Six steps to get started in social media

I am often asked by my colleagues and people on Tweets how to START in the world of social media, particularly blogging. So here’s my six step plan

  1. I would follow (ie sign up for their email alerted postings) blogs by former journalists so Jeff Jarvis (also Guardian columnist),  Craig Stolz, Mark Potts. Note how people comment on postings, how many comment, the etiquette of commenting (join the debate, leave something intriguing, not a plea to read your posting) and where some of the comments lead you to – bloggers you might never have heard of. Remember the key act of blogging is the posting of a comment on another person’s blog and drawing the traffic back to your site or blog. But, before you set up that blog, practise commenting on other blogs.
  2. Read some of the leading social media marketers such as Peter Kim, Jeremiah Owyang, David Armano. There is a huge wave of companies using social media to market themselves in the US. These bloggers cover the phenomenon just as the first splash hits the UK. 
  3. Read a good blog about blogging so you get to understand the culture –  Darren Rowse’s Problogger
  4. Set up a Twitter account and start following people like Jay Rosen, Michael Arrington, Robert Scoble, Chris Brogan (find them on my Twitter where I FOLLOW them). When their Tweets start coming through on your account, click through the links that they send out. Some will be of no interest but some will take you to some amazing places – leaders of social media are actually sharing their thoughts and views with you. Could old media ever have done such a thing? 
  5. Set up a LinkedIn or Facebook account, if you have not already done so. Note how different they both are to use, in terms of contacts found and content used. Open a Flickr account and start sending photos to it from your mobile phone – it spews out an email address just for you.  Start a YouTube account and save some favourite videos. All these things are really easy once you get your head into working out how to do it. Go to Google and see how high up your name appears, riding the social media bounce. 
  6. Over a very short period, all this activity will all start coming together and you will feel the need to set up a FriendFeed to aggregate it all in one place. And, only at this point, will you be ready to set up a blog having thought really hard about your subject, nicely focused and firmly anchored in your specialism.

Will you let me know how it goes or, better still, show me through social media – a comment on my blog linking back to yours, or a comment on my FriendFeed  – how you are progressing?

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About John Welsh

John Welsh has spent his entire working life in business-to-business media, first traditional publishing, having edited three magazines over 14 years, and, second, exhibitions since 2007. He started this blog on 22 June 2008 and ended it on 18 May 2010.
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2 Responses to Six steps to get started in social media

  1. That was really useful, thanks, shared it on Twitter.

    Now following you…

    Consider sticking a link to your Twitter page in your side bar.

    Would significantly up your followers’ list ;o)

  2. Phil Clark says:

    John,
    Very useful tips. Two additions I would put forward, one a blogger and the other a more traditional media – a book:
    Seth Godin – author and marketing expert, who has an excellent blog – http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/
    And a book called Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Here-Comes-Everybody-Clay-Shirky/dp/0713999896/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1226769508&sr=8-1. This focuses on the social phenomenon that is online, rather than the technology and how the new ways of communicating online are changing the way we act.

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