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February 7, 2011Social Media for Complete Beginners – Part 1

It’s London Social Media Week, a 5 day series of events, panel discussions and seminars on social media — how to monetize it, and how to take advantage of it. I thought about dropping in on a couple of seminars and reporting back to you. Then I realised two things:

1) half a dozen other people will be doing the same thing, and at least one of them will be doing it better than me, and
2) I’m not a “social media type”. I don’t tweet, I’m a reluctant user of Facebook, and my tumblr doesn’t have one single picture of a rebloggable kitten.

So I’ve decided to do something that follows the first rule of good blogging — I’m going to provide content that’s as unique as possible.

In honour of London Social Media Week, I’ve decided to dive in head first.

Eagle eyed readers may have noticed a new sidebar appear on the site overnight:

My aim is to actively use all three sites over the next 7 days to drive traffic to my site and secure new business.

When it comes to social media, there are two types of people. Either you’re an early adopter and you’ve been using it for years, in which case this blog post isn’t for you — although you might get a kick out of finding out how much I manage to get wrong — and how quickly I manage to learn from my mistakes. Or you’re like me:

The social-media-phobe – a description.

Chances are you’re on Facebook.

After all, everyone is. But you don’t use it. Not properly. You don’t “like” random people’s pages (especially business pages) and you don’t feel comfortable with Facebook mining your data. People have told you about the existence of this amazing game called Farmville and you’ve shaken your head and wondered if they’re feeble minded. You get angry when people “tag” you in photos. You’re probably only even on Facebook because someone you fancy is. You’re on Facebook, but you’re a Facebook-phobe.

You don’t “get” Twitter.

Supposedly 74% of people have no interest in using it, ever. You don’t see how friends and total strangers pinging you short messages in real time is a good thing. You find text messages annoying. You feel no particular need to update the world about what you’re doing. You see similar updates (“I’ve just farted in the bath lol”) on Facebook and you wonder why the hell anyone would ever want to do that. You read somewhere that Kim Kardashian was on Twitter. You see that as a good enough reason to never, ever go near the site.

Someone told you LinkedIn was really, really good for work.

It may have been your boss, or a colleague, or you may have read it on one of these new-fangled blogs. You may have even heard someone say “yeah, it’s like Facebook, only it doesn’t have Farmville or Mafia Wars or idiots” and you thought you’d check it out. You added a couple of your old co-workers and maybe you added someone you met at a networking event you really wanted to work for.Then that’s it. Your LinkedIn page languishes, unchecked, because no-one you fancy is on it so unlike Facebook, you never log on.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest this describes about 50% of you.

It’s a pretty accurate summary of my attitudes to Social Media — and I work on the web. It’s not just me. I know designers and devs, marketing consultants and other copywriters who are all based on the web who have the same attitude. We just don’t “get” social media. We’re too busy doing our actual jobs — whether that’s programming or designing or writing.

So, over the next week I am going to:

  • Set up a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and dive head-first into LinkedIn.
  • Try different techniques to attract fans, followers and drive traffic to my site
  • Write a diary about my exploits — so I can show you what I get right and what I get wrong, with the metrics to prove it.

This is my Social Media Week challenge. I’m open to suggestions in the comments section about what I should be doing, who I should be following, what advice I need to be reading.

In the meantime, you can also follow me on Twitter, view my newly created Facebook page, or add me on LinkedIn.

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This entry was posted on Monday, February 7th, 2011 at 12:59 pm and is filed under Blog, Site Updates, Social Media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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