Are You Using Social Media Like You Should or Are You Social Notworking?

Be a Social Worker, Not a Social Notworker!You are social notworking when you're spending time unproductively on social-networking websites like Facebook, Twitter or MySpace. The term social notworking is specifically used when one is using social network site while one is at work or one should be working.

For an Internet marketer, blogger and more and less anyone who is doing business on the net, the concept of social notworking is a bit more complex as building a social (network) presence is essential in today's Internet business. However, social media must be used in the right way for it to bring in any kind of results, otherwise you're wasting time and thus, social notworking.

Social Networking Is Socializing

This is where 98% (no scientific research behind that number) of Internet marketers get it wrong. They are not building relationships, they are not getting involved in discussion, they are just using social networks to promote themselves and their products. Would you be surprised that the 2% (again, non-academic and arbitrary number to visualize the concept) of the businesses and individuals who use social networks the right way are the ones that get 99.9% of the results from social media marketing?

Right -- the people getting the results from Twitter, Facebook and other major social networks are the ones that do it right. They are building relationships, they are being honest and they concentrate on others instead of all-out self-promotion.

Social Networking Is Sharing

Social Networking: Share the LoveSharing doesn't mean creating 500+ accounts on various social bookmarking sites and bookmarking blog posts and videos to gain traffic and exposure. Yes, that's one marketing strategy and part of social media (whether or not it's "the right thing to do" or not), but it's not social networking.

Sharing is not sending direct messages to your Twitter followers that sell a product or directly promote the person, their website or business in any way. Again one marketing strategy that's is pretty damn close to spamming.

Sharing is not automatically feeding keyword filtered links to a social network profile.

True sharing is telling other people about content and stuff that YOU like, not what your automatic script likes. How can you send a link to someone and say "Hey, this is great!" if you haven't even read or watched it yourself?

I'm not even going to sponsored tweets on this one, that is a whole new topic, but it doesn't feel like social networking and those are definitely not sharing in a sense I understand it.

It's OK to automatically send a link to your latest post, or something else YOU have done, to the social media profile. That is genuinely you, even that you didn't send the link personally -- you still had something to do with the blog post, video, comment or whatever is on the other side of the link.

When was the last time you "promoted" something you liked without expecting anything back? I'm not saying you shouldn't send affiliate links via social networks to the products you've used and want to recommend, but isn't true socializing and sharing about giving without expecting anything in return (because that's when you'll actually gain the most in the end)?

Social Networking Is About Relationships

Are you building a relationship with the people following you on Twitter? Are you interacting with your friends on Facebook? Have you re-tweeted their great comment or answered to the question they asked? Or do you insist on just sending links to your sites and rarely even read the messages from your "friends"?

If you're using social networks just because "everyone else is" and decline to actually socializing online, you might as well quit now. You have missed the train, you have no clue what web 2.0 about. You can go back to your social bookmarking spam-account and create 30 more bookmarks to the blog post no-one cares about.

When you should be building a house, but you like to work on your car instead, you're working, but you're not working on what really matters. It's another matter to use social networks when you should be doing something else, the true social notworking, but "working" with social media and doing it wrong is pretty much the same thing, wasting time. When you're not using social networks the right way, you might as well not use them at all.

This post was partially "inspired" by a couple of individuals sending me direct promotional messages on various social networks that they could've just send as a normal share and a couple of others ONLY autofeeding keyword related content to their personal Twitter account without any human involvement. Yes, I am NOT following them anymore.

It's sad to see people getting results by using the loopholes in the system and plainly spamming. I'm happy to see genuine individuals do well and I'm more than happy to see what they've shared and even what they're promoting, because I know that they've actually checked what they're promoting. And I enjoy discussing with real people way more than talking to a bot.

If you're interested in social networking the right way, go ahead and read David Risley's post Top 10 Signs You ARE Worth Following On Twitter and Yaro Starak's What Is The Right Way To Grow Your Twitter Following? to see what I'm talking about here.

Comments are now open, join the discussion and tell me what YOU think about social media and how one should go about it?

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