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Posts Tagged ‘StumbleUpon’

How to Respond to Social Media Friend Requests

I get lots of friend requests on the multiple Social Media Sites that I am connected with. Many people might think that is a great thing and would be quick to just add anyone to their network, but my advice is to have a goal for your Social Media involvement and also get to know those who you are giving access to your personal network before connecting.

What are your Social Networking Goals?
I use Social Networks in a variety of ways. For example, I use Facebook to connect with friends, family, and personal contacts. These are people that I have some previous connection with and I don’t always include colleagues to make sure and separate my personal life from my business life. When I get requests from people that I do not know personally, or know professionally, I send them a message before declining them to explain that I don’t use Facebook for business, then I “ignore” the request. Now, this doesn’t mean that I do not promote using FB, but my messages are just different. I use web links to my websites, as well as Groups and Pages. I have even toyed with the Facebook Ads, but I wasn’t so happy about my response. This isn’t to degrade the Facebook ad system; in fact, it is very cost effective. It just wasn’t right for my campaign.

Twitter is a site that I use to connect with those in the markets I follow. It has been helpful in getting near real time industry information as well as keeping people up to date on my work in the Internet Marketing arena.

StumbleUpon is kind of my “go to” site. I check it as much as I do any other news site, and maybe more. I find it a great source of news and hot topics and see it as a great way to get the word out to the masses.

LinkedIn is a great place to connect with people professionally. They have great features such as the Q&A where you can show what you know and you play your cards right, it could lead to generating business.

Getting to know people before connecting.
There are three factors common to most Social Networking sites which allow you to assess a persons profile:

1. The ability to see who someone is connected to (their friends).
2. The ability to see their website(s)
3. The ability to see what websites they support.

Using those factors, you should be able to gather enough information to make a decision. It’s not rocket science, but if done incorrectly, could leave you wondering why “Social Networking doesn’t work for you”.

As an specific example, I will use StumbleUpon where I get lots of friend requests. Before adding anyone as a friend, here is what I am able to gather from their profile:

1. Their Bio. I want to know if they have taken time to provide any details of who they are. If not, I will assume they are either lazy or just there to self promote and I won’t be interested in connecting.

2. Their stats. I want to know how long they have been in the StumbleUpon community. I won’t disqualify someone new, and in fact, may send them a welcome message. I also want to know that they Thumb and Review sites and see what others have said about them.

3. Their website
. It will tell me a bit more about what they are interested in and what they do.

4. Their friends. Just today, I saw an interesting profile with most of this persons friends that did not have pictures (just the silhouette). They were all also from another country – one that I have no connections to, so it didn’t seem to be a good match.

5. Their interests. I usually connect with others with similar interests. For example, if someone is interested in anime, video games, or porn, we probably won’t have much in common, so that is a pretty quick decision.

In closing, I will say the key to Social Networking is no different that offline networking and that is making connections with qualify people.

Feel free to connect with me on StumbleUpon or Twitter.

I hope this has been helpful. If you want to keep up with my work, please subscribe to this blog (it’s free) using the RSS feed or email subscription box to the right.


How Come StumbleUpon Isn’t Working for ME?

I have been asked this question on more than one occasion, and in true “Old School” fashion, rather than answering everyone individually, I like to take the opportunity to create a blog post to answer the question.

First, lets talk about your goals. If your goal is to just promote your website on website, then you have failed to understand the purpose of Social Networking. Social networking is the equivalent to offline networking; with the exception that it can be done from your computer. Your goal “should” be to meet people in your industry and people that share your common interests in en effort to mutually benefit one another.

So How Does One Get Started?
It’s pretty simple actually. Build a profile – a REAL profile. There has been lots of talk in the blogosphere lately about people who use fake pictures on their profiles. That’s no different than meeting someone in the real world and giving them a fake name – it’s bogus and it doesn’t fly online either. Would you introduce yourself as a “Trump”, “Bush” or “Rockefeller” in real life, just so people would think you are important? If your answer is yes, I will have my wife call you – she is a THERAPIST. The right is answer is NO, it’s not acceptable behavior. The same goes online. If you aren’t willing to divulge who you are online, then Social Networking isn’t for you.

