What’s so social about social media How social are you

June 7, 2009
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It started like a small bunch of burning leaves. A little MySpace here and there, a blog or two. And then the wind picked up: Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn.

Growing from a windstorm to a firestorm, social media is a tornado running wild over the Internet plains.

How social are you? How serious are you about social media?

Reality: You can’t ignore it. Hundreds of millions of people are involved so far, and it’s just a few years old.

I tried to ignore it for a while, but it soon became apparent that this was the new New Wave. About a year ago, I became a player.

I admit I have an edge. I have a lot of readers and followers who are interested in what I have to say and want to know what my immediate thinking is. That’s two of the values in social media — it’s immediate and it’s informative. It’s also fun — that’s why Facebook and YouTube are worth billions.

The major networks in social media are growing by the second:

For photos, it’s Flickr — worth billions.

For videos, it’s YouTube — worth billions

Social networking for the younger set starts with MySpace — an original.

Social networking for the growing and grown set is Facebook — worth billions.

To get connected and network with the business set, it’s LinkedIn.

And for that private message, there’s texting. It’s easy for me — I have an iPhone.

And that is just a partial picture. There’s more:

For individual expressions, there are weblogs, or blogs.

If you want to say a few words, there’s micro-blogging and interconnecting — also known as Twitter — worth billions.

For chronologging it’s Wikipedia — worth billions.

And, of course, there are your personal Web site and business Web site — priceless.

All of these mediums are, or try to be, socially engaging — sticky, if you will. All of them are, or try to be, passed on — viral, if you will. Or, better stated, if you tweet, are you good enough or bad enough to be re-tweeted?

I have made a serious commitment to “socialize” — to expose more of my personal and my business self through social media. I still will maintain my value-based philosophy, but I will personalize it, and humanize it to a point that others are attracted to it, benefit from it and want to pass it on to others.

I will be social and viral at the same time.

So, what does this mean to you? What’s the opportunity to you and for you? Why should you get involved?

Social media is an opportunity, a new frontier, a space in cyberspace that gives you an individual place to play, build awareness of you and for you, brand yourself — and potentially profit.

You have to ask yourself: Where’s the beef? Where’s the fun? What’s the value? Both to others and yourself.

And how — if desired — do you monetize it?

Well, unless you’re one of the few people in an ownership or founding position of one of these social media, your monetizing opportunities at the moment are limited, in spite of various claims by “experts.”

Here’s what I recommend to get going and get positioned, so that your value —either social, business, fun or money — can be realized:

Sign on.

Establish an account on each of the major mediums.

Post something.

Tweet something.

Connect with someone.

Do it yourself.

Do it every day.

And learn by updating as much as you can on your own.

Social media is fluid — it moves and changes daily. It’s text, audio, photo and video. It’s every media and it’s every second. It’s current and it’s constant.

Have you ever seen a section of a Web site labeled “latest news,” and when you click it, the last update is from 2004? Not good.

The Internet is instant. Social media is instant. And you have to be ready to participate consistently and in a meaningful way if you want to win.

Please don’t wait.

Free Git-Bit: If you would like a little more information on how to get a bit more social media savvy, go to www.gitomer.com, register if you’re a first-time visitor, and enter the words SOCIAL MEDIA in the GitBit box. Jeffrey Gitomer can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or e-mail salesman@gitomer.com

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