Wednesday, September 9, 2009

#5in5 Social Media Five in Five™ for newbies

For the uninitiated in Social Media (or Word of Mouth Media as we like to call it), all of the various platforms and tools can be overwhelming. You have accounts on LinkedIn and perhaps Plaxo and maybe even Facebook. But you do not yet have a strategy for how to make them work for you to further your reputation, your brand, your company or your career.

So for those that have not ventured out into the blogosphere or who do not yet Tweet your every thought, here is where to start. While this one may take more than 5 minutes, it will be worth the investment. Set yourself a time goal and schedule time into your calendar to get established with the right foundation.

1. YOUR LOOK - Find (or take) a photo of yourself that you like - I favor outside shots with foliage or flowers in the back with a natural pose. No mug shots or standing in front of a blank wall and please please don't crop a photo of you standing with someone else. Dress according to what you want to be doing. If you want to teach surfing, a photo with a suit and tie probably isn't appropriate.Use that photo for every site you are registered on so that you are "recognizable". It becomes a part of your brand.
2. YOUR MONIKER - Decide on a name that you will use throughout the social grid and try to stick with that as your username. I started in the early 90s on AOL as chickefitz as my screename and I use that as my name throughout the social grid for sites that don't allow me to use my full name. Consistency helps you remember and others will begin to recognize your moniker.
3. TAGLINE - Think about a 3-5 word phrase that describes who you are and what you do (not your title, but what you can accomplish for someone). I use "The Connector and Growth Coach" as my tagline.
4. YOUR PROFILE - Now this you may want to modify from site to site. But I recommend writing one profile description to use as a starting point.
5. YOUR CORE SITE(S) - You can't tackle the entire Social Grid in one day. Decide on one or two core sites that you will focus on initially to begin your social media journey. If you haven't touched your profile on your "core" sites recently, review them and make sure that they say what you want to say and will accomplish your goals.

Be kind to yourself. Give yourself permission to work on this and to lay a proper foundation for your journey. It can be fun. There is a lot to learn!

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