January 20, 2011

Your Year for Social Media?

Have you started "tweeting" yet? What are you waiting for? Perhaps 2011 will be the year you look to engage the wonderful world of social media. A couple thoughts on that...

Social Media (aka "SM", might include sites like: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Myspace, YouTube, Digg, blogs, etc.) is everywhere and used in lots of different ways. Whether you're a grandparent or a '20 something', use it for business or personal, these are 3 tips I suggest keeping in mind when engaging social media.

1. Be Yourself
a. Don't try to be someone or something you're not.
b. Strive for authenticity & genuineness.
c. If you're not an expert, don't feel like you have to be one (or worse yet, claim to be one).

2. Be Social
a. The point of social media is connection so don't be afraid to engage the content of others, you get out of it when you put into it (my dad use to tell me that when I would whine about church growing up).
b. Try to avoid being a "lurker" (one who follows or reads other people's tweets, blogs, facebooks, etc but never interacts).
c. Remember, quality over quantity. Don't sweat it if you only have a few Twitter followers or a handful of LinkedIn connections. Having quality people interact with your content is key and in turn can create quality social networks.
d. Provide content that others will find interesting or want to engage with...but don't force it!
e. Depending on what you are looking to get out of social media, try to be disciplined in providing content on a regular basis...but remember, (c.) quality over quantity.

3. Be Smart
a. This should be a "no-brainer" but NEVER post things like social security numbers, passwords, etc etc.
b. Avoid engaging the content of others that you in turn do not wish to engage your content.
c. Social media can, at times, be somewhat addictive. Establish boundaries to keep it from replacing face-to-face relationships.
d. Some people are very open and vulnerable in their interaction with social media, which in itself is fine. However, don't ever post anything, whether personal or business, that you do not want to be read by your boss, parents, friends, co-workers, church, etc. Social media can be personal but it is not private. For example: 1 time I had a post from my twitter account (@mattlipan) that was published in the magazine "Family Circle" (8/09 issue) that I was not aware of until one of my co-workers pointed it out after reading it. Post and engage content with the mindset that it will be read by the world, because it's better to be safe than sorry.

What tips do you have or use for engaging social media?


Jonathan Pearson said...

Good advice. Like the honesty point. Don't be someone you're not, regardless of what you're doing.

Matt Lipan said...

Jonathan Pearson: thanks for the read and comment.

great point, be who you are regardless of what you're doing or where you might be doing it.