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Rule #1 – One Site or Many:

While many organizations prefer to maintain their presence on several social networking sites, it can take up considerable amount of time as well as staff resources. Determine the amount of time you can spend updating your profile on each site.

It’s far more effective to spend extra time and energy maintaining a high profile on one, well-chosen site rather than spend precious hours juggling different operating platforms on too many different sites.

If you do choose to maintain a presence on multiple sites, make sure you assign a full-time staff to regulate your various profiles. This could include posting comments on other member’s pages, inviting other people to become friends, or accepting other friend’s requests. In the absence of regular care, your web page is sure to languish.

Rule #2 - Look Who’s Talking:

Check out a few social networking sites. If there is already an existing group talking about and discussing your organization, you may want to put your energy into building your presence on this site before venturing on to other networks.

Rule #3 - Prepare your Site Completely Before Promoting it:

First impressions matter. If you invite other users to visit your site before it is ready, they may do so a few times and leave unimpressed; maybe never to come back again. Pick a captivating title and an aesthetically appealing lay out; test it out and only then invite the world over.

Rule #4 – Invite your Supporters to be your First Friends:

Visit blogs and other social networking sites and sift out your supporters. Send them each an e-mail and ask them to become your friend. Better to start off with definite supporters and build a staunch and loyal following before leaving yourself vulnerable to unknown, untested users.

Rule #5- Post your most Viral Content:

Social networks are most effective when content is being disseminated amongst the readers. Update your site regularly with new content reflecting new issues that you are working with. Giving your visitors something new and interesting to read everyday is a good way of keeping them loyal.

Rule #6 - Test the Waters:

Use your social networking page to test out innovative ideas that people may want to be associated with. Putting out questionnaires and inviting feedback to your ideas are the best ways to get a feel of the market.

Rule #7 - Direct users to your organizational Web site:

While making new friends and communicating with them on social networks is great, the key to marketing success is to get your new friends onto our organizational e-mail list so you can move from passive to direct communication with them.

Putting easy, prominent links on your networking profile will help you convert your friends into email list members. Keeping track of who comes into your system can help you tailor and personalize your messages.

Written by: David C Skul – CEO,