Hi! My name is Jim Connolly and I’d like to welcome you to my ‘other’ blog. Most people know me from Jims Markerting Blog, recently rated as the most influential marketing blog in the UK. This blog is very different!
This site is a place where I share general ideas, discoveries and anything, which I think other people may find useful. I call it my Thunky.
The ides behind this blog, is to show other business owners and entrepreneurs how to get massively better results from their social networking and social media marketing. If this project proves successful, it will give me the data I need in order to show you how to do the following:
- Increase the quality and size of your social network.
- Gain more commercial value from your social networking updates.
- Promote your primary website or blog more effectively than ever before.
All my findings from this project will be shared here on this site, 100% free of charge, for you to use and benefit from.
How does it work?
My basic idea is really simple:
- You develop a site like this one, which you own.
- You use your site, to post the best of the short updates, which you currently post to social networking sites like Facebook. Important note: You do not post EVERY update to your site, just those that you believe are relevant to your business or likely to be of value to your prospective clients.
- Then, once that update is posted to your site, you share it via Facebook etc, just like you do now.
It sounds simple, yet the potential is huge.
Here’s how each of the benefits I mentioned at the beginning might be achieved, if this social media project works.
How could this project increase the quality and size of your social network?
I want you to OWN your name online. A site like this, (I call it a thunky), is updated on a very regular basis, just like your social networking accounts are. Google loves sites that are updated regularly. As a result, it is likely to rank well on Google, when people are searching for your name. This is especially the case if you attract links and grab a URL that includes your name as part of it.
This can make you AND your business a LOT more visible than simply being on the social networks.
For example, if you are looking for me (Jim Connolly) on Google right now and you are in The USA, The UK or Canada, this site is already on page 1 of the results.
HOWEVER: If you are looking for me via Facebook search, you will find a message warning you that there are “over 500 matches for Jim Connolly!” My Jim Connolly Facebook account would have been very hard to find, unless someone was very keen. Now, just 4 weeks since my initial update to this site, I have already leapfrogged hundreds or maybe thousands of other Jim Connolly’s. Anyone finding this site, will see my Facebook widget in the site’s sidebar and in one click, be able to join me there. Here’s my Facebook account if you would like to join me!
So, I’m hoping to prove with this project, that you can make it super-easy for people to find the REAL you on your site, then you can signpost them direct to your social networks!
How might this project help you to gain more commercial value from your updates?
Right now, if your updates are being posted straight onto your social networking sites, most people will miss them. If your updates are on Facebook, then the 65% of people without a Facebook account will not see them at all. Very, very few of the other 35% are likely to see them either, as Facebook’s API is not open to Google for full search. In other words, all those people searching Google for the kind of information you share via those updates, will not be able to find them using the world’s leading search engine.
Now, imagine you owned a site like this, which was indexed by, and searchable by, Google and all those nuggets of information were posted there, before you shared them on your social networks. All of a sudden there’s a chance some of those people will find that answer on YOUR site.
If this project shows that sites LIKE this, with short, frequently updated posts, DO rank well on Google, we could be looking at substantial numbers of new people discovering you on a regular basis.
A subset of these people may wish to:
- Hire your services
- Buy your latest ebook or audio program
- Visit your primary website or blog
- Subscribe to your site
- Join you on Twitter
- Become a fan on Facebook
- Connect with you on Linkedin
The list is enormous
As part of this project, I will be measuring the volume and quality of visitors to this site. It will take a few months before any worthwhile data comes in. If the regularity of updates here and the nature of my updates, is capable of delivering significant, targeted traffic, this could be an enormous opportunity for anyone with a business! Just think of the possibilities. Like I said at the beginning, I will keep you informed.
How might this project help you promote sites you love?
The Internet is built on links. Right now, the best way you can help promote another website, is to link to it. Google uses these links almost like votes. The more links or votes a site gets, the higher Google will list it in their search results.
By providing a link from the sidebar of your update site (or thunky site), to the sites you want to promote, you will be gifting those sites 2 links, for every update on your site. I have no idea how many times you update Facebook / Twitter each day, but if you only posted a fraction of those to your thunky, you would soon be gifting thousands of links to the sites you love (or the sites you own.)
Part of my research, will be examining the impact these links have and their value.
The short lifespan of a Tweet or Facebook update
Currently, the things we share on social networks have a pretty limited shelf-life. We post an update, then after a few hours, that nugget of information will have fallen off the bottom of your friends’ screen, left largely forgotten. Yes, if someone else finds it and “likes” it, that can gain it some added momentum for a while, but typically, after a week it may as well no longer exist.
By posting those updates to your own thunky site, you could build an online archive of ideas, which anyone can find via search engines. Ironically, your older updates are typically ranked higher by Google and Co than your newer ones – The exact opposite of how it works with your Facebook updates.
Jim, couldn’t you do all this via sites like wordpress.com or Posterous etc?
Yes, you could do something similar using a service like wordpress.com or posterous etc, but with those types of site, you do not own the turf you are building your information on. Like they say; “You don’t build a house on rented land!”
You are limited regarding what you can and can not do on those free sites, because of their house rules. Your only limits SHOULD be your imagination. On WordPress.com, for example, you can’t use many of the most valuable wordpress plugins.
On Posterous, their terms of service state that they can filter and remove your posts without notice, if “someone?” objects to something you have posted – This is a common and understandable condition, but it leaves “some guy” deciding whether or not to remove your updates. For a business owner to give an unknown person that kind of control over your content is insane, in my opinion.
You can’t put advertisements onto your wordpress.com or Posterous site either. I believe if YOU build a valuable site, that YOU should be able to monetize it how you see fit. On your own site, you can do just that.
Finally: This is an experiment – Not a statement
I honestly don’t know if this project will work or not and it will be months before I know for sure either way. That’s what this experiment is hoping to establish. Whether it works or not, I will share the findings with you, here, for free.
If you want to know more, catch me on Twitter here: @JimConnolly
PS: If you want to know why this site’s called my thunky, here’s the answer. I usually update my social networks when I’m enjoying a tea or coffee and having a think. These thoughts are what determine what updates I post. So, I decided to call an archive of what I have previously thunk, my thunk-y.