Much of my writing on the topic of social media on this blog has talked about utilizing social media to promote your business or website - and it's true, there is an enormous amount of power in social media that, if leveraged correctly, can generate a phenomenal amount of traffic, leads and sales.However there is big problem with using social media solely for promotion: You spend so much of your time talking that you forget to turn it around and actually listen.
Twitter is a prime example. I see so many Twitter accounts that are a continuous stream of promotional tweets or links - never once asking a question or retweeting someone else -and following so many people that there is no way that they every actually read what anyone is saying. And that is a terrible shame - for they are missing out on a massive resource of knowledge and learning.
As much as I love talking (and anyone who knows me can attest I really do), there is nothing I enjoy more than listening and learning from people who know more than me. I am a perpetual student - I have piles of books next to my bed (mostly incredibly geeky business or political books) and I easily spend an hour each day reading online - blogs, news and educational sites. But the way I always find the best content is through social media. I follow tons of really interesting people on Twitter, who provide me a constant stream of up-to-date and worthwhile content.
While Twitter provides the most immediate information, I also subscribe to many YouTube channels and am a 'fan' of many pages of Facebook. Now the point of this piece is not to rave about my personal social media habits. I am simply using them as an illustration to disprove the common reply (read: excuse) that people often give when asked why they don't follow more blogs, Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, etc: "I just don't have time for that..."
Ah time. There is never enough time, not enough hours in the day... we've all made this excuse again and again. And it's true that, these days, it feels like we have more and more to achieve, with less and less time to achieve it. However, many don't realize that social media can actually save you time in receiving information. Twitter is a constant feed, so you don't have to read every single post or look at every single link. The great thing about Twitter is that if something is really worth reading or paying attention to, it will show up again and again - ReTweeted by other people. The 'Twittersphere' actually filters the information for you,meaning you can easily hone in on what's worthwhile.
And Facebook! Let's be honest, we've all wasted a fair bit of time on Facebook - but if you're going to be on it, you might as well use it is as a channel to receive updates on new content posted by your favorite sites and bloggers, most of whom I guarantee will have Facebook pages.
Social media allows you to incorporate reading, learning and listening into an on-going process that you do throughout the day. In effect, you become 'plugged-in' to the web and what's going on. You might not think you have an hour a day to spend on anything - but have you tried doing it in 5 minute intervals, spread throughout the day? You may be surprised how much you can learn by simply paying attention to the streams of informationthat flow past you on the web. You don't always have to look at social media as something that you can use to push out your own stuff - try treating it as a means to receivefrom other people as well.
So where to start? Well,
I may be bias - but Affilorama has a bunch of social media accounts
that we use to provide additional content. We don't just send out links
to our own stuff - in fact the vast majority of our links are to other
sites and blogs that we have found and think other people should check
out. Below are links to our three major accounts: Twitter, Facebook and
Youtube. Follow, Fan and Subscribe and start getting 'plugged in' to
Jason Dodd • 14 years ago
Bob Ebling • 14 years ago
And clutter is exactly what social media can become if you let it overwhelm you. Be selective in who you follow, and just as important - who you let follow you. It's amazing how this can cut down the noise (just another form of clutter - right?).
My mailbox has been overrun in the last few days with people hawking someone's latest get rich quick scheme using social media. I do think social media should have a place in your marketing plan, but it's only one of the possible roads to success. I believe your marketing plan should have balance - social media is one of your tools, nothing more.
Mike Griffith • 14 years ago
I believe social media, especially Twitter is fast becoming a huge advertising billboard, unfortunately. It seems everybody is there to promote their particular brand or service. Even the DM's are full of hype and promotional "push".