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:
- 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.
- 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.