My girls got me started on FaceBook after informing me that email was “so 90’s.” I never did get into the My____ thing, because I could never figure out what the heck the ____ was until they too were obsolete. Glad I didn’t invest any time there. After “friending” the entire family, the congregation of our church, half of Woodside High School and most of my kids friends, I was labeled as a lurch. Apparently overtly spying on your children’s activities by looking at the weekend beer-pong photos and tables filled with bongs is frowned upon in the current “hip” social circle. Too bad, I’m a parent – not their best buddy.
My first exposure to LinkedIn came from an ex girlfriend sending me an email that simply stated “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” That seemed simple enough. She was a colleague in a marketing role within a well known software company, so there seemed to be some value there. I’d never heard of LinkedIn but have been a relatively early adopter so I jumped on it. I signed up and promptly forgot that it even existed.
Having been around for a while (I actually remember key-punch cards, CP/M, Lotus 123, and DB5) I have seen lots of things come and go. My first desktop computer was an Apple II with a 2MB external drive – hot stuff back then. It was no earth shaking event to find a platform with a bit more professional atmosphere than the “well he was all.. oh my God, and she said…” banter that was FaceBook at the time.
I took a quick class on “social media” and came back stoked at the business implications of LinkedIn. I set a goal to acquire 100 professional contacts, and began emailing everyone I had ever worked with. The more I played with it, the more applications I found for connecting with associates, groups, chats, conversations, etc. It became kind of an obsession. I started teaching classes on the business/job search applications of LinkedIn and got even better at it. You know what they say: if you really want to learn something, teach it. I began broadening out with my associates at ProMatch and expanded the course work to include FaceBook and Twitter. I was asked to write for a social media blog with the State of California EDD, and taught a few additional adult education courses for the county. That was when the real fun began.
I took a Masters Certificate in Internet Marketing from USF and figured out how to integrate all this wonderful social media with websites to generate leads and attract business through the internet. I haven’t made a “cold call” since.
In the following years of helping my clients generate traffic to their sites, I developed a pretty good, tight little grouping of sites that I feel relevant. I use WordPress to create my blog/content, twitter to broadcast it, and my LinkedIn and FaceBook fan pages (FB is not just for High School students any more) as my portfolio sites. There are videos that need to be posted on YouTube, Slide Shows on Slide Share, we need to use Google alerts to monitor the feedback on our products and services, Yelp to express our opinions of others goods and services, and after a daily review of Search Engine Land and weekly webinar with the Internet Marketing Club, it is exhausting to keep up with it all.
Google + looks like it is going to be a “must have” in the professional quiver, and Stumble Upon, Digg and Redit, gain more attention by the day. Google + really looks like a good more intuitive knock off from FaceBook, except that adoption is still very sparse now and there really isn’t much on it.
Enough is Enough! Slow down and let me catch my breath. There are now 15 “share” icons below some of the articles I read, and more coming every day. To set up a social media suite there are 10 different sites, avatars’, and registers to complete profiles in to get a client started. I can consolidate all the proliferation through Postling, but for crying out loud! I spend 5-10 hours a week just keeping up with what I need to understand to help my clients, and the other 40 doing the work. I need a maid!