Are you pondering what I’m pondering? Here are some questions that I have been kicking around in my noggin.
If you have a few moments of peace over a cold glass of iced coffee today, you might ask yourself these questions about social media, business and life.
Am I having fun doing what I’m doing?
Am I helping other people?
Am I sharing interesting links on my social networks?
Am I looking for opportunities to connect with someone I want to know better?
Am I learning something new every day?
Am I supporting people in my network who have their own business?
Am I sending personal greetings on birthdays and times of celebration?
Am I adding rich content to what I do online, like videos and photos?
Am I checking in at the businesses I am loyal to?
Am I checking my writing to make sure that it’s top-notch? (Does that have a hyphen?)
Am I keeping my work organized?
Am I making my clients feel great?
Am I taking care of myself — mentally, physically and spiritually?
Am I making my family a priority?
Am I making God a priority?
Some folks have asked me about the threshold for “social media engagement.”
How many posts, how many followers and how much conversation do you need to have in order to “be doing it right?”
First, the more “quotes” you can use in these situations, the better.
Second, your results may vary.
All of these questions, including the dreaded question about social media followers (don’t get me started), hinge on what your purpose is, what your business is and what you want to get out of the digital community.
For me, there has been benefit in having a great back-and-forth with another user. But it’s important to remember that the public conversations you have on Facebook or Twitter need to ultimately serve a higher purpose. Are they helping your brand and speaking to your expertise, or are they just telling everyone how annoying or bullheaded you can be?
For the most part, businesses can find success in speaking generally to a network (Good morning, have a great day, etc.) while strategically finding and creating conversations that are relevant. You can do that with some keyword searching or you can do that by being online constantly.
But one thing I’ve found after more than a week in the land of working for myself — time online means time you aren’t out hustling for business.
Sure, that creates the paradox of a social media guy who isn’t spending a lot of time in social media (not to mention blogging at 4:45 p.m.), but it does means that it’s more important to do work for clients online than to do it for myself.
Here”s a video from a little while back, when I spoke to the Bartlesville Marketing and HR Associations to talk about social media policy. Employee policy is still something I really enjoy focusing one, since it helps protects brands that companies have built up and helps the employees too.
Thanks to Scott Townsend (@unitedlinen) for the invite and for shooting the video.
Quick update about something I love to do.
Talking, teaching and sharing about how the web has changed the way we communicate and share information.
Today I’m in Springfield, Mo., talking to a group of teachers from across the country about convergence journalism. Camp STN is the brainchild of my former media teacher at Hillcrest High School, Dave Davis. Since his first classes in video journalism 20 years ago, Dave has created a nationally recognized student journalism organization. Watch their work at HTV Magazine’s website.
Talk about lucky. I’ve had many mentors, from my Dad to Dave to Mike Sherman to Giovanni Gallucci who have taught me about what readers, businesses and customers want and how to talk to them about the platforms and stories that deliver.
Journalism, social media and the web are all growing and changing. It’s like Jack riding the giant beanstalk into the clouds.
In the last few days through social media, I”ve learned about:
* The birth of one baby.
* The future birth of another.
* The death of George Steinbrenner.
* How a friend is coping with losing his mother.
* Another cool event coming to Oklahoma City.
* The excellence of Old Spice.
* Poor service at a restaurant I love.
* The fumbling of the iPhone 4″s problems.
* A friend”s intolerance to poorly constructed Stormtrooper costume.
* Ways to give back to my community.
* And the movies my friends like, just in case I would rather just escape.
I”ve learned these things from my friends, their friends, traditional media sources and blogs. I”ve read about them on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn; seen them on YouTube or the Huffington Post.
Would I have known these things if I hadn”t been plugged in and engaged? Perhaps. Maybe. Eventually.
Why have social networking as a tool in your life? Because it brings the world — from your friend”s allergy problems to the oil spill in the gulf — right to your pocket.
What have you learned this week?
This weekend is my 20th high school reunion. As the planning has heated up, many of my former classmates and I have been connecting on Facebook.
We”ve been chatting back and forth, sharing old photos and catching up.
Essentially, the reunion has been rolling online for months. Saturday night at a hotel in Springfield, Mo., will just be the culmination.
But it got me to thinking about the impact Facebook has had on events like this.
Is there really a point to a reunion anymore?
Sure, it will be fun to catch up and see who is rounder in the middle and thinner on the top. But it”s not like my parent”s time where a 10- or 20-year reunion solved the mystery of what your former friends were up to.
Often, these are http://www.phpaide.com/forum.php?langue=fr now people I interact with every day. I”ve seen their kids grow up in photos, I hear about the highs and lows of their days and try not to miss a birthday or celebration.
So is that a good thing?
How can it not be? If anything these relationships, which once hung on by a tenuous thread during times apart have strengthened. When we see one another this week, we will be able to pick immediately up on conversations we were having the day before. Even when we”ve been apart, we”ve been able to share moments of sadness and moments of joy.
Facebook sometimes gets knocked for its size, inane games and omnipresence.
But if it”s able to take connections and make them at least last longer or, in special cases, deeper, then how can we not appreciate it as another triumph of the social web.
As far as all those former high schoolers go. I can”t wait to see you. But please, don”t tag me in any photos. It”s not pretty.
So there”s this moment. It comes after someone dives into the deep end of the social media pool. They”ve got their accounts set up, a stylin” website and are ready to turn the Internet into their baby.
Then it hits – what am I going to say?
That”s a decision that gets my blood pumping and one I know I”m going to enjoy talking to people about here with Smirk New Media.
Content Strategy is, simply enough, figuring out the answer to “what am I going to say?”
The answer? Say whatever http://www.phpaide.com/?langue=fr&id=16 is it is that no one else in the world can say better than you.
Everyone has expertise. Your mom, your plumber, your sister, the guy who mows your yard, your pastor and YOU.
That”s what you Tweet, Facebook and blog about because that”s what people are following you for. If I want the expertise of Seth Godin, I follow him. But if I want the expertise of a small business owner in Edmond who is going to explain how she gets customers and keeps them in this economy only one person may fill that role.
Think about what interests you. Think about what excites you. Think about what you talk to your friends about. Think about what you share.
Your content is the information that makes you special. It”s what makes you who you are.
Now all you have to do to give it to the world — in 140 characters or, in this case, 245 words.
Welcome to the first day of business for Smirk New Media, my step of faith into the world of independent consulting.
Before I get into dispensing daily doses of social media on this blog, I just wanted the address what makes me hopeful about not just this business but about new media, social networking and our real-life community.
As I led up to this decision, I prayed a lot — about what I had to offer people and what kind of support I would get. The answers kept pointing back to my network, both online and off.
When people ask me about who they should follow online, my answer is that you should follow someone who helps you in some way — through insightful posts, interesting information, offline friendship or potential business.
I’ve tried to turn the people I followed on Twitter into real flesh-and-blood relationships. I wanted to meet these folks, understand them and connect with them. If you were on a “twitter blind date” you know what I mean.
Those connections have really helped me in this transition. People have been encouraging, wise, helpful and hopeful. The honest reactions I’ve gotten from my network provide the firm footing underneath these next few steps for me and my family.
I think this is a unique Oklahoma phenomenon. Social media use in Oklahoma City is a reflection of the giving nature of our people and our community.
I want my business to reflect that community.
You’ll find me talking a lot about helping on this blog, because that’s our bottom line at Smirk. We want to help businesses, partners and our community succeed.
Thanks for being on this journey. Can’t wait to see where it goes.