to the comments people leave for you. Remember, respect your “friends”. If someone makes a comment about your video, show them respect by giving a personal reply back.

    It is helpful to think of social network profiles in terms of marketing in the context of the famous marketer over 100 years ago who offered a free ferry ride across a river every Tuesday. People were amazed and asked the business owner how he made money by doing this? He kept it a secret. After he made a lot of money at doing this, he told everyone how he did it. He said, “You see the two restraunts on the island over there? The owners were about ready to close their businesses down due to lack of customers. They agreed to pay me 20% of every sale they get on Tuesday. While I loose money on the ferry ride across the river, I make money on the backend by the commissions I get from the two restraunts on the island.”

    Social network marketing is a lot like this. You don’t want the social network service or its users thinking that you are only using their service to market to people. You lose money in terms of time spent creating a video and building a friends list, but you gain from the added traffic to your blog.

    In summary, you don’t use direct marketing on social networking sites. Instead you point users to a video you posted on a service like YouTube. In the description of the video, you link to your blog or blog post where the direct sales pitch is located. If you built your friends list with people who have expressed an interest in what you have to sell (groups) and if your video is the right message to market match, people will go to your blog without feeling like they are being “sold” anything.

  19. John,

    When a client asks this exact question, the first thing I point out is a case study on my name. Before entering the field, a Google search on my name returned absolutely nothing. Google juice= 0. Today, after a year of blogging initiatives, social network profiles and professional experience, I inhabit the first two pages of Google, Yahoo and even Cuil. What some organizations pay thousands of dollars for in PPC advertising and SEO, you can do for free with some dilligent involvement in the social media space.

  20. I went to Blog World Expo this year and experienced the real power of Twitter when the conference was run using this tool. It was an incredible lesson in how powerful social media tools can be for business. Although many opponents will tell you that we are yet to reach the tipping point, it’s clear that we’re well on our way. @garyvee tells us that the Tipping Point for social media is approaching and that now is the time to be getting prepared if you want to play in this space. I agree 100%. Yes, I think social media can improve your marketing presence without a doubt. When I write a new blogpost, I post an entry on both Facebook and Twitter resulting in increased website traffic from both. I know this is a strategy that you use too, John. I look forward to the day when we laugh at the fact that we even asked this question and I know that day will be soon =-)
    Angie
    @aaswartz on Twitter
    http://www.sixfiguremomsclub.com

  21. I think this is one of the most important tasks in building your online presence. Most people you are doing business with or want to do business with at some point will search you out on google. Owning the first few pages of a google search on your name is huge in building trust in a new relationship. This does not really take too much time and once completed is easy to maintain.

  22. I actually find all of my articles that I have written, but it’s a fantastic question you ask about the social networking. I know many people are asking ‘what’s in it for me’ – especially with the massive social media push these days. Another question people are asking me is ‘is it worth my time?’ So it’s interesting to see some answers here. I know personally that social netowrking has actually helped my profile – in that I actually get to chat to people and give advice without expecting anythign in return. This is fantastic marketing for small business owners.

  23. Social network profiles not only get your name out there, but it helps cutomers know more about your business. It’s more personal. Myspace may seem like another social network many can get lost in, but if done the right way (no scandalous pictures!), it can be one of your best marketing moves. Found an article about whether you should put together a Myspace profile: http://grabbinggreen.com/pdf/articles/myspace.pdf. It’s been so helpful!

  24. Great Post, and I agree with your other readers and their comments that it is really important. Google and the other search engines are the new yellow pages, the new phone book. Social networks brings more engagement with search engine don’t bring, facebook, linkedin, secondlife are platforms that mimicks a virtual environment that exceeds the WEB2.0.

  25. Hi John. Well put. I can’t agree with you more about the importance. What it boils done to is having a meaningful and useful presence. The virtual world is full of tons of powerful tools to help companies, especially if properly used. But I suggest to my clients that they should manage their online presence to get the maximum impact, which includes regular check-ups for accuracy and affect.

  26. I completely agree with the importance of using Social Network Profiles, but unfortunately, Steven Williams isn’t a very unique name, 13.2 million results… and an actors name… maybe I’ll make the top page one of these days…

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