Why build a social presence?

posted in: social media, virtual world | 2

Following and exemplifying “best green practices” is important in our new Reaction Grid project. Getting that word out is part of our mission and one reason we are so adamant with social networking.

The iliveisl “brand”, as well as Ener Hax as the spokesperson, is the focus we have used. Ener never wanted to be in the spotlight, but has grown to love it (and be obsessed with it – 17,000 Twitter followers and daily blog posts).

The term “brand” is so sterile but seems to be the best fit for discussing effective social awareness. The purpose of the iliveisl online voice has always been to share what we find wonderful about virtual worlds. It’s not sales oriented and is meant to show the “adventures” of a day-to-day avatar, Ener Hax, and perhaps help others see virtual worlds through the eyes of someone very passionate about them.

Ener’s passion is easily 10 times greater than my own and certainly more involved. In the last week alone, Ener has built a marine patrol boat, a “megamall”, and a secret meeting space. Plus many small details like putting in a road, blogging daily (sometimes twice daily), meeting with new people in-world, and so on.

As we define our focus for Enclave Harbour (even redefine the name on Ener’s request to be the proper spelling of harbour), we are using our social presence to spread the word on environmental issues. I am very proud of our Corporate Social Responsibilty consultant for following a similar online strategy and becoming recognized by Environmental Leader and become one of their bloggers (his first post with them). I work with Matt and we often talk about the best way to get your message out.

Everyone with a Twitter account seems to call themselves a social ninja, but in reality, there are a few simple things you can do to become better known.

Why is that important?

Depends on your goals and in the case of Matt, it is to help promote environmental responsibility.

The simple plan revolves around a key aspect that typically can not be faked or gamed. Passion and knowledge and Matt has both. He founded and chairs the Green Committee at our company (which was the first commercial LEED-certified building in New Hampshire). The next ingredients are straighforward, and like iliveisl, will lead to high online visibility.

Effective blogging, tying into something like Flickr and YouTube, and connecting all the bits together with Twitter. Those three things will carry you a long way. There are additional items, such as a gravatar account, LinkedIn integration, and so on that may be specific to your needs. Facebook is big of course and a “fan” page may be applicable. Ning groups and a wiki may be good fit for you as well.

When using third party social sites keep in mind that they can change their terms at any time and even charge for their services. As long as you keep control of your main content in something like a blog, then changes in social platforms will not be as big a deal. MySpace was “the” choice five years ago, Facebook is now that choice, and something else will come along and be the next new choice.

It is vital to have one central place to point your viewers and a blog works well for many endeavors. Companies with multiple blogs often dilute their messaging and a better strategy may be to have multiple authors on one blog.  I am more likely to go to one place for information on one company than to chase down a handful of blogs. Allowing to sort by author, as on the iliveisl blog, let’s the viewer decide what they want to see.

What’s your reason for social networking? Job hunting, online portfolio, a cause, hobbies? All valid reasons and likely to aid others.

harbourPatrol (3)
Marine Patrol - take note environmental policy violators!
megaMall_001
Enclave Harbour Megamall
remote_015
Off the beaten path indeed!