An effective social media strategy is essential for organizations as well as individual professionals.
Using social media effectively, including blogging and social networking sites (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn), can definitely help promote you, your expertise, your company, and its products and services.
However, it is sad—but true—that too many people and companies have a selfish social media strategy.
You should not use social media to exclusively promote only yourself or your business.
You need to view social media as Social Karma.
If you can focus your social media and social networking efforts on helping others, then you will get much more back than just a blog reader, a LinkedIn connection, a Facebook friend, a Twitter follower, or even a potential customer.
I am not a Social Media Expert—but I play one on the Internet
I am not a social media “expert.” In fact, until late 2008, I wasn't even interested enough to ask people what they meant when I heard them talking about “social media.” I started blogging, tweeting, and using other social media in early 2009.
Please let me do the complex math for you—I still have less than one year of actual experience with social media.
I don't know how you define expertise—and I do acknowledge the inherent difficulty in vetting expertise in such a new and rapidly evolving field—but less than one year of experience with anything does not an expert make, in my humble opinion.
However, I have spent over 15 years in computer science and information technology related disciplines, as a software engineer, consultant, and instructor. I have considerable experience and expertise applying technology in a business context in order to implement solutions for Global 500 companies in a wide variety of industries.
Therefore, I am not a complete moron—but I will leave it to you to determine the actual percentage.
I am currently a full-time writer making all of my income from social media—mainly from blogging and mostly from ghostwriting for corporate blogs.
I am not trying to sell you anything.
I am going to freely share what I have learned so far, including what I have learned from people with far more experience using social media. As I stated previously, I hesitate to call anyone an expert in such a rapidly evolving discipline, but I will mention several resources I have found helpful.
I have absolutely no affiliation or any paid relationship with any person, website, event, product, or book that I recommend.
About This Series
The primary reason that I am organizing my thoughts about social media involves my preparation for an upcoming conference presentation about using social media effectively for business purposes (more details in the next section).
I am publishing this content as a series on my blog, not only to provide supporting material for the small group of people that actually attend my conference session, but also because I have learned firsthand how the two-way conversation that blogging provides via comments from my readers, greatly improves the quality of my material.
Throughout this series, I will combine traditional blog posts with presentation slides, podcasts, and videos, in order to build a multimedia library of supporting material—all freely available, no registration required.
Enterprise Data World 2010
Enterprise Data World is the business world’s most comprehensive vendor-neutral educational event about data and information management. This year’s program will be bigger than ever before, with more sessions, more case studies, and more can’t-miss content, providing over 200 hours of in-depth tutorials, hands-on workshops, practical sessions and insightful keynotes to take you to the forefront of your industry.
Enterprise Data World 2010 will be held March 14-18 in San Francisco, California at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square.
The full conference agenda can be viewed by clicking on this link: Enterprise Data World 2010 Conference Agenda.
The registration options can be viewed by clicking on this link: Enterprise Data World 2010 Conference Registration.
Use the discount code of EDW10SPKR for a $100 discount off your registration fees. (Discount code expires on February 26.)
On Monday, March 15 from 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM, I will be presenting (30 minutes of material and 30 minutes of Q&A):
Social Karma: The Art of Effectively Using Social Media in Business
In Part 2 of this series: We will discuss leveraging social media for “listening purposes only” as a passive (and safe) way to determine what (if any) type of active involvement with social media makes sense for you and/or your company.