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Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blog... Where Is Your Hub?

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In this article, you'll learn...

  • How to streamline your social media presence
  • How to develop your online hub
  • Some social media faux pas to avoid

If you are a professional, you are most likely on LinkedIn. If you are a professional under the age of 50, you are probably on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. If you are a professional under the age of 50 and creatively minded, you are probably on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter—and you write blog posts.

Of course, that sort of categorization isn't an exact science, but the point is that social sites and Internet presence are becoming more important in today's business world. When you've been invited to a job interview, for example, your prospective employer is more likely to google your name than validate your college grade point average (GPA).

Here's how to centralize and connect the various manifestations of your online presence...

Determine where you are spending your time

The first step is to identify where you are spending most of your time online, and why.

Are you a photographer with your own wedding-photography business? You're probably uploading new photos daily to your blog or website. Are you out of college and actively seeking a job? You're most likely updating your Facebook page, tweeting, and maybe checking up on LinkedIn every other day or so.

Tracking where your time is spent will help you target your efforts and, if necessary, make changes to your online activity.

Choose your hub, and target it

Once you have allocated how you spend your online time, it's time to choose the place you deem most appropriate to become the "hub" of your online presence. Wait, what is the hub? It's the site or social network that will be the focus of your other online efforts and modes of presence.

Think of it as a big spider web. At the center will be your hub. For example, let's say your hub is your Facebook profile. All your other online efforts (e.g., Twitter page, LinkedIn profile) will become the outer architecture of your web and will connect to your Facebook page. That is quite simple to do, but it has huge and lasting effects.

For our example, you would start with your hub (Facebook) then make a list of social sites, blogs, and other sites you are on that overlap with your Facebook page. Do you have business contacts that are friends on Facebook? If so, LinkedIn would overlap. Do your Twitter followers ever show up on your Facebook wall? If so, Twitter would overlap. Once you have identified which sites overlap, direct visitors of those sites to your Facebook page by using anchor text or hyperlinks in your bios on those sites.

You may be thinking, "But I thought Twitter, Facebook, etc. links were nofollow links?" That's true; but for this scenario, it doesn't matter. You're not trying to benefit from link juice, you're simply organizing and pointing your social sites to a single place.

Once you have finished with the first "ring" of importance, identify other sites that do not overlap with your Facebook page. Then check whether those sites overlap with any of the sites in that first outer ring; if they do, point from them to the overlapping sites, which in turn will point to your hub. Your spider web may consist of only one outer ring, or multiple rings, depending on your online presence.

Here's what you don't want to do

Step three is more of a collection of things you shouldn't do.

Do not link your tweets to automatically update on your Facebook wall, or vice versa. It's lazy. Moreover, each social network has a distinct "language." When people start seeing hashtags and @ symbols in your Facebook status updates, it will make you look rude. Use the right language for the right network.

Do not simply link all your sites and networks to a single page and be done with it. If the sites have no reason to overlap, don't force it. Find how your sites interact, and spend time mapping out your spider web. That will keep your business friends from constantly reading your very personal tweets (unless they choose to seek them out by following your chain).

* * *

By creating your social hub and mapping out your spider web, you will have created a manageable Web presence that will not only be easier to maintain but will also be helpful in pushing certain people to the content most relevant to them.

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Sally Marshall is an avid blogger and loves to travel. She is eagerly awaiting the arrival of her first child and can be found on Twitter.

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  • by Bryn Adler Thu Jun 30, 2011 via web

    It's great that you point out what not to do, especially when it comes to synchronizing social media platforms. I think doing so overlooks the potential power of each platform and weakens your ability to build linkage. Great article!

  • by Melissa Thu Jun 30, 2011 via web

    Thank you for saying that you shouldn't have your tweets on Facebook and vice versa. The two are different platforms.

    My company had a Twitter account and that was it. I was recently hired to take my copmany into more of a social networking era with a Facebook and a LinkedIn. Is it rude of me to post on my Twitter the address of my new Facebook page?

  • by Austin Thu Jun 30, 2011 via web

    I don't think it would be rude to "advertise" the existence of a new Facebook page on Twitter. What I believe Sally is meaning is that you shouldn't simply tweet and have it auto update on your facebook wall. The two platforms are different and require the use of different "language" or syntax.

  • by Bryn Adler Thu Jun 30, 2011 via web

    I agree with Austin. I don't think cross-promotion is detrimental, it's actually preferable. The problem here would be assuming that posting the same content everywhere is going to boost readership, instead of tailoring the content for each audience.

  • by Melissa Thu Jun 30, 2011 via web

    Thank you Austin and Bryn! I was actually thinking about the best way to cross promote without just reposting on each site. That's the last thing I want to do.

  • by Barb Chamberlain Thu Jun 30, 2011 via web

    Another element of this is looking at analytics (maybe that's the additional step beyond your under 50/social/creative category, which is where I fit in) and seeing what platforms are driving traffic to your blog or website, then starting there for this analysis (which is a great approach).

    For example, I've started a side business that has a blog associated with it and the #1 source of traffic to the blog is Facebook. That's a reason to spend time on Facebook. But my professional online contacts aren't really inside FB for me--they're more on Twitter, LinkedIn, and (a social network in our region). So I'm managing personal hubs with multiple centers, I guess, for different reasons.

    My personal FB presence was not established for the purposes of business promotion and I don't intend to make my personal profile part of my external wide-open social media presence, but there's a lot of overlap between friends, interests, and professional/business contacts.

    I'm going to have to think about how to extend this concept to the accounts I manage for the university campus where I head up communications. Anyone have thoughts on mapping this for a brand vs. an individual?


  • by Nick Stamoulis Fri Jul 1, 2011 via web

    Companies can use this same approach and make their website the center of their social hub. And I've found that cross pollination is essential for success, especially when promoting content. You don't want to post the same message to Facebook and Twitter, but you can promote the same ideas and format them to match the medium.

  • by suzie mitchell Fri Jul 1, 2011 via web

    what do you recommend for professionals over 50?

  • by Elias Shams Tue Jul 5, 2011 via web

    Social media is here to stay for good. Given vast variety of the existing channels to choose and stick with, it’s time for such a hot space to enter into a new category.

    Here is my 2cents on this whole internet -%3E search Engine -%3E Social media things and my rational on why there is a need for a portal to provide a quick and intelligent decision for both the consumer and the companies about their online connections. A Platform to Help us to Distinguish Our Quality vs. Quantity Friends, Fans, Followers, and Companies:

    - Early 90s: WWW was born…
    - Mid - late 90s: Yahoo & Google were born to help us to find the right pages on the WWW…
    - Early 2000: Social media was born…
    - Late 2000: There are now millions of pages created by people, companies, and organizations on all these social media channels.
    - 2011: We are back to early 90’s

    That is why I built to accomplish such a mission - the portal to all your existing social media channels.

    CEO & Founder

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