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Software Marketing Resource Articles: Unlocking Social Networks for Software Marketing

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Unlocking Social Networks for Software Marketing

Social Networks really started to take off in 2004, with the meteoric rise of MySpace placing it squarely in , and hot on it's heals the newcomer Facebook, soon outstripping MySpace's presence on the top of the social networking heap. So as a software developer how can we make the most out of the intermixed web of social networks which continue to dominate the Internet?



I was reading a popular industry newsgroup and was surprised to see someone post that they were extremely proud that they had over 100 unanswered Facebook invitations in their inbox. Now I know that social networks have their down points, they can be seen to suck up time and reconnect you with people that you really don't want to remember, but for software marketing they're an important piece of the puzzle.

Status Updates

Whether it's just you're friends that you're connected to, or business partners, using the status update feature of pretty much all social networking site is an easy, quick and effective way to get your message out.



You might be thinking that this does very little, however I've picked up contracts, and made business connections just through regularly updating my status.

Micro-Blogging

I recently attended Mashable's NextUp NYC mixer event, which had a number of New York bloggers speak. One of the speakers, a hip writer for Gawker called blogging "old media". I don't think it was meant in total seriousness, but it is true that the blogging landscape is changing.

Micro-blogging is really the same thing as updating your status, and it's catching on like wildfire. Sites such as Twitter, which is micro-blogging for text, and Tumblr, micro-blogging for images are seeing the same rise in popularity.

We recently set up a Twitter account for Bits Du Jour. What we did was take our existing RSS feed and automatically route it through to update Twitter using TwitterFeed. We've been getting about one signup a day, not bad at all as it requires zero maintenance work on our part.

If you're already blogging then just by setting up Twitterfeed with your blog's RSS feed you'll be reaching more eyeballs.

Making Connections

The single most valuable social network site out there, other than of course SoftwareMarketingResource, is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is all about business connections, and after working in the New York web development world for nine years it's amazing how interconnected it all is. LinkedIn lets you contact people that are up two three degrees of separation away from you. These days it's rare that any of my new contacts are a 'three', they are almost always a 'two'; that is, a friend of a friend. You won't find customers on LinkedIn, but you can build partnerships.

Niche Media

With the release of Ning many more niche networks are starting up. As with all marketing half the battle is finding your audience. With a little digging you can find networks of people interested in software, or whatever niche your applications sit in. Whether it's a Facebook group or another kind of specialist group there are often free tools that will let you blog to your group or post messages so you're speaking direct to your target audience.

So even if you want to dismiss social networks as kid's stuff, or want to run screaming at the sound of the name, social networks might be worth at least a little investment in your time.

2 comments:

Nico Westerdale said...
By the way, you can now get this article feed on twitter here:

http://twitter.com/SMRarticles
Anonymous said...
"hot on it's heals"? I'm sure you meant "hot on its heels".
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