Social Media – my “Christmas Project” run amok

Posted on January 29, 2009. Filed under: Social Media How-Tos, Where Work meets Life | Tags: , , , , , , , |

social media logos

social media logos

It started innocently enough – having written my way down to part-time status with my main client, I found myself with some time on my hands, and a burning desire to “get good at something specific” in marketing. And I’d learn it over Christmas.

Diving into the social media pool
I decided that something should be social media.  After all, here I am – a marketer that spends considerable time writing web copy.  Why not check what all the fuss is about concerning using Facebook for business, Twitter and LinkedIn?

Freshening my Facebook
Facebook was easy – sort of.  I’d been on for a year and a half, collected way too many silly applications and a whole bunch of friends (ok, a hundred or so) representing a lifetime of moving around and trying to keep in touch.   First thing I did was grab Facebook by the scruff of the neck, turn off all sorts of notifications, and get it to stop bossing me around… at least long enough to invite a few more friends and make a page for my business.

Blogging for branding
Next, I took a look at my baby blog – started so that I could muse about ADHD, but named for my business.  OK, so I was having an identity crisis.  ADHD is still an abiding interest, but I’d have to blog about it elsewhere.  I’m still too swamped in the social media learning curve to have started that blog up, but if you joined me then and are wondering when I’m going to get around to blogging about coming “out of the fog” again, well, bear with me.

So the blog has made a right turn, and now it’s my repository for social media thoughts, especially for people who are new to it.  Because really, most people are new to it!  (I mean, if I can become the top of the Twitter elite for Victoria BC in less than a month, then you know that we’re still in the infancy stages of this stuff!)

Taking on Twitter
Then I cranked up Twitter, attached it to Facebook and Facebook to my blog, and badda boom badda bing, we have social media visibility!  Except that still, nothing looks quite the way I want it to.   I’ve just found a theme that I like on my free WordPress blog, so the upgrades are coming.  Once that’s done, can embedded YouTube videos and Flickr photo galleries be far behind?  They’re all complementary ways to connect…

LinkedIn, too…
Oh, and I fired up my LinkedIn account too, because after all, I am a business woman, and this site has wonderful connecting functions for people in business.

Learning from the Pros
As all this was happening, I was finding interesting, savvy social media people to follow on Twitter, and they’ve been educating me every single day about the best ways to connect with mentors, with potential clients, and with people who are just worth knowing.  Checking on TwitterGrader, I went from a fair-to-middling-for-a-newbie score of 54 (out of 100) in mid-December to over 96 a couple of days ago.  And 435 people think I’m interesting and relevant enough to follow.  Imagine!

Racing up the learning curve!
The thing is, my head is still spinning from jumping onto this merry-go-round so quickly.  Clients are starting to ask how they can use social media effectively, and I’m putting together proposals that will help them take advantage of the relationship-marketing heart of social media… without causing them to lose sleep or productive working hours.  I’ll do that for them!

And to be sure, there are wonderful tools to help sort all the posts on all the sites – like Ping.fm, TweetLater, TwitterFeed, Tweetdeck, and so on.  As well, I’d like to thank some amazing social media professionals, pro bloggers and simply fine people I met on-line who are my role models, like Mari Smith, Nancy Marmolejo, Sherman Hu, Chris Brogan, Maria Reyes McDavis, and Michele Price.

Do I feel ready to pass along what I’ve learned to the 99 percent of Victoria business owners who know social media is “out there” but don’t know how to make it work for them?  As ready as I’ll ever be…

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6 Responses to “Social Media – my “Christmas Project” run amok”

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Catherine, I love the path you have chosen to engage in at this time. I noticed yesterday after our lunch that social media really is in it’s infancy. And I am sure that the internet and all of its capabilities are in their infancy too. And just think, years from now we will be able to say, “yup, I was there at the beginning of all that.”
Pretty Cool hey?

Excellent piece. I appreciated it because it’s a bit similar to me, except I’m still slogging along the flat part of the learning curve, and it seems you are turning up on to the sweet, steep part — where results come disproportionatley to effort. If not now, soon. IMO, you write fluently, with flow. Very nice!

A question. I want to set up a new blog, and don’t really like Blogger. I think I’d like an integrated WordPress blog/site. Possible? My neighbour had some co. downtown create a WordPress site for her, a kind of template, I guess, and then she just changes the content. Can you optimize the free WP blog/sites? What do you recommend?

Great article, Catherine!

I’m doing the same sort of social networking “catch-up” myself. Keep up the good work.

Hi Bruce! I’ve really enjoyed connecting with you on Twitter, and am honoured to have your comment here. You’ve just inspired my next blog post, so look out for it.

In answer to your question, yes you can absolutely optimize the free WP sites. To do so requires you pay just a few bucks for to activate the “edit CSS” tool, and either find someone you know to add your desired edits, applications, badges and scripts – or you do it yourself. I’m still on the flat part of that learning curve, myself – though I’ve paid my money and can theoretically make this blog rock. Time to find more team members who can help out on that front, I think!

There are tons of wonderful features on WordPress, and I hear that TypePad is excellent, too. That’s the platform that Denise Wakeman (The Blog Squad) uses.

Hi Paul!

Now’s a good time to give a plug to your company, Transitional Media (transitionalmedia.ca). It’s located here in Victoria, and folks – Paul is a superb guy.

[…] had no idea that social media was going to become such a huge part of the picture. (See “Social Media: My Christmas Project Run Amok” for my initial thoughts as I dove into the pool).  But here I am at the beginning of March – and […]


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