Social networks are for socializing and meeting like-minded people online that you can chat with and possibly create bonds and friendships. That being said, my post will focus on how a Second Life resident can use social networks (presumably using their SL pseudonym) to promote their business or brand.
I’ve shared a list of all of the social networks I am on and the reasons I use them on my social media page. I often get people asking me, how do you keep up with all your networks? The truth of the matter is, I don’t. It’s impossible to keep up with every single social network out there and read everyone’s posts and be actively involved in all of them. However, even if I can’t keep up with every single person that I follow on all the networks, I still read and interact quite a bit. I believe it’s the same for most of the people using social media regularly.
These are the networks I will be discussing in this post: My.SecondLife.com, Flickr, Google+, Twitter, Facebook and Plurk. I am not going to cover the networks that are run by SL residents such as, SLUniverse, 2ndHub, SLX Connect because I don’t use them often, so not familiar with them.
The rest of the post will be below the cut because it will be very long.
Before I begin, you have to understand that I am a social media enthusiast, so to me, social media is also like a game and form of entertainment. I join sites like Klout and Empire Avenue because they watch and rate your activities on different social networks and in turn you receive prizes/benefits from that. I also use social media for promotional purposes, not just for socializing. So, I will be discussing all of that in each of the descriptions.
This is the web-based version of facebook created by Linden Lab for Second Life residents. It’s connected with your inworld profile as well as your friends list inworld.
When you post a status or snapshot on your profile, according to how you have your privacy settings saved, it can be view-able publicly to anyone that looks up your profile, either inworld or on the web. You can also have that setup to only be view-able to people on your friends list. If you have your profile set for public viewing, when you post a snapshot, it can be displayed under the trending tab from the homepage and from there people can like it and follow your profile.
You can place links to direct people to your store, blog, marketplace etc… I recall seeing a designer taking pictures of their vendors and adding a direct SLurl so people could tp over and purchase it right away.
It’s great for exposure, especially since a lot of people love to look up people’s profiles and see what they have shared in them. I think it’s also a great way for designers to communicate with their customers. If they are having a sale or going on vacation and won’t be available for a little while, they can just leave a status update and that way anytime anyone opens up their profile, they can clearly see what’s going on with that designer and brand.
There are quite a number of people that use the profiles and you can see that just by going to the home link and then clicking on the trending tab. A lot of people have been sharing pictures and socializing with others.
This network is already there for everyone to use, you don’t need to sign up or do anything. If you have a Second Life account then you already have a my.secondlife.com profile. Unfortunately there is no mobile app for this network, this is why I don’t really use it that much. If there was a mobile app, I would be more inclined to use it. Linden Lab also has an account on this network that they are quite active on, you can follow it here: https://my.secondlife.com/second.life
If you create anything at all in Second Life, any kind of content or even if you just love taking pictures, I highly recommend joining flickr. Whenever I find a new content creator inworld, my first initial reaction is to look up their sl name on flickr and see if they have an account as well as a flickr group for their store. While it is in the Flickr Guidelines that you cannot use flickr to advertise or sell your products, it doesn’t mean you cannot indirectly promote your business. Here are some ways you can promote your business/blog on flickr without getting deleted by the flickr Gods:
- Upload a variety of different pictures – Don’t just upload your vendor ads, but mix it up a bit and add some other pictures you may be taking in Second Life. Use your flickr stream to not only advertise, but show what else you may be doing in SL. It makes your account look less like an advertising account and it will probably get your customers interacting with you more.
- Avoid putting SLurls, marketplace links and prices in the flickr description – I know adding slurls and marketplace links is what got some designer’s accounts deleted from flickr with no notice. If you want to play it safe and not have your account deleted, you can try putting your links in your Flickr Profile instead like I have in mine.
- Add tags to your pictures – I fully admit that I am totally lazy about this and rarely do it myself. At the start of this year I made a small resolution to myself that I would put tags in for all of my flickr pics from then on, that lasted about a month, lol. I did add tags to a recent picture on my flickr just as an example. I think it’s important to always put a “SecondLife” tag so those searching on flickr for second life pics will have yours come up. Then it’s always good to put the stores you possibly have featured, people or anything else that may be relevant to the picture. It will bring more exposure to your pictures.
- Check your Flickr Content Filters – I did a tutorial on flickr content filters a couple of years ago. It’s important to check the filters so you have them set to be able to view adult or mature images, unless of course if you don’t want to. It’s also important to remember to set your filters properly on all your images so you are not sharing any nude images publicly, they should be on moderate or restricted. If you don’t have this setting correct, flickr admins will set your whole account to restricted until you can fix all the settings in each image.
- Create a group for your brand – One of my favorite things to do after I complete a picture is to put it in the correct group relating to that picture. People have a tendency to go overboard and spam their pics in a variety of groups without reading the rules. Please don’t be one of those people. I have to clear out pictures from my Explore Second Life group and my Blog memes flickr group on a daily basis because people just add them without looking. I always look for store groups and add my pictures to those ones and then I usually end up browsing the group itself. I admit to actually browsing groups more often then I do my own contacts. Groups are a great way to find pictures of interest to you. You can search for any group topic, join and start browsing. I am in over 1500 groups and they all have something to do with Second Life, so groups are a great way to find other SLers on flickr.
