The Social Media “Long Haul”

Posted: July 6, 2009 in Business-Social Media, Social Media

Throughout my life, whenever taking on a new endeavor, the same question always seems to be asked….. “But, Craig, are you in it for the long haul?”. The answer, of course, is “yes”. What I lack in “smarts”, I do make up for in “persistence” (smile).

I am firmly convinced that Social Media is a very “long haul” proposition. I had been told before to give it six months. Thirty days to go! Certainly, the journey does not end at that point. Nor should it. So, for those of you considering really diving into this, I thought I might share my thoughts and experiences to this point in hopes of smoothing out the road for the newbie.

Set some realistic goals and expectations: And, if it were me, I would set my first expectations “low”. But, that’s just me. I hate disappointment (smile). Mind you, my goals have increased each and every passing day as I understand these tools better.

Read up: There is just a huge amount of information on the web pertaining to all of this. It can be overwhelming. I would recommend a good “reader” program like Google Reader and then subscribe to Mashable, ReadWriteWeb, and ………….. this blog (smile).

Every journey begins with the first step: If you are going to do it, do it. Dive in and get started. Take some baby steps. Depending on your interests, Twitter is probably the easiest to get started with. After that, go on to LinkedIn and FaceBook. I call these the “big three”.

Be prepared for some initial “time suck”: Getting started is the tough part. You will need to build your profile and your network and in that order. You will be learning new tools and finding your way around. After that, depending on your long-term goals, the maintenance part is easy and need not be time consuming at all. Do what you can comfortably do.

Try not to do to much all at once: You’ve got the rest of your life to continue to grow.

Choose some tools: For Twitter, I would select: TweetDeck to monitor and generate your tweets, HootSuite to send out links easily, and Tweetlater to pre-program tweets to go out later. For FaceBook and LinkedIn, different animals. No tools needed.

Evaluate your progress and modify your goals: It is going to take some time to completely understand the vast potential of these networking tools. I will tell you that in the five months I have been doing this, my expectations and goals have changed completely. What social media has done for me is open up a whole new world of both opportunities and contacts. Both of which would not have been possible had I not taken that first step. Neither of which will be the end to the journey.

Thanks for visiting!


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