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Mastering Social Media: One at a Time

New services tend to feel complicated and unintuitive at first.  I remember the first time I looked at Twitter.  I thought perhaps I was peeking into some sort of secret society that was full of rituals that I had no way of deciphering.

You know that there are benefits to the various services and social networks out there — but you're just not sure on how to dip your toes into those cloudy waters.

I decided to get an introduction to Twitter by reading a book on the subject — and that was helpful.  It gave me enough know-how to start navigating the waters.  But what about from a business perspective?

Social Media is Big Business

You already know that social media is something your business should be involved in.  It's good for many reasons.

Firstly, it can help bring people back to your blog or your website.  That's a good thing!  You want to get traffic, and honestly, diversifying your traffic sources is always positive.  You can also measure which traffic sources are best for your business… if you're actually getting traffic!

Social media gives you the chance to build relationships.  You can build relationships with your site visitors and customers.  You also build relationships with other bloggers and writers in your niche.  This is important and can give you a powerful leverage point.

You want to excel as yourself.  Some people do choose to use a pseudonym online, but most of us want to be known as ourselves… and as experts.  Social media can help get your name out — everywhere.

But even with the benefits, it's still overwhelming.

A Plan of Action

So how do you approach social media?  I firmly believe that if you splash in and out of a service you won't get much out of it and you won't go very far with building relationship or branding yourself as an expert.  You'll just be in and out, like the hundreds of other business people every day.

That's why my tactic this year is going to be a little different.  The first thing I did was make sure I had a basic understanding of a couple of services — for me, Facebook and Twitter.  I can function on those and keep up.  But I'm not a marketing or communications master on either.  I want to change that this year.  I want to discover how to get into conversations and, importantly, bring people back to my own site from there.

I'm going to focus on one service at a time.  Since I have a basic working knowledge of both, I can monitor each one of them and keep up a basic presence while I get a more in-depth education on one.

Facebook is my chosen starting point.  I feel like I am more comfortable with Facebook because I use it personally every day.  I also feel like the more extended conversations that can be started on Facebook will be easier for me to learn to inspire (and keep up with) than the more fast-paced Twitter world.

After I feel comfortable with handling my Facebook pages I will dig into Twitter from a more business-minded perspective.  After Twitter I'd like to discover some more about something like StumbleUpon and I'm also watching Google+ to see where that goes.

Hitting the Books

I learn well from the written word, so I'm going to be picking up a book or course on Facebook for business.  I'll put what I'm finding out into action — immediately — so I can plunge right in.

My hopes are that by the end of this year I'll not only feel confident in managing several social media outposts to my business, but I'll be ready for whatever services rise in the future to influence the business landscape.

What social media sites are you focusing on this year?

Photo by Dhaval Jani

Kristen
 

I'm a wife and mother who loves working online. This is my little home on the web. I run Milk and Mud to share what I'm discovering as I run my own business and explore personal development.

Day Three - January 3, 2012

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