Following on from a LONG morning of catching up on my Social Media world and sitting in the Think Tank deciding on a subject matter for today’s blog post, I’m really pleased to be writing about this subject.
Without realising it, along with 2 esteemed colleagues (yes Andi & Matt I’m referring to you as this now) We have created a Syndicate Group on Facebook relating to blogging, internet marketing and social media. And having spent a good 2 hours of my time this morning looking over the updates I’ve missed in 72 hours away from my computer and the world that is on the end of it, I decided to write today’s post explaining WHY such groups are a good thing, and how YOU can maximise communication with people by joining, or even starting your own one.
In everyday life I’m sure you here about “Syndicate” groups in so many walks of life – Lottery Syndicates, Financial Investment Syndicates – in essence they are a collective of people who group together with a vision of the same end goal.
Wikipedia describes it as follows:
A syndicate is a self-organizing group of individuals, companies, corporations or entities formed to transact some specific business, or to promote a common interest. In most cases formed groups aim to scale up their profits. Although there are many legal syndicates formed around the world, people tend to link the term syndicate to various criminal activities. In the case of criminal activity, the syndicate is there to promote, and engage in, organized crime. The term is also associated with anarchist theory, specifically anarcho-syndicalism, in which it forms an alternative to both the nation state and capitalist corporations.
The word syndicate comes from the French word syndicat which means trade union (syndic meaning administrator), from the Latin word syndicus which in turn comes from the Greek word ???????? (syndikos) which means caretaker of an issue, compare to ombudsman or representative.
I’m sure you are aware I’m not about to sit here and talk to you about how to organise an illegal criminal syndicate, but more to show you how and why being involved in one is a good tool and source of information for building a web based business and utilise with Social Media activity.
The Facebook Group to which I am involved in as an administrator, is something that was started up by Andi from Tim’s Minions as a small idea for us to bounce around some information and ideas because Facebook making life more complicated by drastically reducing the reach that our Business pages would get too, unless we wanted to pay out some money in advertising.
At this current point in time Groups are FREE to join, free to post in, and if the group is active is a solid foundation for building up a strong community.
Our little group has a relatively small membership at the moment, but this is rapidly picking up momentum and is showcasing some really great talent for all things web based – people that I don’t think without this group I would have had the chance to meet and connect with. Which sounds silly to say almost, given I have the whole world at my fingertips.
If I take a look around my own network, there are variations of Syndicate groups all around me – if you think about it Membership sites are syndicate groups – people coming together to learn and share information all with the same goal – to raise awareness of their businesses and products. Off the top of my head here are some powerful sites that I would deem a Syndicate group:
Chris Farrell Membership – A thriving community where you can learn about building a business online, meet like-minded people and develop relationships whilst promoting your own work, with a HUGE community forum that lets the members talk and help one another out, forge relationships that can lead to business JV’s and partnerships
The Social Networking Academy - Again another thriving community based solely around using Social Media to promote your business – with an exclusive members only Facebook group this community is packed FULL to the brim of people all eager to learn and referring and using eachothers services in their businesses.
Social Media Examiner’s Networking Club - By its own’ admission (and I quote) “Finally, a place you can call home, help out others, make connections and get answers! Free now, free forever!”
WarriorForum.com – An online forum for internet marketing – a REAL powerhouse for information and networking – people all interested in learning and promoting their skillset – Membership has different levels from free to paid for different levels of access but again this is a place that will get you noticed if you are prepared to go inside and make yourself seen. Its a great place for it all, buying, selling and learning
It pays to do some research into your niche, and see what is out there for you to join – perhaps the niche is lacking something like it and YOU could start your own online business Syndicate to help other people out like you – It really does pay to network and start talking to people, especially if you can “house” them somewhere that is specific and its a really great feeling knowing you are providing a service that really is benefitting others around you (trust me I know, seeing my own little group doing so well is a great feeling) And of course you are alerting people of what you can do and those around you … It’s great for service trade off, back linking, and getting your content and work out there in front of the masses.
