I made a social media wheel – what d’ya think?

03Oct08

Okay, so I’ve been trying as you know to get a grip on this social media thing, and here’s how I see it.   Picture a wheel — like the one below!

Step 1.  Set goal:  You gotta figure out what you want to use social media for.  How will it fit with the rest of your outreach efforts?  Who is your audience?  What insights do you have to share and what would you like to learn?  So, for me, I want to learn about social media and so I want to use social media to reach out to the experts through this new medium.  I want to build relationships with them, hear their thoughts, and get their feedback to what I’m thinking.

Step 2:  Search and select.  There used to be some expression about cherry-picking.  First thing you do is go where the cherries grow.  (It’s something like that!)  So, I used Goggle Blog Search and Technorati and entered search terms like “social media” and “blogging” and then checked out the sites writing about it.  I also subscribe to marketingprofs.com and did a search and found a number of great blogs and articles.  Then, after searching, I selected the blogs I thought were best and subscribed to them.  That way I could check them out each day by going to my Google Reader. 

Step 3:  Listen.  Actually, by listen I mean read the new blog entries and learn.  In some cases a blog post would lead me to another blog that I wanted to add to my Google Reader. 

Step 4: Reply.  This is a big one.  After reading a blog, if it made a really great point or I had something I wanted to share, I have begun replying to some of the blogs.  I actually received a response from social media guru Chris Abraham.  Can’t tell you how cool that was.  Anyway, this is a huge step.  It’s real important for them to start seeing you participate on their turf.  I need to do lots more of this.

Step 5:  Blog.  Thus the creation of The Blog Chronicles — what you’re reading now.  For this, I signed up (for free) for WordPress.com and here’s where I’ve spent a ton of my time.  I’m going through a huge learning curve, and as you can see, I’ve got so much left to learn.  But I really think the only way to learn it is to plow ahead, hope for feedback (which I’ve gotten very little of, hint, hint!)  I’ve added RSS to my site but so far no one’s felt the need to subscribe to my site.  (I remain hopeful!)  I’ve also tried different things like using Poll Daddy to add an interactive poll to my sidebar.  (I really thought that would excite people but so far I’ve only gotten one person to do it and that was out of pity.)

Step 6:  Drive traffic.  So far I’ve been trying to drive traffic to my site by linking to other sites and commenting on other sites.  Here’s where I need tons more help.  In the last week I’ve gotten about 70 visits to my site (thank you each and every one).  In addition to linking and replying, I’ve tried to make this site as interesting as possible, but clearly I have a long way to go.

So, that’s my wheel.  For me, it helps me think about where different tools like Technorati and Google Reader and RSS all fit in.  And things like Twitter and Facebook and other social networks — well, I’m not quite sure where they fit in to this wheel or if the wheel needs to be refined.  That’s why I’m hoping for lots of comments this time.  Fingers crossed. 

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