Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Social Media Basics: Why it's worth your time

Why should you invest your time getting more involved with social media?

I have always considered myself an early adopter of social media. I was one of the first 1.5 million people to sign up on LinkedIn during 2004, and I have been an active user of Facebook for a few years. I recently started spending more time on Twitter, to see what it was all about.

This is when I became aware of the importance of social media to myself, but also to my company. Here is a quick breakdown of how I use all three services.

LinkedIn – A great way to stay connected to business contacts. I also use this to research prospects and find out more about their companies.

Facebook – I can stay in touch with all my friends and family. I use this to share personal updates, pictures, social events, and anything else I think would be interesting to my friends and family.

Twitter – A nice way to share information with a much larger group. I can share a common interest and I can connect with people of that same interest.

The key to staying active is to continue to share information on all three. If you are curious how you rank compared to other social media users, check out Klout.com to find your score.

Looking for interesting information to share, try StumbleUpon.com to find random links based on specific interests.

Too busy to upload Tweets all day long? Then schedule them to go out at intervals using a tool like futuretweet.

Now that I have spent several years building up hundreds of contacts, I now have a great base to share information with and to learn from.

In the market for a new TV, or dishwasher? Send out an update to your social network and see what they recommend.

More and more people these days buy something based a personal recommendation and not on typical advertising. Many companies realize this, and they are now encouraging their employees to promote their products and services using social media.

When it comes to branding and spreading the word, no one does it better than happy employees.

Spread the word.

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