A friend of mine e-mailed me the other day who is interested in shifting careers into something that is more marketing-oriented and she recognized that she needs to get involved and understand Social Media to be a contender in the job market out there. She asked for a quick primer on what to do after you’ve started setting up your accounts. That seems to be a question that tons of people have.
“I’ve got a Twitter Account and a Facebook Account…NOW WHAT?” So this will be a two part blog. By NO MEANS is this meant to be a manifesto on Social Media (you want a manifesto? Pick up a copy of Trust Agents. Instead, it’s more like if I only had 5 minutes to explain how to really engage and participate in Social Media – what would I tell you? Here’s part 1
Materials? Glad you asked. Get a FB account, (check), Twitter Account, LinkedIn account, Google Account,and we’ll use Google Reader to aggregate all these news feeds into one place and it will update automatically so you don’t need to keep jumping around the web.
But before I get to the reading list here are a few best practices that I really believe in.
1 – Get a blog. Pick a Topic and write. Even if it’s something as simple as a Posterous or WordPress account. Having a blog is kind of like home base for showing your chops. I think if you’re looking for a job that involves higher ed admissions (just for an example), one of the biggest assets you can have in an interview is to be able to point to your blog that you’ve been keeping for a year where you’re writing weekly or bi-weekly on that topic, lending expertise and becoming an expert. It shows you’re eating sleeping and breathing this stuff. Even if that blog is based around commenting on articles from other people’s blogs or publications (linking to them of course). It ill help you network and find your writing voice which is important in any job that involves marketing.
2 – Comment. Find other blogs about the areas you’re excited about. If you can add useful info into to a post or have a question – leave a comment (with a link back to your blog or twitter account). You’ll be surprised at how fast you’ll build a network and become part of those online communities.
3 – Twitter Search is your Friend. Hit up search.twitter.com and type in keywords for your topic of choice. You’ll get real-time results and see what people are saying about ‘admissions’ or ‘online marketing’ (though that’ll probably involve lots of junk), ‘dog grooming’ or ‘jet engines.’ You’ll have to weed through the crap but you’ll find some great stuff there. Follow these people and again, if you can add something to their conversation or a helpful link, don’t be afraid to engage with them.
4 – Promote Others. Chris Brogan has a rule that you should promote other people’s blogs 10x as much as your own. It’s a good rule. You learn more, you help people, and you’ll make friends faster than just posting out stuff that you’re writing (I’m guilty of not following this rule as much as I should… It’s something I’ll always be working on)
5 – Leverage LinkedIn. Definitely try to grow your LinkedIn network. Join groups, answer and ask questions, complete your profile, and dont’ be afraid of connecting with people who are the big dogs in your industry. You’ll find that many of them are very willing to talk or lend advice. If possible, use the ‘get introduced’ feature. It’s more personal.
Appendix 1: I wrote a post a while back called “10 Ways to Be Useful on Twitter” – You may find that helpful as well.
TOMORROW- Part II: 10 Recommended Blogs from awesome peeps that care and who will help you engage in the Social Media sphere.