Social Media Marketing, Social Media Strategy & Social Media Services

July 22, 2017

Ning: Let’s look under a microscope



Why use the social network Ning? Ning has the power to allow  you to create your own network for FREE. However, there are premium features available to the user if they want to purchase them. My favorite thing about Ning is that it is easy to use and all your information (name, location, email, password, and photo) can be used on each Ning site. Let’s face it, everyone is unique in their own way, therefore Ning allows you to customize your profile without having to know any programming at all. In the case you do want to program items, the Ning program code is available, so you can use it by installing plug-ins.


The best thing about Ning is that the sites are formed around special niches. If your niche is super narrow, then this is the perfect tool for you. The site members can share content of the same interest and characteristics. Remember, as the site grows, the niche establishes more of its established interest.


Keep in mind that Ning allows you to post and syndicate your blog entries and import your RSS feed as well.  As you begin to use this feature, you can form a group as well. The groups are to be utilized as mini-blogs or as forums, so they can bring together members of a closer interest. Ning does allow you to share content with all the friends that the site the content is posted on. This is a great way to make new friends and find people of the same interests. The blog is powerful, so promote it and watch your connections grow.  Ning links “do follow” and this can benefit your rankings and views by pointing them back to your site or blog.  


Moreover, Ning is one of the top communicating platforms because it offers a variety of features such as profile comments, forums, group discussions, blog, blog comments, videos, events, status updates, private messaging, and even chat.  Another feature that Ning offers that may appeal to you is that you are in charge of the steering wheel. You can choose the members and the content you want to have on your website site.


Tips for using Ning as a social network tool

From the above explanation, have you found Ning a useful tool? If you have then I want to share some tips with you. In order to find the networks for your niche, use the search on the Ning home page, and Google networks that are similar to your interests. After you do your research, join all the relevant Ning networks and create a profile on each one that caters to your niche. You might want to bookmark these sites so you can go back to them when you want to. Remember, you don’t have to be active on all the Ning sites you join, so join as many sites as you want, because they will contribute to your web presence.


Want to make the most out of this social networking tool? Then make sure your profile is optimized to the fullest by using all the major keywords. On LinkedIn you have the option to add your resum so make sure on Ning your profile is as detailed as your resume. It takes time to perfect your Ning profile but it is worth the effort when you are able to find the right people you need to help you build your community. I prefer saving my Ning profile on my desktop so I don’t have to create a new profile every time I join a new Ning site. You might have to customize it just a little bit on each new site, but nothing major.


Another interesting thing about Ning is that it is an open networking platform. This means that you can reach out to any member you wish to connect to even if you don’t know them. This is different from Facebook and LinkedIn because there are no privacy settings, that is why it is important to be transparent about it. You can do this by greeting the member before connecting with them. Remember to ask them friendly questions, comment on their profile walls to see if they are still active. In addition, asking a question enables you to establish a relationship, and commenting helps with internal links back to your profile. As a result, you will increase the rankings within the search engines. When you run out of invitations, delete pending invitations, and start by deleting the oldest.  Also, when you form a relationship using Ning, use the private message feature rather than the profile comments to communicate with your network. This will make it more personable and exclusive to your network. With these tactics you can start building a powerful community now.


The Ning groups have a more of a narrow focus than the site itself, so browsing group members is a great way to network and find people you most want to meet. Want to know a great tactic to brand yourself? Use this network to brand yourself and following through is an essential step of this. As people add you, accept the invitation, you can never have too many friends. Remember, the friends you make on this network will also be your friends on all of the Ning sites that you have in common. I noticed that sometimes I have joined a Ning site just to know that I already have friends there.  


Another tip, you are able to broadcast 200 messages at one time. I don’t like to use this feature very often, because people may suspect that I am spamming. Therefore I would rather write a blog post or even start a discussion than sharing everything to all of my friends. Now it is okay to personalize messages using the optional message area, but blog posts and links internally point back to your profile and help with the search engine as well.


Now let’s talk about content tips, before you start sharing with your friends, ask yourself if the content is truly valuable. If it is not just another form of spam then it is okay, if you spam you will get banned.  In addition, do not paste the same comment on many of the member profiles because this will get you banned as well.


How can you build up your community? Start by utilizing your other networks, and inviting those friends to join your Ning network. I leverage Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to build up my network. A good way of using these other networks is to share good content from Ning on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin and when people view the content they will impressed and will join your website.


How you can brand using Ning:


The Ning profile is like a mini-webpage so make use of it in a way that you are able to put yourself in the limelight, because the first impression is always important. As you complete your profile, it is important to add your personal photo in there as well.  After you complete your profile, business networking is crucial. It is vital that you check people out and ask them to tell you more about themselves.


Again, I mentioned about using blogs because they allow you to publically express your views. You can gain views, claim keywords and interact with the reader comments as well. As you blog on Ning networks, the readers do not have to find your posts since they will be aggregated by the search engines. This makes it easier to rank for top keywords. Want to succeed in blogging? Then you will have to post original articles and link them to off-site and on-site sources. Do not post articles like ads or even snippets. 


Let’s move on to the discussions that encourage  members to share ideas and respond to simple questions. You don’t want to write articles? Then you can use discussions to start conversations without having to write any lengthy articles. In addition, the groups are the best way to market and brand yourself. The group owners are in charge of building communities and engaging with the community through newsletters and discussions. Remember, before you decide to start a Ning group, you should recruit off-site people to attract members. Not to mention, use the discussions to attract people to your group as well.


Now, let’s talk events. You can have online or offline events. Remember, Ning allows you to have online events which are like mini call to actions, but you can post events in which the members can attend as well. For optimal results, share your events online and offline.


Another way to brand yourself is through commenting on other people’s content. As you join conversations, you can build a strong branding effect. You might not know, but people can know you through your comments, so use your time wisely.


As you embed videos you can add value to your content on Ning. Remember to embed video in your blogs and discussions as well. In addition, pictures are a great piece of content, make sure you label them so people can appreciate them.  A great way to promote yourself is through your status updates. They are not as great as Facebook, where you can tag people but they will be valuable to those reading them.


Are you ready to use Ning to brand yourself? Did I forget any tips? Mention them below J


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