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Are You Using Social Media For Promotion?

Posted by on Nov 12, 2009

This is the first of a two part series on social media. The first article is asking if you’re using social media to promote yourself, whatever that “self” is supposed to be. The second article will be asking how are you doing it, and it’ll be more than just asking which sites you’re going to. Of course I’ll be telling some of my stuff also, but with the opening, I now give myself a place to do an internal link once I’ve written both posts. Method to the madness; and so we begin.


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By now, everyone should know what I mean by social media, but I’m not going to take any chances. Social media is where people have the opportunity to interact with each other within a controlled environment of some type. Actually, back in the day, we used bulletin board systems to talk to each other, and in many ways that was the earliest bit of social media out there. Then we had early chat rooms, and Usenet, which was a lot of fun initially.

The problems were interesting back then. You could only spend 30 minutes to an hour on bulletin board systems before you got kicked off. Chat rooms weren’t close to being private, and one night I tried talking to over 30 people at the same time for almost 2 hours; never did that again. Usenet was interesting, but sometimes it took too long, got strangely heated, you’d see posts in multiple groups, and eventually it got taken over by pornographers and spammers.

Today’s social media seems to be more social, strange at that sounds. Instant messaging is more personal. Websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Ryze can be more personal, with options of being more participatory. Second Life actually allows you to be something else entirely different. And Twitter is instantaneous gratification if you want it, and that actually works best if you care to build up relationships. To a degree, blogging in today’s world is also a form of social media, because fewer people are using blogs as diaries, instead either talking about issues, points of views, or selling something such as products or their business knowledge. And of course there are forums I also belong to.

I participate in all of the above except Second Life. There were other sites I had joined, but none of them really did anything for me. Even Ryze isn’t doing much for me these days, as I’ve cut back from my high ever of 11 groups to only one. However, the other sites are doing some interesting things for me, as long as I’m participating in some of the processes that I’m being afforded.

Now, can I say I’ve made any money from any of them just yet? Not definitely, that’s for sure. Well, I’ve made a little bit from blogging, so I do have to throw that in there. I got a speaking engagement once because of my business blog. Two of my blogs have generated a little bit of Adsense money, and this blog actually got a sale of a CJ product once. And I negotiated a writing assignment with a couple of people through IM (instant messaging for the uninitiated), which means I made money there also. And Digital Point forum has garnered me a few clients that I still have as far as writing goes.

As for promotion, Twitter has gotten me quite a few interviews. Both my business blog and this one got me other interviews. Though this blog lost its PR (page rank), it’s still looking pretty good on Alexa, though I still want to crack that 100,000 number one of these days. I mentioned all those followers on Twitter, and I’ve talked to many of those people, including Guy Kawasaki, whose book I helped edit, then got a signed copy of.

And I continue to try to figure out more ways I can use these different social media opportunities. So, I ask once more; are you using social media for promotion?

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15 Comments »

Andrew:

Mitch,

Personally, I am not on any of the social networking sites (Twitter etc.), but I guess you could say that I am starting to use my blog as a form of promotion of sorts.

Having just returned to my home country of Australia, I have been looking for a new job. In particular, I have been looking at roles which have involve a large degree of research and report writing or a large degree of written correspondence. For these type of roles, I often refer to my blog in my application as evidence of what I see is a reasonably strong ability on my part to produce written material of a high standard.

This is especially the case for some of the public sector positions for which I have been applying – some of which mention ‘written communication’ specifically as one of the key selection criteria.

So I guess I have started to use my blog to promote myself in that way.
.-= Andrew´s last blog ..Timor sea oil spill – Sorry seems to be the hardest word =-.

November 12th, 2009 | 8:12 PM
Mitch:

Hi Andrew,

First, what made you decide to go back to Australia?

Second, I think one’s blog is definitely a way to promote themselves, although that’s the reason I have more than one blog. One is to promote my business, the other is to promote, well, I guess me. Social media can actually help you in both ways, but of course it can also hurt. On a site like Facebook, someone putting up pictures of them doing something stupid could hurt their reputation in the end. Same with being stupid on Twitter. But if used right, both can help greatly.

November 12th, 2009 | 11:55 PM

I have used twitter for promotion and it does get traffic but I have deleted my Twitter account as it was hijacked and someone starting spamming on my behalf to which accusations were being thrown at me.

I can see the use of FB and Twitter as having their place, if you say enough interesting things and read what other people are saying it is good for creating relationships which may lead to something in future – its the online equivalent of going to a bar or a party I guess.

The difficult thing for me is the lack of time once you go on these things half your day can go – and the benefits are not tangible (i.e you cant sell directly from Social Media unless you spam which is no good and you might occasionaly get lucky) so my aim is to stick with what I am doing for now then start using Social Media for a limited amount of time when I have achieved the things I have set out to do.
.-= Peter Davies´s last blog ..Does anyone have any knowledge regarding worldprofit.com? =-.

