Getting The Most Out Of Your Digital Social Life

This is a guest post by Jimi Jones. Welcome to Social Media Notebook, Jimi!

Life online is grand, I’ve had a long running love affair with this digital environment. What could be more fun than travelling around the internet and engaging people from all walks of life, while sharing creative ways to get things done?

Social media is a work-while-you-play environment where you can visit the domains of others and spread some knowledge and good will, something the world in general could use a lot more of. It’s the digital social life.

So how can you get the most out of the limited time you have to spend in this wonderful world?

The answer is simple, grab some tools and get out there with the mission of helping others while being yourself.

Establish Your Identity

Get an avatar – A large part of being yourself is establishing your identity. Get a nice avatar so people come to recognize you instantly. Like the real world, people have excellent recall and it is easy to remember a familiar face.

Be Consistent – It is also very important to be consistent with your identity, particularly if you are operating an online business. Changing photos weekly may be cute on MySpace, but this creates confusion among potential clients in the business environment. Build your brand with one image and one name.

Be active and engaging – Build your presence on a few social media sites that you really enjoy. Engage others, start some conversations, share some link love and be sociable. No need to be shy about it, jump in and thrive while having the time of your life.

Caution – This can be so much fun that you will have to guard against spending too much time on these sites and spreading yourself too thin. Keep the really important things in focus, like getting things done that will benefit you long-term. Be as creative as possible; produce some ebooks, videos and other products that help solve problems. Be sure to set some limits on just hanging out.

Use Some Strategy

To get the most out of your social efforts you’ll need to employ some strategies. Here are a few:

1. Twitter

  • Instead of just tweeting links all day, use Twitter to actually carry on some conversations and show some personality. Sharing links is fine, but be sure to balance this with some real talk.
  • Concentrate on good quality followers and avoid getting hung up on the numbers. Having 150 followers that are engaged and in-tune with what you are talking about is better than having 1,000 who only send you their sales page links in hopes of you buying.
  • Allow your following to grow organically. Avoid those fancy gimmicks that promise 1000 followers per day and overnight success.
  • Become a part of a Twitter community where there is a core group of engaging individuals who are always there to support one another. This leads to the building of true friendships and opportunities.
  • Enjoy the party because that is exactly what Twitter is. Relax, have fun and enjoy yourself while providing real value to others. When you are seen as someone who is helpful and provides value to others, people will flock to you and that organic growth mentioned earlier will take hold.

2. Facebook

  • On the surface Facebook appears to be a lot of work for the amount of people who are actually interested in things other than games and shooting the breeze. However, this is a misunderstanding of how the site functions. I’ve noticed more and more corporations establishing a presence and they are not there to play Scrabble.
  • Here are a few strategies to undertake in hopes of a better return on your time investment (ROI).
  • Create a fan (now Like) page and include a share button on your blog site. Once built, develop some creative activities to engage readers, giving them something to look forward to.
  • Update your Facebook status on a regular basis. Like other social sites you need to become a regular to gain any real traction. Providing helpful information and being engaging is a formula for growing with the community.
  • Start a Facebook group to bring people together and build your own community. This requires more time and effort but many have done this quite successfully.
  • Use the Networked Blogs app to engage other bloggers and import your post into FB. This user generated blog directory is a good way to spread your reach and expand your network connections.

Get Your Message Out

There are many ways to distribute your content and spread your message. Your blog itself is a tool for accomplishing this, but when assisted by sites like Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin your reach can be quite substantial.

Produce a daily paper using the Paper.ly free service. It’s a great way to recognize and share the work of your fellow Tweeps, many of which will surely return the love.

Getting the most out of your digital social life is a simple matter of putting in some effort, while having fun and enjoying what you love to do.

Like most things in life, you’ll get out what you put in, so get out there and spread your influence and build your online social activities into something that benefits the community as a whole.

Keep Blogging!

Jimi Jones is an internet entrepreneur who writes about creative ways to build your brand.

You can find him on Twitter @JimiJones or on his blog JimiJones.com

16 Responses to Getting The Most Out Of Your Digital Social Life
  1. Kevin Tea
    Twitter: kevincumbria
    September 5, 2010 | 6:08 am

    Good to see you spreading the gospel over here Jimi. I am still not convinced Facebook works for me. Twitter is great and I can see tangible results, but Facebook …

    Just discovered Paper.li – could be one of the great innovations and I will follow its effect eagerly.
    Kevin Tea recently posted… Condensed Cloud-Cloud Computing And Social Media News Roundup

    • Kapil Apshankar
      September 5, 2010 | 8:09 am

      Paper.li looks (and prima facie is) super fabulous, Kevin.

