Sometimes social media gets a bad rap because there are those who abuse it, but I believe it is a fantastic medium to help artists and crafters nurture relationships and become more efficient in their businesses. It can be used for both personal and professional growth as well as a wonderful tool to benefit the community. It's all about the lens you choose to look from and Seth Godin describes it perfectly in the reason social media is so difficult for most organizations when he says "it's a process, not an event." Rajesh Setty also has a great description of social media in the 7 kinds of relationships to social media starting with those who despise it at one end of the spectrum and then those who dance with it at the other end.
Just as Seth Godin describes it, social media is a process...it's just like building any great relationship, it takes time, effort, passion and honesty. An event is a single moment in time which fizzles away quickly. I'm sure everyone of us would love to have success overnight, but most of the time it just isn't that easy. Success is built with dedication and passion and although we may see overnight success, a long term approach is usually more effective.
Let's take a second and look at how we traditionally build relationships...some prefer to interact face-to-face, some prefer phone calls, and some like letters. Social media introduces a new way to interact with each other...allowing you to connect with anyone from anywhere at anytime, making communication much more efficient. For example, rather than search the classifieds for jobs, get started on LinkedIn and connect with potential employers directly through your network. They always say it's because of somebody you know so share your experience and expertise on LinkedIn, an online professional networking site, and you may just make that contact you always dreamed of.
- Start Slow: Start slow and get used to one medium at a time...get comfortable first and find your rhythm
- Inform with Good Content: Use the communication channel to be useful to others - sharing only the weather will not add significant value
- Make it Short and Sweet: Long explanations will not get attention so summarize and get to the point quickly
- Promote Others: Find ways to share and talk about others that provide value to your audience
- Listen and Respond: Keep the channels of communication always humming
- Ensure Consistency and Honesty: Consistency builds networks and honesty will always win in the long run
We sincerely hope this information will help take some of the edge off the social media confusion. Once you get started with social media, make sure you read the 7 smart ways to juggle social media and we will keep posting information on how everyone can use social media to build their networks and prosper in the long run. Your feedback is most important to us, so please share your comments and pass this along to others.