- Groups all SLers should join! – Here are few groups that I think everyone should join and possibly add their pics to (please read their rules and descriptions before joining)
> Official Second Life Flickr Group (owned and run by Linden Lab)
> Second Life Flickr Group (the biggest SL group on flickr, run by SL residents)
> Explore Second Life Flickr Group (shameless self promotion)
> Second Life Fashion (large and popular group)
> SL Art (would be more effective if it wasn’t spammed with blog/fashion pics)
- Follow the #SecondLife hashtag: Believe it or not, but the #SecondLife hashtag is actually followed by a lot of people, even non-SLers. If you follow it, you can easily see who the active Second Life resident tweeters are. Of course as with any popular hashtag, you will also find a lot of spam, but it’s easy to ignore. I usually catch a lot of informative articles and links that people share about Second Life that way.
- Use the #SecondLife hashtag: To get exposure for your tweets and links, use the hashtag yourself. I try and use appropriate hashtags as often as I can, especially when tweeting my blog posts. I know a lot of people have their blogs set to automatically tweet when they post, but I don’t really feel that is an effective way to do it. I feel it is better to manually tweet each link with a related comment and a couple of hashtags, here’s an example. You get a lot more attention that way. I also like to attach an image with the tweet at times as well.
- Follow the various Linden Lab accounts on twitter:
> Second Life Official (run by Linden Lab – Second Life news & updates)
> Linden Lab (Linden Lab’s official Twitter account)
> My Twitter List (I have a list of important and informative Second Life tweeters)
- Join the Second Life Community – With over 1700 members, the Second Life community on Google+ is pretty welcoming and quite busy. It was started by Chuck Baggett and he was kind enough to make me one of the 4 other moderators. People are free to post any Second Life related links and statuses in the community. Google+ communities are still a pretty new concept and I’m happy to see ours pretty active. So make sure to join and participate when you can.
- Follow & Use the #SecondLife hashtag – I can’t stress how important hashtags will become for Google+ users. You may have heard that we will soon be able to search hashtags on Google.com. So if someone does a hashtag search such as #GoogleGlass they will actually see the Google+ statuses of people that are using that hashtag in their posts, on the right hand side. I’ve seen that happen so far for very popular hashtags such as #GoogleGlass and #Emmys. I’ve heard it will soon be happening for all hashtags. So the next time a search is made for #SecondLife you should see some Google+ users on the right hand side.
- Linden Lab has an official Google+ account – https://plus.google.com/+secondlife
- Like the Second Life Facebook Page: With over 300,000 likes and over 3000 people currently talking about it, Second Life has a very active facebook page. It’s probably the most active network for Second Life. Like the page and interact with it often by leaving comments on their posts and sharing your own posts and pictures on the page itself. The pictures you share there are used for the Second Life Facebook Profile Pics of the Week.
- Join Second Life Groups: There are thousands of Second Life related groups on Facebook where people can share their links. A quick search for open Second Life groups will help you find a lot you can join and participate in. You need a Facebook Profile to join and participate in groups. You are not able to do this with just a facebook page.
- Follow & use the #SecondLife hashtag: Again, like the other networks, it will be the fastest way to find other SL residents that are active users on Facebook. Also remember to add that hashtag to your public posts when sharing your SL-related statuses.
Did you know that Linden Lab not only has an official Second Life flickr group, but they also have an official Second Life profile on flickr? This is the Official Second Life flickr profile. You can follow it if you like. I noticed that they have recently started to use it and have added pictures to that account.
Flickr is also a network that can be linked with Empire Avenue and Klout so any kind of activity you have on flickr, will increase your scores on those two sites. It also has a pretty nice android app that I use often.
There are already thousands of SLers on flickr. The best way to find them is to search for SL groups that interest you and then follow the people that are participating in them. You can interact with them by leaving comments on their images or faving the ones you like. You will not only be promoting your own work when you do that, but you’ll probably end up meeting a lot of other residents with similar interests and ideas.
I think out of all the networks, I find Twitter the most educational. I follow certain RL bloggers, social media hashtags and then of course the Second Life hashtag. I learn a lot from the things people share on there.
Here are a few ways to find other SLers on Twitter and get your tweets noticed by them:
I admit I’ve been the most active on twitter than any other network recently, mainly because it’s the easiest to use on my phone. Twitter is also the network that influences your Klout and Empire Avenue scores the most, I think that’s also another reason I’ve been really into it recently.
There are numerous mobile apps for twitter. My personal favorites that I use are the official Twitter app, Hootsuite and also Tweetdeck. Tweetdeck is one that I use the most, on my computer and my phone. Although for quick tweets, I just break out the official twitter app since it’s fast & easy. For reading purposes, I use Tweetdeck. Tweetdeck really improves your twitter experience and makes it a lot easier to follow hashtags and lists. I definitely recommend using it for twitter, you’ll get much more out of twitter that way.
