rocketship-bubblesandballoonsAre you riding the social media rocket-ship yet?

My dad (rest his soul) was a techno-geek, and following in his footsteps, I have found technology in general, and social media technology, specifically, to be absolutely fascinating. I have three blogs (two that I claim), and I have my LinkedIn profile. I put most of my time on-line into these three things to keep them updated, which is one of the keys to using social media successfully for whatever is your purpose.

twitter-logoI also have a Twitter account that I opened a year ago, and only recently have I begun to have people ask to follow me. Funny, how it took the general population months to discover it, and now the terms “Twitter,” and “tweet” are everywhere. I haven’t incorporated Twitter into my active social media strategy yet, but I will do that in the next month or so and pass along what I learn to you. As always, I’m glad to hear what you know about it and your experience with it, too. I don’t want this blog to be just what I know (heaven help us!), but feel welcome to add what you know, as well.

Friends-of-Friends on MySpace

Friends-of-Friends on MySpace

I also have a FaceBook account, but I haven’t developed that yet. I have had a MySpaceaccount for a couple of years, which I have let languish. I actually cut my teeth, in terms of social media, on MySpace, but I had some issues with it, including the messy, confusing layout, and the fact that anyone who connected to me automatically brought their “friends” with them, some of whom who were not helpful to the image I was trying to build. I have transferred the content I had on Myspace to a blog (> St. Louis Chinese Corner <), and I think I will just use the MySpace account to refer people to my blogs. I’m still thinking through the best uses for myself of MySpace and FaceBook.



I subscribe to several blogs and on-line newsletters on the subject of social media. It’s easy to subscribe to blogs. How do you do that? If you see a “chiclet,” which is a little graphic that says FeedBlitz or FeedBurner or something similar on it on a blog, click on it. It will likely bring up a page that allows you to put in your e-mail address and get updates to the blog as new content is added. Isn’t that sweet? If you are not a subscriber to my blog, look for the FeedBlitz chiclet in my sidebar and subscribe. You can always unsubscribe easily by following the simple instructions at the bottom of any e-mail update you receive. You can unsubscribe, but I aim to keep my content fresh and interesting, so I don’t lose subscribers.

meat-roy-lichtensteinOne of the blogs to which I subscribe is called “Social Media Explorer,” written by Jason Finch. His posts are lengthy with lots of good meat, and I enjoy them. There’s so much being written and posted to the Web by so many experts on social media, however, that it can be hard to sort through it and easy to get overwhelmed. If you want to read Jason’s posts first-hand, I will put a link at the end of this for you to sign-up, directly; however, I’m glad to digest and condense some of what he has written and add some of my own thoughts to it for you.

The most recent e-mail I got from “Social Media Explorer” beats the drum for persistence as the essential rhythm for success in any social media strategy. I agree. One of the things that will bring me back to a Web site or blog (or guarantee I won’t return) is whether or not the content is regularly updated. It doesn’t matter if the regular schedule for updates is daily, weekly, or even monthly, but the important thing is that there is a predictability to the schedule of information put forth, and that there is someone seeing that the material is updated approximately as scheduled.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the preponderance of social media options, but my recommendation would be to pick one site, learn about it, maximize your content and keep it up to date. I recommend anyone doing businesss (any kind of business) to start with LinkedIn, because it’s free, it’s geared to adult users looking to make career contacts and develop clients vs. teens talking about who likes whom. LinkedIn is easy to use and has lots of nice features to flesh out your profile and on-line presence. You can list books you’ve read recently, add a PowerPoint presentation, and there’s even a feature that allows you to tell everyone on LinkedIn “what you are doing,” in about 150 characters, like on Twitter. You can really learn a lot about social media just on LinkedIn.

frankensteinHumanize your profile with a photo of yourself. I see profiles with no photo of the person, or, almost as bad, with an illustration of him/herself, and that’s a huge missed opportunity. People like to know to whom they are relating online, and a photo, even a nice, casual one, is better than no photo. Don’t wait until you have the perfect “studio” shot of yourself to put your face on your profile. If you have a nice, casual photo—and that’s all you have—crop it to a head-and-shoulders shot and put it on your profile. It makes a huge difference. You can always update it later.

clooney-erI always recommend that you have someone whose opinion you trust help you objectively evaluate your profile, so it’s actually communicating what you hope it communicates. I have a friend who has 30 years in healthcare, has completed law school and is making a transition into legal work, while studying for his bar exam.

john_cleese_as_a_barristerI looked at his LinkedIn profile, and I would have no idea of this transition. He has emphasized his healthcare work (understandable, with 30 years doing it), and buried his legal credentials in his work history. I gave him some specific ideas for positioning himself in a stronger way for the legal community (and its recruiters) to recognize him as a colleague. His profile made sense to him, but anyone glancing at it (and often all you get is a quick glance) would not understand that he’s on LinkedIn to transition into legal work. He didn’t have a photo, either. He does now!

You can build your profile content slowly; you don’t have to have the entire idea fleshed out to get an account set up, but do get it started. Then develop a discipline about posting something to build your profile and update information.

Look at the groups on LinkedIn, find several that match your career interests, ask to join. Then answer a question from one of your groups, or, if you’re really getting brave, post a question. Every time I do either of these two things, I get private replies asking for more information and/or requests to connect. That’s how you build your contacts.

If you have a LinkedIn account and been using it, let us know if it’s working for you, and if so, what you’ve done to make it work.

If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, want one and need some help getting stated, let us know.

“One for all, and all for one.”

Editor’s note: Link to >Social Media Explorer<

Image of rocket-ship courtesy via the Web. Visit bubblesandballoons for “fun prints for kids.”
Imagine of Goths from Wikimedia via the Web.
Image of “Meat” by Roy Lichtenstein, 1962,