Social Media works if you make it work for you

Almost every week, I’m asked questions on the merit of social media. People are curious about why one would need to use facebook or twitter. My usual response is that social media works, but it only works if you make it work for you.

Of course it takes time and effort and you will need to moderate your social media accounts. Could you hire someone to do that for you? Sure, but you could also hire someone to look after your kids and raise them.  Is that what you want?

In order to clearly explain what I mean by “making it work for you” I thought I would share what my process is and how I make it work for me.

Fortunately, I started early. I’ve been blogging since 2004, so blogging is part of my social media strategy. This strategy is no more than a word though. I don’t have a blogging schedule and I’m not very discipline. I write blog posts when I have something to say but I always write on topic.

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This is how twitter works

With 2011 upon us, is one of your New Year’s resolution to finally come to grip with twitter?

I’ve been using twitter for several years now and absolutely love it. I’ve made friends, connected with like minded folks and of course kept up with all sorts of funny nonsense. I much prefer twitter over facebook. In fact I deleted most of my facebook friends and now only ever login to see what my nieces and nephew are up to.

Unlike facebook, twitter is a bit more difficult to grasp, but so much better for business, once you get it. I could have written a very long post explaining in detail how it works, but I discovered this morning, via one of my twitter followers, @ipstenu, this very detailed article on how twitter works. Written for moms, but not just for moms, Jessica explains everything you need to know about how twitter works.

Have a read and I hope that social media helps you grow your business in 2011.

Will Vancouver 2010 be the year we put TV to bed?

Did you get your mitts?My husband and I debated intensely over the period of several weeks prior to the Olympics, whether of not we should get a TV. I was dead against it and he only wanted it for a two week period. I reminded him that as a Brit, he might be annoyed by the “Canadian” focused coverage and thus won the argument.

Personally I was a bit blazé about this whole Olympic event. But once it got started, I found myself caught in the whirlwind of excitement. Walking through the city, the buzz just took control of me and I became an immediate fan. We invited ourselves to a few friends place and went to a pubs to watch the events on their TVs, but we couldn’t justified doing this everyday.

To my delight and more importantly my husbands’, we discovered that we could watch most events on the Internet. CTV streamed all of the events including the medal ceremonies. Using my dual monitor set up, I was also able to follow most of the events at work.

As Mhairi wrote a few weeks ago in a post discussing Social Media and the Olympics, this year was also the first “Twitter” Olympics. Using a series of hashtags such as #van2010 and #olympics following the events became quite fun. I was also able to get and share info about the different houses and free venues using Twitter. For example on day 2 of the Olympics, I found out that the queue for the zip line was already 2 hours long an hour before being opened and posted the info on Twitter. A follower thanked me and made different plans for the day. How great is that?

Prior to giving up TV I also stopped my subscription to the newspaper. The only time I ever looked at the sport section was during the Olympics, but now I no longer had that option. Flickr of course came to the rescue. Following the appropriate tags led me to discover fantastic photographers and photography blogs.

I’m not sure that Vancouver 2010 would have been as much fun without the Internet and I didn’t miss having a TV one bit.

Upcoming Social Media Events

One of the many benefits of living in Vancouver is that we have a great community of Social Networking experts. In the next few weeks, there are numerous upcoming seminars and workshops which you may want to attend.

Social Media Marketing Training in Vancouver and Victoria

Capulet Communications are leaders when it comes to Social Media Marketing. Following a very successful workshop at UBC Continuing Education this past winter, they’ve now scheduled two new sessions. The first in Victoria will be on April 30 and Vancouver on May 28. Having heard both Julie and Darren speak on many occasions and having read their eBook Getting to First Base: A Social Media Marketing Playbook, I highly recommend this workshop to anyone interested in learning how to use their blog, twitter, facebook, etc… and raising their visibility online.
Full details on the workshops can be found on their website.

Mental Health Camp

Following a very popular session at this year’s Northern Voice Conference panel session called Coping Digitally, a few passionate bloggers have put together a full day event. The purpose of the event is to discuss the many ways social media and blogging can help remove the stigma of mental illness. Registration for this event is free and will be held on April 25. Full details and a list of speakers can be found on their website.

THIRD TUESDAY APRIL: Tris Hussey

Next Tuesday, April 21, Republic will host this month’s Third Tuesday event. Tris Hussey, Social Media Concierge and New Media Specialist will discuss the importance of getting your message out. He will look at the different ways to get your message out and which ones work best. Third Tuesday events are also free of charge and you can sign up by becoming a member of the meet up group.

Facebook is surprisingly useful

Recently a friend of mine sent me an invitation to join her network on Facebook. I ignored it at first, thinking back to my first experience with the social networking site; I had seen how my college-aged step-daughter uses it. She and her friends post tons of photos and notes for each other, mainly centering around recent parties etc. Theirs is a socially active world with time to spare, compared to mine. So Facebook didn’t seem like it was a place for me.

But recently the site has broken past it’s college bounds and people from all walks of life are signing up. I was convinced to try it out after reading reviews by Alexandra Samuel and Rob Cottingham.

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