There’s a bit of controversy behind Google+ and if they allow pseudonyms on their network. When they first started, they were not very open to having us on there and a lot of us even had our accounts suspended, like myself. But I quickly got my account back and haven’t had any issues since then. If you take a look at my Google Authorship post, in the comments Vaneeesa Blayblock has discussed in detail what the real issue is with Google and their names policy. I think you’ll find the discussion there quite informative.
Here are ways to find other SLers on Google+
Google+ is also very mobile friendly and has a great android app that I use all the time. It’s also a network that has some influence on your Empire Avenue and Klout scores. I am actually a big fan of Google+ and have been loving all of their improvements. Having a Google+ account also makes it easier to get Google Authorship which I feel is something very important for all bloggers to have. You can check out my Google Authorship tutorial at this link.
This will be a very controversial network since it pretty much hates Second Lifers and is ready to delete our profiles any given day. I have had my profile disabled twice on there now, luckily the second time I was able to get it back and didn’t have to make a third profile.
Why do I bother to join a network when it clearly does not want us on there, you ask? I join because I find it entertaining and beneficial for my blog. You see, I have a facebook page for my blog, which is completely legal and will not get deleted by Facebook. You don’t have to have a facebook profile to have a facebook page. You can just create a page by using a simple email address. However, in order to get the best out of a facebook page and have more options with it, I noticed it’s best to have a facebook profile running it in the background.
I also like having a profile because I can play facebook games and Second Lifers on facebook are very friendly and welcoming. Everyday I login to Facebook with at least 20 new friend requests from other SLers. They are a very active bunch and also very friendly and supportive. They are always there to like, comment and share your posts with their timelines.
Here are ways to promote to other SLers on Facebook:
After flickr, facebook is the network I get the most hits from. It’s also one of the most supportive networks I am on. The Facebookers are very friendly, supportive and helpful. There is also a wide variety of communities on Facebook. You will find SL residents that are models and heavenly into the fashion scene, or music, art, families and so much more. I have only had a Facebook profile for about a year and I already have a large network of SLers that I interact with.
I also feel it’s very professional for a brand to have a Facebook Page so their customers can follow them easily, such as Zaara, Maitreya, Diesel Works and Truth have. There are a lot of brands with facebook pages. You can check out all the pages that I have liked (not all are SL related).
I highly recommend joining facebook, even if your profile may get deleted. I feel it’s still worth it to join and interact with the facebook community. It’s very entertaining and it will definitely build brand recognition.
Unlike all of the other networks I’ve mentioned, it’s not as easy to get into plurk and interact with the Second Life community there. The majority of the people do not follow hashtags on there, nor do a lot of people visit the frontpage to see which plurks have been promoted. Also, you have to get your plurks to be promoted by someone else, there’s no way of placing them there yourself, so it’s not something that is under your control.
The only way you can honestly get in to plurk and get people to respond to your plurks is by knowing someone else that is already a very active plurker. Once you know someone else, then you can join and have them introduce you to their timeline. I try and do that from time to time if I notice a lot of newcomers, but to be honest, it’s hard to keep up with that.
I often see a lot of new people joining plurk and saying that it’s hard to follow or that no one responds to their plurks. Also, quite a few people on plurk keep private timelines and are not very open to letting people they are not familiar with onto their timelines.
Promotion wise, I actually do not recommend joining plurk at all. I don’t feel it’s the best way to promote your brand because I’ve been seeing more and more of a trend amongst the current plurkers of not appreciating being spammed by people that are just posting blog links or links to their stores. I just don’t feel like it’s an effective network for promotion unless you already have a stable network of people you know on there or if you are a bigger brand that people are familiar with.
The only thing I recommend plurk for is if you just want to join and socialize with the second life fashion blogger community. You can start off by following accounts of the people that have public timelines, such as myself, and you can also follow the official Second Life plurk account that is run by Linden Lab.
There are many mobile apps for plurk that I use at times. But in all honesty, it’s a network that I have been steadily losing interest in. I only go there when I have time to chat with some friends and I no longer share all of my blog posts on there.
Plurk also has no benefit or effect on your Empire Avenue or Klout scores at it is not considered to be a major social network.
I know that is a lot of information and a lot of networks to digest all at once so if I were to recommend only ONE network for you to join to promote your brand, then that one would be flickr. Although flickr has currently made a lot of changes to the network, and continues to do so, I still feel it is a network that everyone still turns to for a variety of different purposes such as sharing their art or content. After flickr, I would recommend creating a facebook page for your brand. Once you have those two setup, you are already reaching a lot of different communities.
One of the most important things to remember for almost every network is, use hashtags! I know hashtags can be very irritating at times because they are so overused by many people, however all you really need is one or two good ones, don’t overdo it! Just remember to use #SecondLife on all the networks and that should keep you covered. Also, enjoy this video, it’s one of my favs and pretty relevant to this post.
I hope you found this post informative and not too overwhelming. Don’t forget to follow me on the networks you decide to join. Happy Networking! <3 [ SecondLife | Flickr | Twitter | Google+ | Facebook | Plurk | Klout | Empire Avenue ]
» For more of my tutorials, check out my tutorials page.