November 13th, 2009 | 5:16 AM
Mitch:

That’s actually the smart way to do it, Peter. It’s easy to get consumed in all of the social media types, but if you have a planned strategy, you can work wonders with it all, and still have fun with it.

November 13th, 2009 | 11:10 AM
John Dilbeck:

Good afternoon, Mitch.

As you already know, I use social media for promotions all the time, both for myself, my clients, and products and services I recommend.

I used to be very active on Ryze, but no longer. Their site just has not kept up with the times. For instance, they still have not implemented RSS feeds.

I was really active on MySpace until they started redirecting links to their homepage – with no warning. I moved on to Facebook.

I remember huge long-distance bills when I used to be on some of the bulletin board systems (BBS) a long time ago.

I was pretty heavy into Usenet, especially in the programming, admin, and Macintosh groups.

I never have liked chat and rarely use it. Just not my style, I guess.

I’m still trying to learn how to use LinkedIn effectively, but it feels, to me, that they just put too many roadblocks in place when I try to network.

I’ve really liked Facebook, but I’m getting really tired of all the stupid applications and requests I’m getting.

I still try to do most of my promotions on sites I own and control, but I use a variety of other sites, too.

I can’t put a dollar figure on what I’ve earned through social networking, but it’s enough to keep me going.

I look forward to part two of this.

Act on your dream!

JD

November 13th, 2009 | 4:08 PM
Mitch:

Hi John,

The thing with LinkedIn is that it’s trying real hard to stay mainly as a business site, and it does that fairly well except for some of the groups. As for the networking, the only roadblock is finding that one person who can connect you to who you want to talk to, or meet. I don’t have any more problems like that.

As for Facebook, all you have to do is what I do. I get one of those goofy requests, and if I’m not interested I select “block application.” At this point I may get a new one once every couple of weeks. I can easily handle that.

I also didn’t like the big chat, but one on one, every once in awhile, is kind of neat, especially when I now have an opportunity to converse with someone who’s a very long way away. Before one could pay for long distance services that didn’t cost a lot of money, that’s how my dad, his brothers, his sister and a couple of cousins were able to talk with each other, through ICQ. Those days are gone now.

November 13th, 2009 | 9:50 PM
John Dilbeck:

Good morning, Mitch.

I understand what you’re saying about LinkedIn and I think they are right to keep the focus on a business site, but I still find it difficult to use. Maybe it’s a mental block on my part. I’ve connected with a few people there, but in general, it’s them connecting with me and me approving the request.

Every time I go to Facebook, I have a lot of requests, 10 or more, from the applications that are flourishing there. I do block them, but it takes time. (Remember, slow dial-up.) Even though I’ve blocked the major ones such as Mafia Wars, there seems to be a never-ending stream of new ones.

I remember ICQ, but never was a big user. I do remember paying $200-$300 long-distance bills per month way back then. I’m glad that’s a thing of the past.

On my two Ning communities, I have chat active on one but not the other. On the one where it is active, I bet it hasn’t been used more than a few times in the last four months. I’m considering deactivating it so the pages will load faster.

I’m happy to see how social networking is evolving, but it does take a lot of time to do it and learn new sites.

I’m finding that I’m less willing to try a new site these days. I don’t know if that means I’m getting old, tired, or that I’m just satisfied with the current crop.

Act on your dream!

JD

November 14th, 2009 | 4:26 AM
Mitch:

That’s pretty correct, Dennis, though some of the more recent groups are missing that business flavor. lol

November 14th, 2009 | 3:17 PM
Rian:

I do have a list of about 20 social sites and they help in referring to my own website. As long as you won’t get banned from these sites then they are of great help.
.-= Rian´s last blog ..How to Select an Essay Topic =-.

November 18th, 2009 | 8:54 AM
Mitch:

Thanks for your post, Rian. You actually participate in 20 sites? Wow! Are you active in all of them, or do you change them up?

November 18th, 2009 | 4:42 PM

Hello Mitch, for the last 7 days I got lazy bookmarking in social sites but yes I do participate in all of them. But do you think this is not what they call organic traffic-king?
.-= Rian´s last blog ..Efren Penaflorida is 2009 CNN Hero of the Year =-.

November 23rd, 2009 | 7:48 AM
Mitch:

Rian, I’m not sure how anyone else sees it, but to me, all of these things are organic in their own way.

November 23rd, 2009 | 9:59 AM

Hello Mich,
Do you have any new articles for me to read? I have been waiting for some update from you lately hehehe. Have a good one.
.-= Rian´s last blog ..There is no Facebook Theme and Facebook Layout Available =-.

February 3rd, 2010 | 10:53 PM
Mitch:

I hope you’re able to keep up with my output, Rian; never stopping!

February 4th, 2010 | 12:07 AM

I do get tired of people inviting me to play Farmville and other stuff on Facebook.

I have profiles on quite a few networking sites and try to keep up with them.

August 24th, 2010 | 8:06 PM