Helpful Tips for Spending Quality Time With Social Media

10 02 2009

Via my professor’s (Kelli Matthews) “linky love” post I came across Jason Falls post on “Creating Social Media Rituals” Of the several links posted by my professor this one struck a chord with me because all this social media madness occasionally makes me feel overwhelmed.  Jason’s tips seemed mainly directed to businesses but they were still very helpful for me.  So, here’s my modified-for-me-and-you list of Jason’s tips.

Be Picky.social-networking

It may be tempting to sign up for something like Twitter and go crazy adding whoever whether or not they may be interested in what you have to say.  I fell into that trap following tweeps like the Dali Llama – whose twitter isn’t even legit and Rainn Wilson – who I still follow because I love “The Office.”  I’ve since revised my following to more specifically benefit me – sorry your Holiness.  And, that’s not to say that everyone I follow is interested in what I say, but I am interested in what they say and it relates to things I’m curious about.  Pick the people you connect with carefully.  Don’t just ask “what can I get?” Also ask “what can I contribute?”

Listen!

Obviously participation is a key component in using any social media. But, listening is equally key – especially if you’re trying to build a brand.  I’m a great listener, in fact, it’s easier for me to listen (in regards to social media) than to speak up (I’m just learning how to do this part) and honestly, it’s less scary.  But, people are starting conversations everywhere.  Listen and join in where you have something to contribute.

Share.

I love sharing things.  It’s the best way for me to learn – I find something interesting and share it or explain it to someone else.  The more I get to share something the better I understand it and the longer it stays with me.  Moreover, as Jason points out in his post and as most people know, it’s not what you know, it’s what you can share with the people you know.  It can easily set you apart from others or forge a connection with people who share similar interests.

Start Small.

This one’s for me fo sho.  Social media is a new experience for me, and quite frankly, it makes me a little anxious.  I think if I were to jump in feet first I’d be over my head, so I’ve put my toe in (the big one) to test the water (cliché, I know).  When working with clients, we always find what works best for them – it’s the same for individuals.  Find what works best for you and master it, then explore other things.  Social media is constantly evolving and it’s important to try and keep up with it the best you can.

These tips (like the originals) apply just as easily to a PR professional (up and coming or otherwise) as they do to a small business, not-profit, or big corporation.  The point I took away from Jason’s post (which I hope is taken away from mine) is that it doesn’t matter who you are, there are certain ways to use social media that will maximize your influence and help develop genuine relationships with your audience.  And if you can make them part of a routine you’re likely to be a step ahead of the curve.

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