A Thought About Starting Out in Social Media

Here at Creative Concepts, we work with social media every day on behalf of both our clients and ourselves.  But sometimes it helps to step back from our daily proximity to these tools and remember that they’re always brand new to someone who’s never been exposed to them before.

This past weekend, I spent time at PodCamp Pittsburgh 5, which is an annual “un-conference” for social media creators and the people who’d like to learn more about it.  This year’s attendance included over 50% new attendees, which is fascinating for a few reasons:

  • It means people are still discovering social media
  • It means people want to get better at what they’re creating
  • It means some people have learned lessons they feel are worth sharing

But, more than anything it means that interest in social media is still growing.  For those of us who do this every day, that’s both rewarding and surprising.  After all, we’ve been doing it for years, so our interest in the field has held steady.  Hasn’t everyone’s?

But every time we walk into a board room or a classroom and explain what we do to someone else, we see little light bulbs go off in their eyes.  And we realize that the lessons we’ve learned are more than just solutions to other people’s problems; they’re gateways to a whole new world for people who aren’t exposed to social media on a daily basis.

Based on the discussions I’ve had this past weekend, here are some questions that might help you think (or re-think) about social media:

  • What’s your purpose for engaging in social media?  (Sales? Marketing? Self-promotion? Community?)
  • What are your immediate concerns about the ways social media works?
  • How much time do you have to invest in social media?
  • How will you decide if your social media efforts are succeeding or not?
  • If you could only invest time & effort in one tool — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, etc. — which would it be, and why?

Whether you’ve been working in social media for years or you’ve just discovered what blogging is, refocusing on what matters is a great way to help you start creating your own path — or discovering a new direction.

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