Whilst I appreciate that most of my examples there are paid membership sites, I wanted to highlight some other ways in which you can go about creating your own Syndicate by just thinking outside the box and looking at Social Media sites around you that you can use.
Facebook - Already mentioned in this post, but the Group facility is a really great (and obvious) one. People often get fed up of being spammed with groups, in the past I’ve been seriously irritated with some. But have some strict boundaries and guidelines about posting and each member that joins should be welcomed and given the “house-keeping” rules – which is exactly how the group I am involved in is working. The other thing is to not invite every single person on your friends list – I’ve added people I know have an interest in our subject matter, and regualarly post on my business page that the group is active and I know that my colleagues do the same, that way its not spamming or being intrusive to people. People can make up their own mind about joining the group, and that way then you know the people in the group are serious about the subject matter so will welcome the information that is being put inside it.
LinkedIn – In a similar vein to a Facebook group, you can create a group inside there – and I’d say pretty much the same rules apply, except for one small thing ….. You build your LinkedIn network around business contacts mainly, therefore those you are connected with should have a vested interest in what you do. When I initially set up my LinkedIn group I did invite all of my contacts to the group and it was received really well.
Twitter - There’s a couple of ways I would approach this for building a “syndicate” and I use that term loosely inside of Twitter because of the public nature of Twitter. If you are connected and regularly converse with other members of Twitter you should start by creating a list and adding all those people to it, this is great because then those members will see other people who are on the same “page” as them and it an build connections and entice people to follow one another and subscribe to the list. Add in a hashtag for people on the list to tap into and before you know it you have a “live” syndicate that anyone can view. With the nature of Twitter, that means by default anyone can find the hashtag by simply searching it, but I don’t believe for one second this is a bad thing – the bigger things get the more people jumping on board can only be a good thing. You can arrange and organise LIVE Twitter chats with the hashtag weekly and focus on one specfic topic of interest relating to what you do. This can take some momentum, but can quickly and easily become a great tool for connecting and networking with people.
Pinterest – Pinterest to build a syndicate you say …. Yes I say How comes though? Visuals are MASSIVE (just maybe not on Facebook, unless you have spending power!!!) More and more people are jumping on board with the Pinterest hype and it would be really easy to start a small Syndicate on there. They have the facility to add boards and assign people that can pin to them, you can even make these boards “secret” so they are away from the general public – if you are connecting and sharing pins with like minded people – make contact with them, explain what you are doing and ask if they would like to pin to your “help” board for other like minded people – again a little perseverance and motivation for the momentum to build but this is another FREE alley you can take – with the ability to repin and comment, include hashtags and searching this is a great way to combine expertise and knowledge in another platform that people are looking for information and help on. You don’t have to make the boards secret – I guess again the general idea is to let people see what is happening. Don’t encourage spamming and have some rules for posting to the boards and I’m fairly certain this could be a very successful way of using Pinterest.
Aside from that, another really great tool that can be used – as an extension of any of the above is a Google+ hangout - a live web chat that people can get involved online with and you can target specific topics each session. Jo Barnes does these regularly and they are called “Marketing Mayhem”
I wouldn’t suggest tackling ALL of these, but you should seriously consider where you have the most traffic and success with networking with people, and then have a think yourself if this is something you could start, or even investigate if this is already happening and you can jump on board and get involved in. From my own experience being involved in my own Facebook group syndicate has been so important for my own business development – it has brought me new enquiries for my services, allowed me to help people out from the benefit of my knowledge, increased web traffic and got me some really cool new people to toss ideas around with, and it’s also great for those involved as I’m more aware of products they are involved with that can help my work, whilst netting them some income too! Which all in all is exactly the purpose of a “Syndicate” in the first place.
There are no set rules for what format a “syndicate” needs to be, the only rule is that its a place for people to come together with a common interest or goal ….. And that is exactly what myself and my colleagues have been working on
I’d love to know of any other ideas you may have for this subject matter, or even share some groups or places you are hanging out doing great things in building a community for your businesses online.
Have an awesome week!