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.
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?