Finding the right social media platforms for you

It’s probably not a shock to you that I’m a big fan of Twitter, but it might surprise you to know that I don’t recommend it as the be-all end-all of social media platforms. In fact, when I coach a client about social media I don’t recommend any platform or tool right off the bat.

If you want to really engage in social media, and not just give lip service so you can say you’re participating, there’s a lot to think about first.

Who do you want to connect with and where are they?

Do some searches, use some of the metrics tools and find out where the conversations are you want to participate in. Find out where the people you want to connect with are already talking. Scan Alltop categories for bloggers you might want to connect with. Make lists. Listen. Then look at those networks and connections and decide which ones are the most valuable and interest you the most.

How much time have you got?

Once you narrow the field to a few networks, take a good look at how much time you have and how you can allocate it best. Do you have time to write a blog once a week or more, or are you better at connecting with short bursts of information? Do you already have material you want to share? Can you commit to regular blogging or is occasional commenting, link sharing or short groups posts better for you?

How do you communicate?

Do you like to write longer posts that explain your viewpoint? Maybe blogging is for you.

Shorter and reactive? Think about commenting on blog posts and discussion groups as part of your strategy.

Just like sharing links? Look at FriendFeed, Amplify, Linkedin groups or Twitter as options.

In the end what is important is communicating in a way that’s comfortable for you and engages the audience you want to connect with. If at first you don’t feel you’re connecting well enough, ask around a bit. If you connect with a few of the people who matter to you, they may have networks to share that you wouldn’t have discovered on your own. Listen to your network. Start small and let your network guide you. Have fun.

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