Social Media: Where do I start?

I was visiting a local business growth & leadership organization last week. Amongst the group were the chair leader and 4 members. They ranged from a strategic consulting company to exit planning and retirement benefits firm. We were invited as the Internet Marketing firm.

The last hour of the meeting was themed toward social media and how it’s impacting the way we do business. I have to admit, I wasn’t surprised at all. But I’m going to outline some of the biggest outstanding questions.

Q: There are some many social network sites and I get handfuls of invitations every week. Which one’s do I focus on?

A: From Facebook, LinkedIn, Monster, Ryze, Xing and Yahoo Groups how does one even keep up? Chose 1-3 and stick with them. Online social networking is very similar to your in person networking and event attendance efforts. Typically a seasoned business development person will choose 3-5 organizations or groups, and focus solely on those. This focus often includes volunteering for a committee or helping to throw a member event. The same is true for LinkedIn. Focus, add people you know and trust, create a group around your expertise, pose questions and answer them.

The top 3 social networks I focus on include LinkedIn. Facebook and Twitter.

Q: I just don’t know where to start?

A: Here are our goals:   You want to make sure that everyone, or as many people as possible, who are familiar with you and who already use LinkedIn productively, are connected to you.  Why?  Because when you really need a connection to a certain ad agency or firm, its more likely you’ll find it closer when you have 350 contacts than if you have 2.

The most important source when getting started is the social networks help section or scouring their own blog – LinkedIn Blog, Twitter Help Section.

Remember Google is your friend!

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