Negotiation, Negotiation, Negotiation

UK Property Investment news and comments from Mark Harrison of YourPropertyExpert.com

Social Networking Optimisation (SNO)

Posted by markharrison on July 20, 2007

I’ve been reading with interest the discussion about SNO over at O’Reilly.

The world is changing rapidly:

  • Ten years ago, “experts” had books, TV shows, and (maybe) websites
  • Five years ago, we started getting into building mailing lists (Heh, I was slow – yourpropertyexpert.com didn’t start its newsletter until September 2004)
  • But the world has moved on…

I make no secret of the fact that I sell a bunch of information products – CDs, a book, several training courses, an ebook and a couple of other own-brand products… plus a limited number of other products I’ve personally used and am happy to recommend.

But the idea that some experts have that they can stand on a pedestal, and have “fans” who will lap up their every word seems almost entirely laughable these days (except, maybe, in fashion, but heh, I’m about 100 years too late for my style to be cutting-edge.)

SEO – search engine optimisation – is an odd field, a few people who teach good stuff, and a lot of snake-oil – people who claim you can make “passive income” just by bidding on AdWords and selling other people’s ebooks. It worked for a few people, for a short time, but the markets are getting more sophisticated.

Web2.0 – the whole “Two Way Web”, where everything is a discussion, a conversation, is where everyone is moving – blogs rather than newsletter (OK, as well as newsletters!), forums rather than static websites, facebook rather than Google. (Though, to be fair, Google’s Pagerank, where they give high listings to sites linked to a lot by other high-quality sites, was arguably a “systemised” version of the two-way web, albeit one that only really gave power to those who could set up their own sites a few years ago.)

SNO – Social Networking Optimisation – is the new game in town.  How can “Social Networks”, communities, be engaged with? And I do mean “engaged with”, not just “sold to!”

The benefit of a COMMUNITY isn’t the additional sales, it’s the additional sources of information, learning, suggestions (and in the property investment world) leads and contacts.

I’ve learnt far more running the YPE mailing list, from the replies, comments, disagreements, and the like, than I’ve ever been able to impart back.

It will be interesting, with the “day job” hat on for a moment, to see whether SNO becomes a well-respected part of the marketing profession, with the SNO Agency sitting with the PR Agency and the Ad Agency… or whether it’s just another set of snake oil.

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