A Refresher on Social Media Networking

As social media continually immerses itself into our daily lives with sites such as Twitter, Facebook, blogging and recently the location based social media application, Foursquare, it is important to make sure we are using it correctly and to its greatest potential. There are many aspects of social media that can beneficially impact you both socially and professionally.

According to one of Scott Hepburn’s Emerging Media blog posts, he responded to a question posed on LinkedIn by Communication-Education Lifestylist, Erica Pryor about the type of advice one would give to a “micro-business or freelancer considering using social media for their business development needs.” Hepburn added these valuable refreshers about social media practices that I thought would be fundamental to pass on to all of you avid social media users.

1. Be Valuable. “Whatever platforms you choose — blogging, Twitter, video, a combination of tools — create and share useful information with people. Think first about what others need, then create.”

2. Be Patient. “Generating leads and new business via social media and social networking takes time. If you need immediate income, other vehicles might work better. On the other hand, if you commit to building your network and delivering value over the long haul, the rewards will be far greater over the course of your career.”

3. Promote Others. “While you’re feeling the pressure of your immediate income needs, you’ve gotta resist the urge to focus just on you. Help others achieve THEIR goals, and it’ll come back to you tenfold.”

4. Set Goals. “Start with small goals — no need to bite off more than you can chew. One mistake a lot of people make in social media is thinking they have to do everything, be everywhere, and know everyone. Focus on one achievable goal at a time.”

5. Help Someone Else. “See a theme emerging? You may be uber-talented, but the key to getting someone to part with their money isn’t being talented…it’s solving a problem. Everyone out there has a need — how can you help them resolve that need?”

6.  Step Away From the Computer. “My biggest weakness is using social networking as a crutch. I spend too much time “building relationships” and “engaging” with people who can’t help me grow my business. You have to step away from Twitter, pick up the phone, pound the streets, schedule meetings, send emails, follow up, follow up, follow up. Nobody is as attuned to your need for income as you are, so you can’t count on them to come to you with checkbooks open. You have to go ask for the business.”

We know nowadays, an online presence is vital for networking and communicating, but we must remember to do it effectively so we can reach our targeted audiences. According to ezinearticles, not having your details on the Internet can cause you to miss out on three hours everyday when you could be reaching out to 90 million users. In addition, most businesses (today) have a web presence, so it is important to show your knowledge and promote your “tech-savvy” skills when searching for a job upon graduation.

So…what advice might you add about successful social media, networking and online presence?

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3 Responses to A Refresher on Social Media Networking

  1. aguido says:

    I agree that those are all important aspects to consider when using social media for business purposes. As something to add, I think that choosing your Friends or Followers wisely is also vital. If you have already built that credibility and are a little more well-known, I think that people look at who you associate yourself with. As a personal user, this shouldn’t be a concern and no one should judge you based on that, but in the business world you must create an image for yourself from all sides. I think that associating yourself with similar businesses or partners who can boost your image is smart. You don’t want to add a Friend who might discredit you or look bad in the eyes of your audience. A lot of it is about perception from your key stakeholders and you must make a good impression on them in all aspects, including your friends and followers.

    • alevy says:

      I agree that this is definitely a vital piece of advice for social media users. Content posted on the web can always be found, so realistically you really shouldn’t put things online that you wouldn’t want the public to see or know about, but if you do, then managing Followers/Friends is a good way to protect your “social media image.” Making a good impression is especially important as we enter into the professional job world because if there is discrediting information associated with your name, it can lead to potentially not obtaining a job you may really want. So, as much as social media is important and beneficial for communicating and networking, we must be careful about what we post online.

  2. srios says:

    I think this is really a refreshing way to look at utilizing social media. Businesses do get caught up with promoting themselves and making sure they are getting their ROI when they should be taking a step back and asking what they can do for their customers that will in return help themselves. Everything must lead back to the target audiences which is also why not all social media platforms are for every business. For example, Foursquare has been called the “Twitter of 2010,” however, there would be no need for this application for some companies. You have to make sure everything is planned out and relevant.

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