I joined Active Rain almost a year ago and I still think it's the best online community I've found ... thanks to all your great people out there who really take the time to embrace and support each other, and especially the newbies as it really does take time to learn your way around.
I've gotten involved with other sites (I'm not a realtor) and I like LinkedIn a lot for the breadth of people I'm able to connect with in the business community.
Now I've been asked to talk about social media, to a group of professional organizers in NH ... so I thought some of you could help me put my story and key messages together. Here's a first, and very rough outline of my initial ideas. Any and all help greatly appreciated.
Why Should You Invest Time in Social Media?
- As our world grows larger and traditional boundaries melt away, social media is providing us with the tools to build a new world, one that spans the globe and enables us to connect with like minded people.
- People need people and social media sites provide us with global communities where we can seek out and build relationships with people who share similar passions, interests, wants and needs.
Tip #1 - Find and develop new, online networks of people who share your interests, both personally and professionally.
Tip #2 - Don't jump in and think you need to start from scratch. Explore and find a handful of role models in each new community your join. Analyze their profiles and identify what works for you, then write your profile and include those elements that you found most compelling.
Tip #3 - Don't reinvent the wheel as you join more social media groups. After you've written 2 or 3 profiles, you will begin to sense what really works for you, what you believe best describes who you plus your goals for connecting. Copy these words into a contact or similar document so you can easily write future profiles.
Tip #4 - Go with the flow for at least 2 to 3 months, and really engage in the community dialog to learn how others are using each social media site. I love the way Active Rain uses the point system to really teach you how to participate in an online community, in a win-win environment. One of my favorite features in LinkedIn is the ability to ask questions of my network.
Tip #5 - You will drop out when life happens, but as soon as you can rejoin your groups. After you've invested 3 to 6 months on a given site, then you can step back and evaluate how you've benefited from your participation. It doesn't happen magically, it takes work and you will get back more than you put in.
Tip #6 - Just like feed-on-the-street networking groups, some will work for you and others will not. Pick at least 2 to 4 groups which you find are giving you value, in terms of professional growth, business contacts and just simply fun (they'll talk to you). Remain active in fewer groups rather than stretching yourself too thin, which can happen even when you don't have to drive anywhere.
So you're wondering what groups I'm involved in:
- Active Rain, of course!
- LinkedIn for learning about marketing, web technology and entrepreneurship
- FaceBook ... no idea how I might use this unless 1 or 2 of the groups I'm in really blossom; feels like more about personal connections than any business orientation
- Twitter is still a mystery so any/all help with the 3 to 5 tools needed to make this a useful tool are greatly appreciated
- MySpace ... haven't even ventured there yet
- Squidoo is brand new to me, introduced by a peer handyman owner ... so what do you think?
Everyone out there, well maybe just a couple 100. I'd love to hear what you have to share and then I can summarize for my presentation, and share with all of you.
Thanks for listening and helping me grow some more.
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