Today I had the pleasure to attend Social Capital 2011 which was explained best by their own tagline “A social media learnathon”. It was a very busy day packed full of information. One of the sessions that I attended was called Find the Right Social Tools for You. It was ran by Susan Murphy and Mel Gallant. I was late to the session but I left it with some great notes to come home and share with you.
Looking at social media as a city
Social media is such a broad term and there are more sites than one can ever master in my opinion. However they managed to take the basics and what I would call your must haves and have us look at them as part of a city. The city is your blog/site.
Twitter is your coffee shop. It is open 24/7 (Just like your local Tim Horton’s) and there is always someone online to talk to. Feel free to jump into conversations, learn and share. Remember this is a conversation though and isn’t all about you.
Facebook is the community centre. It is the central hub of your community. People can come to Facebook to find and share information and stories.
Flickr and YouTube are the town square. It is where you go to see the action, you are right in the middle of everything that is going on. If you are not on YouTube you should be. YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world and the average Canadian watches 147 YouTube videos every month.
StumbleUpon is your library. It is where you can go to discover and share content. One other thing I learned today that may seem obvious but I never even realized is that StumbleUpon can be a great way to come up with ideas for new and fresh content for your blog. Also found out today that in June 2011 it surpassed Facebook as the biggest driver of social media on the web. If that doesn’t tell you to get on StumbleUpon I don’t know what does.
6 steps to get started in social media
- Clean up your home base.
- Set yourself some measurable goals. This can be as easy as deciding to write 3 blog posts a week to I am going to grow my followers by x amount by such a date.
- Have a fresh look at your site and see how you can make it more welcoming to your guests and make them want to stay awhile.
- Set up profiles on all the social networks. Even if you don’t plan on using them right now you will at least hopefully grab your name so that it is saved for when you do decide to use that network.
- Check out other sites in your niche and see what they are talking about.
- Share what you find with your network. Tweet it, Facebook it, spread the love.
- Build a relationship with them and see how you can help one another grow your sites. It is all about the community after all and you won’t get very far on your own.
- Brainstorm ideas for new content. Ask your readers for ideas, ask your network you are growing or find inspiration from other sources (Blogs, News, Conversations).
- Have an editorial calendar and set yourself deadlines for getting your posts live.
- Decide when your content will go live and tie it back to your goals you set in step 1.
- Get some posts in draft mode when you are in “writing mode”. Work on the content and organize your photos, videos etc. and have the bones of the post ready to go. Then all you have to do later is edit them and publish. This will make sure you always have something ready to post.
- Don’t be afraid to say whatever it is you have to say. You never know what is going to “click” with your readers. The littlest thing can go viral when you didn’t think it would.
- Facebook is a great place to start engaging. Create a fan page, load up some links to share and start inviting people to like your page.
- Make sure to cross promote. The general rule of thumb is 1/3 of the content you share on Facebook and Twitter be that of others.
- Participate in twitter chats. They are a great way to build your twitter followers and get to know others.
- Post videos and pictures on YouTube and Flickr and Embed them in your blog posts.
- Now that you have done all that work DON’T STOP. You will lose your momentum and it will be hard to pick it back up.
- Find time every day to interact and make it a habit. Just like you find time to read e-mail, find time to interact through social media.
This may seem like a lot of work however click on over to How to tackle social media in 1 hour where I break it all down for you to use on a daily basis.