      It’s probably the best Twitter productivity tool that I’ve seen in quite a while and score on a bunch of points:

      1. Super easy to get started.
      2. Wonderfully easy to read and keep track of relevant tweets.
      3. Ability to go viral.

      I am going to see where Paper.li goes over the next few months – and am having a lot of hopes and expectations from it. I won’t be surprised if we see a bunch of other similar services popping up in the four months that remain of 2010.

      • Jimi Jones
        Twitter: JimiJones
        September 6, 2010 | 10:00 am

        I agree, more services like this will be popping up, just hope they don’t water down the effectiveness of what is now a really nice free product.
        Jimi Jones recently posted… How I Learned To Focus On What Matters

        • Kapil Apshankar
          September 6, 2010 | 3:58 pm

          There’s one more of these services that I am trying out today, Jimi – http://twittertim.es/.

          Watering down the effectiveness – that would be a shame!

    • Erica Mueller
      Twitter: EricaMueller
      September 5, 2010 | 9:54 am

      Kevin, I set up a paper.li and I like the idea, but made the mistake of setting it up for my whole stream of people I follow. I think these would be a lot more effective if set up for a Twitter list, or hashtag. I’ve started building a list of people who use/recommend/tech WordPress and am creating a paper that will have more relevant tweets, as opposed to just showing stuff from everyone I follow.
      Erica Mueller recently posted… Tweet Old Posts WordPress Plugin

      • Kevin Tea
        Twitter: kevincumbria
        September 5, 2010 | 10:14 am

        I took a look at it again today and I don’t think there is any way you can alter the original settings. It needs more configurability (is that a word!!!!!).
        Kevin Tea recently posted… Condensed Cloud-Cloud Computing And Social Media News Roundup

        • Kapil Apshankar
          September 6, 2010 | 4:01 pm

          Yep – we could certainly use a bunch of customization options, Kevin.

          For now, though, Twitter lists and hashtags seems to be producing acceptable results for me.

      • Jimi Jones
        Twitter: JimiJones
        September 6, 2010 | 9:52 am

        I agree 100%, Erica. Making a list and using hashtags allows you to have more control over the stories featured. I made the same mistake when I set mine up.

        The way it is setup now, the more people you follow, the less control there will be because of the randomness of how things are selected.
        Jimi Jones recently posted… How I Learned To Focus On What Matters

        • Kapil Apshankar
          September 6, 2010 | 4:03 pm

          The random nature of how content is selected is definitely pulling Paper.li down, Jimi.

          As a workaround, I am working with multiple sets of Twitter lists – each with about a dozen entries. Not a magic number, but still playing around with it.

      • Kapil Apshankar
        September 6, 2010 | 3:59 pm

        You’re right, Erica. Paper.li lacks a lot of customization options.

        The best way of getting a useful tweetpaper out of it would be to create it based on Twitter lists or hashtags.

    • Robert Bravery
      Twitter: robertbravery
      September 6, 2010 | 3:42 am

      Yeah, Since I did that blog post on Paper.li and started including my followers I have seen a lot more of them with their own paper. I think this could really work.
      Robert Bravery recently posted… How far would you go to keep your promise

    • Jimi Jones
      Twitter: JimiJones
      September 6, 2010 | 9:43 am

      Paper.Li is really nice. I looked at it when it first came out but did not really produce one until @RobertBravery’s post.

      Facebook brings far less traffic than Twitter, no doubt but I do see a nice trickle. It also allows me to connect with many others who don’t blog (Family & Friends).
      Jimi Jones recently posted… How I Learned To Focus On What Matters

      • Kapil Apshankar
        September 6, 2010 | 7:53 pm

        I think every social media channel has its own strengths and weaknesses, Jimi.

        As you rightly said – we need to play to, and leverage each channel based on its own merit.

        Facebook does have a lot of potential to connect with the offline world, much akin to what Orkut and MySpace were in their heyday 🙂

  2. Robert Bravery
    Twitter: robertbravery
    September 6, 2010 | 3:45 am

    I agree Jimi it takes a lot of hard work. Although simple and the principal is simple, the work is not.

    These 1000 followers per day means nothing if those followers are not going to interact with you.

    Facebook has great potential, with over 500 mil users. But I think it needs effort as well. Many people find it tiresome to do both Twitter and Facebook. Me, I often forget about Facebook then have times of Facebook overload.
    Robert Bravery recently posted… How far would you go to keep your promise

    • Kapil Apshankar
      September 6, 2010 | 7:57 pm

      Too many platforms do spoil the broth, Robert.

      I personally use Twitter and LinkedIn – and have hardly any time left for Facebook, although I am trying to get that big rock in as well.

      Add to it the secondary and tertiary social media channels like YouTube et. al. and we can get overwhelmed in our social world.

      Starting slow – and keeping the pace is the best way forward to success in social media!