One of the most common questions that I get from my peers is “I want to do what you do with Social Media but I don’t want to commit the time and effort that you do”…Ok…so I do put in a lot of extra time in building what I consider a pretty solid social presence. Could my overall standing be better…sure but I don’t invest the amount of time that most people think that I do in maintaining a Social Presence in more than 25 Social Media Services.
The reality is, most people like their Social Media to be in one flavor…Facebook. They connect with their friends and family and they share “kute kitties” and “snappy one liners” but that is it. It’s use is for maintaining existing Social Connections with people you actually know and that is good, it is fine and it is what has made Facebook the Biggest Social Network in the world…but there is an untapped world out there that involves many other Social Networks and ways to truly connect with new people, or people you do business with or even find a way to support and build a cause that you feel passionate about!
There are a set of Minimalist Goals that you can set for yourself to start down the path of Social Media Dominance without having to invest a second full time job to achieve!
In a recent post over at Soshable.com blogger Matt L. Brennan laid out an effective and real world Minimalist’s Guide to Social Networking. When anything can be boiled down to 5 Steps…well you know that it is a doable change in behavior. I will try to do him justice as I “Krispify” his Steps:
- Fill Out Your Profile Completely – I see this all the time with my colleagues and clients. There is not enough time invested in building your profile…this is that object that will represent you for as long as you have an account. It is what people look at, read and determine if you are worthy of investing the time to connect with, do business with or for that matter…give you the time of day moving forward! Just fill out the profile, most sites offer privacy settings that let you hide or block certain users from seeing all of your details if you would like…but take the 5 minutes to fill it out and add an image!
- Make Yourself Useful – In Social Networking, it is about adding value to your followers and connections. If you are not building trust with them with your always on presence…then the chances of you being able to gain that trust when you meet them in person or talk to them over the phone are greatly reduced.
- Social’s Not Your Full Time Job – It doesn’t matter if you are in Sales, an IT Professional or any job at all for that matter. Social Networking is a way to strengthen the bonds you have…it is not meant to be your full time job. Knowing that the Social Networks that you belong to have a purpose that should support your Full Time Job that you do have is key. If you want to share, tweet, plus or post…do it, but don’t let the concept rule your life!
- There’s Power In Numbers – Facebook and LinkedIn have Groups, Twitter has Chats and Google+ has Communities and within those “tribes” there are ways to build and grow your connections by adding value to the conversations there. Don’t be the wall flower or lurker. Participate and add value to the conversations…it is the fastest single way to meet new people and expand your network.
- Block Out Your Time – Social Media and the power of Social Networking can be very addicting. It can soon consume a large portion of your day and can drag down productivity (don’t be part of the $650 Billion in lost productivity). Block out set times like the first 10-15 minutes and the last 10-15 minutes of your work day to look to, post on and connect with on your Social Media Sites…chances are those are your lowest productivity times anyways.
It doesn’t take 15-20 hours per week to build a better Network and it certainly does not take that long to start to represent yourself in a professional and competent manner. If you are trying to build a following…invest the minimum. It may take more than a few minutes per day but the reality is…you probably will not need to jump in the way that I did…but I am unique after all!
Chris J Powell