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Social Media is About Conversation

It came up in conversation twice in the month of August the discussion of social media and its use in the enterprise.  In both instances the people I was having lunch with were telling me about the social media strategy their respective organization had put into place.  As I listened it dawned on me that the discussion was entirely about the tools being used.

“This is what we’ve done with Facebook” “

This is how many Tweets we are doing each day.”

“This is why we aren’t blogging.”

After a while I asked each of them the same question “What was the overarching objective in your social media strategy?”

The first person I asked replied “Well we didn’t really put together a strategy, because we knew what we wanted.”

The second person I asked two weeks later replied “Our strategy was to start using social media!”

After I’d had these two lunch conversations I sent emails to each of them and thought it would be worthwhile sharing some of the themes in this blog post.  Quiet simply, social media is about starting & nurturing a dialogue with your audience (customers / prospects / employees / potential new hires / vendors).

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Back to Blogging

As per my post on Friday, I’m back to blogging and enjoying using WordPress as my new blogging platform.  I’ve always said that blogging is a lot like working out – the more you do it, the easier it gets.  Get out of your routine though, and it’s hard to get back to it without a conscious effort.

I was away from the blog for a number of reasons, none of which are good excuses, but all of which seemed to “keep me out of the gym” so to speak.

  1. I hit a busy period both professionally & personally and slipped out of the routine.  You know the drill – miss one day and say quietly to yourself, “I will get to it tomorrow”.  That often leads to tomorrow becoming next week and next week becoming next month.  Before you know it, months have gone by and you are right out of the habit. You know you should be doing it, you know you want to do it, but somehow a bunch of other stuff has managed to slip itself into the pockets of your day/night and time for blogging seems to have gone away
  2. I was trying to sort out a number of blogging channels/avenues.  In addition to my personal blog, we are looking to launch a corporate blog that I am looking forward to contributing to.  Internally as well, I have begun to structure a blog to chat more directly with my colleagues about IT and how it can apply to their daily work and clients.  In trying to think these different avenues through, I wanted to re-evaluate what mip’s scan would be.  In the end, mip’s scan will remain a place for me to talk about all the tech that I encounter, ponder, play with, research, tinker with and see as potentially being strategic.
  3. I fell into the “140 character trap“.  I love Twitter and find it to be an incredible way to connect with amazing people across a vast social network.  For me, Twitter is an invaluable tool in addition to being a great way to build relationships with people.  That being said, however, it is easy to fall into the trap of  Tweeting without bringing added thought to various topics.  For example, if through various points in the my day I’ve tweeted on a topic, like cloud computing for example, by the end of the day, in my mind, I’ve been flushing out thoughts on the topic, but in a 140 characters I can only scratch the surface of a topic, or point people to other people’s thoughts.   Blogging allows me to communicate a much more in-depth set of thoughts relating to the topic at hand. Don’t get me wrong, Twitter is awesome and I plan on continuing to use it, but it is easy, and if not careful, can make you lazy.  Blogging requires time and like all relationships, the more time you put into them, the more rewarding they will become.

There are so many social media tools available: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare – the list goes on and on.  These are often referred to as micro-blogging.  Little blog-like updates you can make throughout the day.  Blogging, in my opinion, still remains as a critically important tool going beyond micro-thinking and leading to real thought leadership and discussions.  Blogging gives me a forum to flush out details, to brainstorm, to evolve my opinions and share information.

It feels good to be “back in the gym” – shaking the rust off the muscles in my grey matter and beginning a rigorous routine of blogging again.

Thanks for reading!

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