Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mechanics of Social Media

I like social networking, but what do I like even more? Learning about it from professional strategists that have full time hours to immerse themselves in all aspects of the various media. I pay close attention to a number of the "big names", in hopes of finding the golden egg, the silver lining, etc that I sometimes miss due to not having 50, 60, or even 70 hours a week dedicated to strictly tweeting, facebooking, blogging, etc. My job responsibilities are a blend of the traditional, new media, public relations, communications, and more.

I've sat through many webinars, am a member of the Inbound Marketing University graduates, know the ins and outs of SEO/SEM, have a love/hate relationship with Google, and other miscellany know-how that you'll hear shared by those making a career out of social media. You can know all of this, be credentialed with the best of them, but if you don't know how to build relationship and function as a member of a community, you've not got much of a foundation.

All of this to say, there are a few tenets that were shared in a recent webinar I attended, that I'd like to share with you. The host of the webinar was Peter Shankman, an internationally known social media strategist. I've read the books & blogs, taken the classes, and picked many a brain over a cup of coffee, but think these points from Shankman are the clearest communication I've heard on the mechanics of social media, to-date.
  • Now anyone, thanks to social media, can have a soapbox. problem with this? Not everyone is interested in listening. Be relevant.
  • Social Media Rules of Engagement: transparency. relevance. brevity. connect with your audience.
  • Remain top-of-mind by finding 10 different people in your network everyday and saying "hello" to them.
  • Be a provider of "Finders Candy": finding something interesting and posting it to twitter and Facebook.
  • Limit the number of posts, tweets and content that start with "I".
  • Everything you post increases or decreases the credibility of your personal brand.
  • It's never anyone else's fault if you're not perceived as you want to be.
  • Your personal brand is your professional brand nowadays. There's little difference any longer in this digital age.
  • Ask yourself: What value can you offer in everything that you post?
  • Say thank you! Thanking people is the most underrated action in the world.
  • If you don't have passion for what you're doing, don't bother promoting it.
The emphasis on the latter two points is because I find these to be the two guiding principles that most businesses forget. Don't use social media just to keep up with the Joneses, and avoid being status quo. People will follow your content, and it's your privilege to have those followers. Remember to thank them!

What do you think is missing from the mechanics and tenets of this post? How do you insure that you're not just vanilla in your approach to social networking?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Yes, laughter is the best...

I leave you with this parting thought on Friday afternoon.... don't you dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road and not be questioned about their motives?