I've been asked several times for some students, that I should put together practical advice on going through the social media pathways and how to avoid the pitfall. Well the pitfall - meaning failure - is part of the game - However, I can definitely take some concepts that best have been worked for me through these almost 4 years of adventures and experience in Social Media and list them.
15 Tips and Howto's to Empower your Social Media Career
1. Hang out!
Meet people outside the Social Web. You'll engage with them by meeting them personally in real-life. This is goal of Social Media. isn't it?
2. Be an entrepreneur
Start things, try, fail, make things happen, make business, set up social media initiatives, create needs, anticipate trends, trust in your gut...
3. Screw it, let's do it!
Life spent wishing is life wasted
4. Manage your Social Media Time (idea by ChrisBrogan)
In order to engage, connect and interact with the community, you need to set up a social media policy, which allows you to manage your social media time, not for the sake of your time, but for creating the perfect relationship between the community and you.
- Reading/listening: Spend 2/4 of your time reading and listening blogs, posts, updates, comments and so on...you'll have a full understanding of what's going on in your community, not to mention learning, thus gain insights and expand your knowledge, which is always great!
- 1/4 Commenting: How do we expect people connect with us if we don't reciprocate? We just expect comment from other people, but what about themselves? If we do so we'll build a trust-based relationship with our audience and suddenly, we'll realize that we've influencers and "high value partners"
- 1/4 Creating: And the last one, create content, your content is important and is also essential to get you known - I'm not talking about quality and relevancy, we assume that - but at the end is auto-promotion, so my advice is promote your content 1 time for 20 times you promote others' content.
5. WOM is your best friend
Nowadays, the WOM is the best marketing ever. The good news? In Social Media he's our best friend, see how you can make an effective use of it.
6. Social Media World
Offer social media platforms to collect feedback and at the same time-sharing and interacting.
7. Learn to say thank you
Say it! Do it publicly and please, customize your message, avoid mass untargeted messages.
Connect your audience, create your tribe, start with a small group of people first. It's a hard and slow process, it requires consistency, transparency charisma and imagination. But, let me tell you, that when you start seeing the results, it's worth to make this effort.
As SethGodin says, you don't need a keyboard to lead, you just need the desire to make something happen.
Hell, yes! We've not talked about it yet! Build a network, join social media associations or communities as Social Media Today, Social Media Marketing, word of mouth marketing association, third tribe marketing,mashable, techcrunch, adictos al social media, social mediopolis, life hacker or inbound marketing to name a few.
In all this groups, there's a great bunch of information exchange about social media and other related subjects. These are fantastic places to get in touch with what's hot in social media, upcoming trends, but also to connect and engage with other professionals, enthusiasts and even businesses. Here, in Social Media, the opportunity has no name!
10. Breakeven point
Find you breakeven point - between professional and personal life. Establish beforehand which platforms are going to be for professional use and which ones for a more personal and private use - if you think you may have - In my case, I use Facebook for chilling, bragging, whining and so on with my people, I like to know what are they up to. I'm afraid, but unless I know someone who had me as a friend, I'm not going to friend her/him. However, they can always find you on LinkedIn, Twitter, foursquare, blogs...Does it make sense?
Be ready for being a multitask, owning your own Social Media brand, working as a freelance for big agencies, setting up synergies for collaborating in bigger projects, working a lot, travelling, giving business talks, teaching Social media classes, posting content regularly, commenting every single interaction, helping out others, having friends, family and even girlfriend/boyfriend...It's OK to have 30 or 40 windows opened, it's OK to have 100 passwords, is ok following and managing 10 communities, is ok Posting each day in 5 or 8 blogs...at the end you are a Social Media Rockstar, right?
12. Always IN
Forget vacations, I said that because with Social Media you always should be on the top of the wave, doesn't matter if it's with a laptop or with a smart phone, always IN.
13. Plan for failure
As we said before we're on the gates to a new world, so there's a lot to discover, learn and win. Nevertheless, as we don't know what's going to happen, you'd better have a plan B, C D and even E. Have always a contingency plan.
14. Your Spark
Everybody has a spark, if we take it from the foundation that we're all different, and we won't find another person identical to us. Then, as everybody has something that makes her/him unique - call it the Spark - You've one, Did you find it? Yes? How would you apply it? Is your Spark the ability to connect with people? To be open-minded? Catalyst for change? Heretic? Leader? Think about how you can use your Spark to boost your Social Media rock star Career.
Did it mention before? A strong willing attitude for being remarkable, following your dreams or make a difference are sings that you are a social media rock star and if not, no worries, you can learn it, nobody is born being social media rock star.
What's your opinion? What other tips would you add to the list? What's left?