Secondly, reach out and make some friends. You can search by topic, but the best way I have found is by viewing peoples Stumble Upon profile as listed on their blog, or viewing the profiles of those who like the same articles as I do on Stumble Upon.

What if it Doesn’t Work?
My guess is that you are guilty of one of the following:

1. You are primarily promoting your own website. That’s the equivalent to going to a party and just handing people your business card and walking away without showing interest in them or what they do. You will get the same reponse online – not much.

2. You are a “waver”. You may just thumb up other people’s websites and never review them. That’s the guy or gal who goes to a party and just waves at every body without ever talking to them. No one gets to know them, and therefore no one ever refers anyone to them.

3. You are networked with the wrong people. If you have friended people that are interested in nothing you are interested in, they won’t care about your website or anything you send them. If they haven’t logged in for a month or so, they don’t know you exist. That’s like being friends with the guy that never shows up at a party. People start to think you have imaginary friends. Or if you see a “silhouette” where they once had a picture, they could be under investigation for allegedly breaking one of Stumble Upon’s rules/

4. Your profile seems like it’s a fraud.
I have had people “friend” me and when I look at their profile it look like a knock out of a woman, and then the description says it’s a guy. Well, cross dressers aren’t on my list of related or interested topics, but that’s not even what it’s about. It’s a lame attempt for someone to try and lure me into becoming an “Stumble Upon Friend” by using sex. Sorry – it doesn’t work. Perhaps if I were single, or just trying to find parties it might work, but for me, Stumble Upon is about building professional relationships, sharing quality content, and finding new and interesting sites, blogs, and news stories.

5. You aren’t making the transition away from Stumble Upon. Social Networking is like online dating; if all you do is chat online, you’ll never go out with anyone. Make it clear what you are looking for from those you are networked with – ask for the order. Send someone an offline email (what – give a stranger my email address?). If they are strangers, then you haven’t built an online relationship with them. Even better, set up a phone call with someone to talk about business.

I hope that helps. Feedback and comments are welcomed.

6 Ways to Make Better Friends on StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is one of my favorite sites and a great way to network with those in your industry, meet others who share your interests, discover very interesting sites, and find the latest “interesting” news. One of the sites flaws is that it limits you to having only 200 “friends” or people that you can network with directly. Keeping this in mind, you need to be selective in who you “make friends” with. Here are some pointers to help you along the way when considering adding a member to your friends network.

1. Make sure you’ve got a great profile. People will reciprocate a friendship if they visit your profile and like what they see. A picture is preferable, and an avatar is acceptable, but not having anything just won’t cut it. Also, make sure to write something about yourself in the narrative, and do go through all of the “interest” tabs and select not just your interests, but the interests that you want to connect with people about.

2.See how long they have been a member.
Every profile has a “member since “x” date on it right under the name and stats. Why is this important? If they are just learning the rules and just “checking it out” they may not be much help in getting content that you submit additional exposure.

3. See how long it’s been since they have logged in.
This is listed in green to the upper right of the narrative portion of the profile and just to the left of the “mail” indicator. I recently went to add a “super stumbler” (i.e. very high stats, etc), but then I noticed she hadn’t logged in for 6 weeks. To me this is a sign of someone who is no longer really active in the community (for whatever reason). Best thing to do is to bookmark the profile and check back if you really want to connect with this person.

4. Find those who share your interests. You can do a simple search on the site and then view those profiles. You will get far better results by sending pages to people that they are actually interested in. If someone is there to look at “baby related websites” and you send them a cool “affiliate marketing site”, that’s akin to Social Media spam.

5. Look at their stats.
If they only have 10 favorite websites, chances are they won’t look at what you send them or thumb it. On the other hand if they have 25,000 favorites, they may be hard to connect with. Don’t let that stop you though because such a Stumbler could have a huge impact on you getting your content voted for and get some pretty good exposure within StumbleUpon. They key here is to promote quality content because many serious Stumblers will ignore self promoting, ad laden, or seeming commercial posts.

6. How many friends / fans do they have?
Similar to #5, if the Stumbler isn’t connected with many other Stumblers, then they will have less of an influence on the community. Consider adding top Stumblers as friends but don’t be discouraged if they don’t reciprocate. Many times they will already have their 200 friends and even if they like you, your SU site, or content you submit, they will not be able to add you as a mutual friend.

