Make New Friends, But Keep the Old

Perhaps you are the type of person (I know I am) who obsesses over friend or fan counts on your social profiles. I am not ashamed to admit that much of my morning is spent checking Facebook and Twitter for any significant changes in Likes and—Heaven forbid-severe drops in body count.

By now you’ve probably read dozens of articles on how to engage social media users to keep your numbers high—interesting posts, incentives, direct communication—but rarely do I see assurance that if your Facebook and/or Twitter aren’t populated with a legion of fans, it’s not the end of the world. At the end of the day, your main site statistics and conversions will reveal your success or point out a need for improvement.

Further Your Reach

Do you have a YouTube account? Even if you don’t have a camera to record promotional videos, an account at YouTube can prove useful if you take advantage of their free Google Search Stories to create a place card clip for use elsewhere. From there, too, you can build a network of YouTube “friends” with whom you can communicate your ideas and content.

When you think of YouTube as more of a community than a simple video search engine, you’ll discover you can make connections that lead to goal conversion. This doesn’t necessarily mean plaguing the comment boxes of related videos, but you can dress up your channel page to link to your other sites and networks, favorite relevant videos for a feed to use to your advantage, and connect with accounts close to your topic to share your ideas.

Do you use social bookmarking as a means of promoting your sites and links similar to your line of work? You might wonder about the value of having a Digg or StumbleUpon account if it appears you are the only one marking your URLs, but think for a moment about what you can do with these accounts. While you might think people are more likely to Digg the HuffPo article on Lady Gaga’s best outfits (or worst), take a deeper look into your profile. You can connect with friends here, too. You can find like-minded people apt to share the information you post, provided you show how friendly you are by digging what others are sharing. Some might criticize this method of mutual admiration as ineffective, but ultimately two Diggs on a URL are better than none.

Using such accounts to build a repository of links relevant to your topic solidifies your reputation as an authority in your line of work. As you Digg and Stumble links, comment on them, and connect with other users to share your feedback.

Once these other profiles are established, of course, you can cross-pollinate with your Facebook and Twitter and draw traffic to existing profiles. Find that proper balance between promoting your own activity and sharing outside knowledge with your fan or friend base, and you may find a natural growth in interest all around.


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Kathryn Lively is a social media specialist with Spider Writers (, a Virginia Beach-based firm assisting tourism, retail, and B2B clients with social media marketing and content writing. She welcomes new friends to her Facebook page at


  1. Interesting. I admit I’d questioned the value of Digg. I’d also not seen the potential of YouTube so this article opened my eyes quite a bit. Thank you, Kathryn!

  2. You’re welcome. It’s amazing how much potential you’ll find where you least expect it. :)

  3. “I am not ashamed to admit that much of my morning is spent checking Facebook and Twitter for any significant changes in Likes and—Heaven forbid-severe drops in body count.”

    Wouldn’t it be more productive to check your email (for new sales notifications) or your bank account balance?

    After all, you are running a business…right?

    You can have a million “fans” and still not make a dime. At the end of the day, if you are running a business, it comes down to selling a product. Don’t miss the forest for the trees.


  4. I too like making new friends among the old. My biggest referral sites are, StumbleUpon, and Twitter. However, my traffic still needs a lot of work.

  5. Just discovered this site thru Google, what a pleasant surprise!