Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Social Media 101

Most of my peers have this subject nailed down.... but occasionally I run across someone who I think has it all figured out, all this social media hoopla, and yet they are missing one key element about the system (yes it is a system!) that would make their life online so much simpler. So today's Idea Factory is about all the social media tools I use on a daily or weekly basis. This list will likely change in 6 months, so it will likely require a followup. I know 6 months ago I wasn't using half these tools yet... technology is already light-years ahead of us!

I also knew this would be a good post today when I counted my sites up and realized I regularly post to, gasp, over 30 different profiles. No wonder I need automation technology to keep myself from going crazy, AND to be able to do some work in a day!

Daily I post to: (# of profiles)
Facebook (3), Twitter (3), LinkedIn (1), Flickr (1)

Weekly I post to:
Blogger (4), You Tube (1), Ning (6), The Wheel Life (1), Aweber (1), Examiner (1), Twitpic (2)

Occasionally I post to:
Dopplr, MySpace, Travelwriters, Digg, Ph.Art, RedBubble, CafePress, FotoLibra, TripIt,, Meetup, BlogTalkRadio... and probably a few more I'm forgetting!

The tools I use to keep me going:
When I post to any of my blogs (Access Anything, AA Reviews, Idea Factory, In The Deep) or Examiner, they post automatically to my Twitter via TwitterFeed, and to my Facebook via the Twitter Application. You will have to get familiar with FeedBurner to do so... but it's easy enough.

Sometimes I post to Twitter directly and it goes to Facebook with Twitter App, and sometimes I use OutTwit (now called TwInBox) to tweet. I don't use TweetDeck but I know a lot who do, I just don't prefer it.

I also use SocialOomph to post a week or month's worth of tweets, or just to pretweet something that is time specific, that I don't want to forget about, OR to tweet something multiple times. This is my favorite tool.

I use Retaggr to keep all my profiles organized in one place for networking friends, and use it as a signature on my email (below).

YouTube also autoposts to Facebook, which is nice. So it looks like I spend a LOT more time on Facebook than I really do. :)

Twitter just hooked up with LinkedIn, so add that application if you have a profile there.

Why we use Social Networking:
Since using these tools, our mailing list sign up has increased and I've made tons of new and wonderful contacts all over the world, collaborated with new businesses, sold photographs, booked freelance jobs, and much more.

Some people still ask how you find the time for all this, and how you keep it organized. I've learned that frequency is key, so if I'm particularly unmotivated to reach out to the legions, I rely on SocialOomph a little more.

And yes, sometimes it's entirely overwhelming... just in writing this post and going to Ning (create your OWN social network!) I realized I'd forgotten about three networks I hadn't been to in months. Oops! But when it seems overwhelming, and even infringing, I step back and take a week to myself, let SocialOomph make it look like I'm out there, and forget about the World Wide Web for a few days. That usually gets me to come back with enthusiasm and new ideas.

What to Say:
I've listened to and read much on the subject of social networking to make sure I'm doing the right things for our business. I'd never be this omnipresent if it wasn't for our business; but since we are, I want to do it right. Here are the basics on what to and what not to "Tweet" if you're doing this for yours or someone else's business and marketing.
  • Be personal, let them into your life with pictures, videos, etc., but only give what you're comfortable with
  • Set all security settings to high on Facebook, only let friends or "friends of friends" view your photos and personal information.
  • Don't tweet about every meal unless you're a food critic. Keep it interesting- post your favorite song with one day, repost someone else's link to your new favorite book or movie, share tips, and keep it short.
  • Connect with people who can help grow your business through collaboration, but don't turn people away based on that either- you never know how you can work together in the future.
  • Don't get distracted by the games on Facebook or other sites; set rules for yourself based on how much time you want to spend doing this. It's not exactly quantifiable in terms of income, but it IS free marketing; so decide for yourself- 10 minutes a day to start, up to 30 maximum is recommended.

My Challenge: I challenge you to find (all of) me on all these sites!

My Companies/Profiles:
Access Anything, Andrea Jehn Kennedy Photography, Yampa Valley Sustainability Council

1 comment:

  1. I would love to read a update to this post. I am looking to streamline my "social media self" Thanks,
    Kristan in Alabama