One other thing to consider to enhance your SU experience and success is to conduct a “friend audit”. Perhaps when you joined SU, you weren’t aware of some of the items listed above and just picked random friends. Now it’s time to make room for quality, relevant SU friends by removing some of the friends that you may have. This isn’t about being cruel, but simply about networking. In the “real world” you only have so much time and you would not network with people in a one-way relationship before moving on. This is no different because in StumbleUpon, you only have so many slots for friends. Use the 6 criteria above to analyze who you are connected to, and then take action. The second time around, you will likely meet more people that sincerely want to network with you, and you might just be amazed at the results.


The StumbleUpon Commandments

StumbleUpon is all the talk in Social Networking, and for good reasons. It is a great way to meet folks to network with both in an outside of your industry. And yes, we know it can be good for generating some web traffic. Ok — real good.

I have had the privilege of helping people get going on their SU journey, so I figured I would just put it all in a blog post and start to send it out. Much of this has been said by others, but I decided to draft the Stumble Upon commandments.

So here are the rules on how to “Stumble without Falling”

1. Thou Shalt Not Stumble Thyself Exclusively (lest you go blind in the eyes of others). Literally, if you are just Stumbling yourself people will watch but let you keep on enjoying yourself – they won’t stop you or join you. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist)

2. Thou Shalt Not Attempt to Network Without a Photo or Avatar. Avatars help in branding as long as you are consistent with your website and other Social Media Networks. People don’t know who you are, but they will feel like they know you a bit more if you use your photo as an Avatar. Baby pictures are cute, but not helpful when you run into that person at a conference – they just won’t look the same.

3. Thou Shalt Not Spam. This applies to SU or otherwise. It’s just wrong and a great way to get blacklisted by the community. That includes IM’s and mass sending of lots of links.

4. Thou Shalt Not Have a Blank Profile. On top of having your picture, say something about yourself. It’s just common courtesy. Here is an example of a great StumbleUpon profile that I recently referred someone to.

5. Thou Shalt Not Ignore Those Who Review You. If someone reviews your site, send them a note thanking them and asking them how you van help them.

6. Thou Shalt Not Only Offer Thumbs Up or Down. Take some time to write a review; people will appreaciate that you have an opinion, even if they disagree.

7. Thou shalt Not Submit or Support Worthless Content. If it didn’t happen, it wouldn’t need explanation. Ask yourself, do I really like this site? Will someone really benefit from this? Am I just doing someone a favor, and ruining my reputation in the process?

8. Thou Shalt Not Pay for Reviews and Stumbles. Sites that offer Stumbles and Review for money are kind of the antithesis of what Social Networking is. To me it is the difference is effectively sharing about a product or service and simply not being genuine.

I am super busy and only got to 8 – Feel free to submit your suggestions for #9 & #10. No big prizes, just a link and kudos.


Problem at StumbleUpon, Some Features are Missing Today

The reason these features are missing is because they don’t yet exist. Perhaps, someone will correct me and show me that there is a mysterious way to access these features, but I don’t think so. Here are three features that I believe could help make StumbleUpon an even better Social Networking site.

1. IM History.
Have you ever sent an article to someone and then not remembered who you sent it to? I would like to be able to see an IM history so that I can see what I have sent to others and what others have sent to me.

2. Ability to Organize Friends by Interest. For example, you may have friends that you connect with on real estate issues, others on marketing issues, and others on babies & pregnancy. Wouldn’t it be great to not only be able to view those friends based on interest, but also to be able to send pages to groups of friends with similar interests instead of having to select each one individually. Some may say it will lead to spam, but if you don’t want to receive recommendations from anyone, you can remove them from your friends list (I’ve done it myself).

3. The Ability To Add More Friends. Why not allow successful stumblers to build their networks beyond 200 friends? It could be based on their activity or the amount of mutual friends that they have, to prevent mass friending which could lead to abuse. I believe that would provide a benefit to the site by allowing top stumblers to have larger mutually beneficial contacts.

Do you agree? Disagree? Are there any features you’d like to see on StumbleUpon?

Here is where you can connect with me on StumbleUpon.


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