The science of social media

Yesterday morning I attended a presentation on the power of social media (SM). The presentation covered everything from hugely successful social media campaigns such as Pepsi’s Refresh Project to some of the bigger blunders. Even though I was there representing my work, brainstorming for ideas on how we could implement a SM strategy, it got me thinking about it on a personal level as well.

The more I get out there blogging and surfing around, the more I see people are interconnecting themselves between their Facebook, twitter, blogs etc. And at yesterday’s presentation, the speaker talked about companies maximizing and playing off of this interconnectivity so that you have a comprehensive social media presence all feeding off each other – Facebook, blog, twitter, and YouTube accounts all connected and driving content on your website homepage for example. Wow!

On a personal level, obviously I have a blog. The only other social media platforms I really tap into are Facebook and twitter.

I would say I am pretty prolific on Facebook. I am near the 300 mark on friends. I post status updates fairly regularly (although not hourly), use Facebook to plan events, and I post a lot of photos etc. For me, it’s a great way to stay in touch with friends and family. I like to see what old junior high and high school friends are up to by visiting their profiles from time to time, seeing the “goings on” of family located around the world running through my news feed – it’s fantastic. And I like that the relationships are not time or investment intensive. The people I am close to, I have more personal conversations, emails, and face-to-face time with. But Facebook allows me to stay connected to them, as well as those more distant acquaintances, with the click of a button when, where, and how often I want.

Twitter on the other hand, has me a bit lost. I don’t understand the point. I’ve been login on more often to try to get a sense of what people tweet about – how would I use it – how can I leverage it but I am still lost and don’t really see the point yet. 140 characters – do people really want to hear what I am doing right now, where I am at, what I am working on? I don’t think so. I get the news tweets – those make sense. And some of the tweets from our local leaders are interesting. But I still feel like I am missing the point of twitter for personal use.

Although, the SM presentation did highlight how now that I am blogging, I could use both Facebook and twitter to drive traffic and feed off one another – and drive content. Interesting and it’s pretty clear how effective and easy it would be and how those mediums would really enable me to gain readership.

The catch: I haven’t yet “come out” as a blogger to all of my friends and family. I don’t advertise my latest posts on Facebook or twitter, and I know this means I am missing out on an untapped readership. So why haven’t I yet? As of now, I write with a certain level of freedom that comes with anonymity and I am not sure if I want to sacrifice that in the name of blog stats. Or maybe (and more likely) I am just scared of being judged by those who know me? Perhaps a crisis of confidence.

Either way, when I am ready to go “viral”, I can certainly see how tapping into social media platforms will enable me to make the leap!

How do you use social media professionally or personally? Do you capitalize on different platforms to enhance your blog readership?

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