Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tools, Gadgets, and Widgets - Social Media


In the olden days we had paper media to promote ourselves. You handed out your business card or sent out a brochure that described yourself and showed off your stuff. Though these are still around, the new trend to promote yourself is through social media.

I heard Twitter described as a cocktail party. You wander around the room balancing your plate of horses' ovaries (as my late father-in-law called hors d'oeuvres), and eavesdrop on conversations. That's fine but how can this be effective to show your stuff?  It's a great place in 140 characters (called micro-blogging) to announce your latest blog post, class, book, or what you do.  Remember this is social media with the emphasis on social. You don't just talk about yourself, but participate in the conversations going around you, or start a conversation. Answer the Twitter question: What are you doing?

When I first began using Twitter, I thought there's really nothing exciting about my day. I'm not discovering a cure for cancer, or running for president. And it just can't be all about "hey, look what I made" or "read my blog"  Where does the social come in, and how can I be heard above all the chatter? Share.

We're all so much more than our business, and that's where the real value of Twitter can be found.  We can share our likes, dislikes, and in doing so, find other like minded individuals. Did someone in your Twitter stream say something amusing, informative? Pass it along. Retweet it. Did you find a funny video on YouTube or a great How to video or blog post? Pass along the link.

It's not a quick process. It takes time to build your followers. Your tweets are just like business cards. You'll never know where they'll end up, and what opportunity may come your way.

Now, I'm not a Twitter expert, just a geek that likes the tool, and these are just some of the things I've heard or observed along the way. Click on the Twitter bird or the Twitter Cowbird in my side bar to follow me, and I'll follow you back.

What are you doing?

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