At first I was going to label this post as “Why I am not fond of Social Media”, and list all the reasons that I don’t like Facebook, twitter, blogging and so on.  But in reality I do enjoy these things quite a bit, what I don’t like about them is that I am not good at getting a following.  Some really basic principles of social media are blatantly ignored.  Here are some thought (mostly from what I read and sprinkled with what I have experienced).

*  Social media mastery takes some time:  I started a little consulting business teaching office applications like Excel and Word, and anything else in the Microsoft Office 2010 arena.  This was a great way to start making some extra income and the clients really appreciated what I did for them and I appreciated that they would actually pay!  A win win.  But the thing is that I was not a pro at any of those programs, I could just do enough to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish.  I set out on the war path to be great in Excel, and that was tough, you can see in an earlier post that I failed the Excel expert exam.  I wanted to rush and get the fantastic results…but what are clients paying me for?  For the experience and knowledge that comes from time and experience.  The same is true is social media, people pay you (by following you and commenting in the social media realm) for intelligent and meaningful information.

*  Worthwhile and meaningful information:  The last thought of the last point is the main thought for this point, that people want to consume information that is important to them or brainstorm with you or from your content.  I follow the Linux Action Show because they talk about Linux and other closely related items.  When I want to know how to successfully blog and converse online I go elsewhere (I still take the Linux Action Shows distribution in as an example of what I want to do).  I listen to Dave Ramsey about getting out of debt and I listen to Dan Miller on 48days podcast on how to live out my dream and work hard at it.  These three shows all tie into me but they do more than excellent at the one topic they address.  I cannot stand when people always blog about how they are starting a blog and then writing it and then trying to get people to read it…then I realize that is what I do more often than not.

*  Don’t just sell:  I started this blog and got some people from community to look at it and tell me what I could improve on.  They gave me good honest feedback that I was just trying to sell myself and nothing more.  This hurt but was good, I love technology and I want others to love it and have success with it, so I (am trying my hardest) to change my style of writing and offer actual helpful information about programs, how to use them and how to overcome obstacles they might encounter.  If I google how to do something in Excel I want the info to do it not how that person who knows how is starting a blog and it is only for their benefit in selling me their services.

*  People are not stupid:  In this point I am not saying that I ever thought people were stupid, but I never conveyed that in my writing.  Think of all the time that someone followed you on Twitter or Facebook saying they want to chat about the same things that you are interested in and then when you followed them it was nothing but what they were trying to sell.  I will unfollow you in a heartbeat!

*  Social media is marketed the wrong way to businesses:  You and I hear that we have to be on social networks for our business…so hundreds of businesses make a account and say what they do, and then never talk on that site again.  I drove past an oil changing station that said “follow us on facebook.”  I thought to myself how ludicrous that was since the only reason I would get my oil changed there is because of the location of that business.  They would not have a real conversation with me and neither would I or they enjoy trying to have a conversation.  SO if you run an oil lube business and you have that sign out then you better have a person who does just that and can keep a conversation going.

*  Social media is an investment and takes time:  Time and consistency are the only ways that you will succeed in social media.  You may write for months before anything really happens due to your postings and comments.  MARKETING in and of itself takes time no matter which venue you use.  In the book “Guerrilla Marketing” the author laments how a great marketing plan is setup and then the clients bails after a month or so because they do not see any results.  The book also states you should give such things at least six months before you dismiss them.  There are also stats that prove that a person has to see, hear or read something several times before that marketing will take any positive effect in their minds.  Make a plan and then act on it consistently.  I am not a marketing pro, but I have taken the advice and it is slow and painful but the advice turned out to be true, I mean you are reading this aren’t you, maybe long after I have written it but I have done this blog and many other things to bring you here and I don’t expect a dime!  I am just glad to be involved and if you use my consulting or get my Android apps then great!

Do not believe that social media will support you business (at least not right away) but that a great business or purpose will support you social media and then in turn it will drive more people to you.  Just relax (I have to tell myself this all the time) and enjoy the use of all this communication that you have at your finger tips!