Taking your first steps into social media
As a marketer, social media fascinates me. I am enjoying my adventures of discovery, even as I fear being sucked into a vortex of unending links and loops. The best approach has been to schedule times to check in and post on my social media profiles. Social media offers ample distractions, but it is possible to be quite effective in a few hours a week.
Social media has a learning curve, and I have found that only by getting my feet wet can I see my next steps.
Need a guide?
Here are some first steps to take:
Search Google or Technorati to find a few blogs that interest you. Professional associations and publications often host good blogs. A passion for the subject matter is critical, otherwise social media is too much trouble!
Sift through the choices to find valuable content. There are gems out there amidst the junk.
Observe the conversation; learn the context.
Leave a comment when you can add value to the discussion. Add value before you promote yourself.
Pay a return visit the next day or week to see what else has been said.
Reply to the comments on your comment.
Rinse and repeat to learn the landscape of social networking.
A March 2010 report on Mashable said nearly 20% small business owners are using social media for their business – primarily Facebook and LinkedIn. Less than 40% were blogging. Adoption doubled in past year – growing, but by no means past the curve. Not too late to benefit from social media.
Consider this: over 500 million users spend 700 billion minutes on Facebook every month. It is how they keep up with their friends and family. It’s how they do business. They could be keeping up with you!
Some of this content first appeared in “Why A/E firms should care about social media” in the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce.