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Social Media

You’re on Twitter. Big Effing Deal.

Well, it’s as big of a deal as you make it. But the point is that mere presence does not constitute influence. If you’re a tween obsessed with Twilight, tweet all you want about what your cat is doing and how your parents are lame and what’s on your latest playlist.

But if you’re a business looking to get some mileage out of social media (not just picking on Twitter exclusively, though explaining its benefits prompts the most head-scratching from many) you need to concentrate on substantive content. You need to offer intrinsic value.

We’ve been in conversation with more than a few professional peers who get all wide-eyed about participating in any number of social media platforms. What’s frustrating — no, infuriating — is that too many think the game ends when you simply step on the field. But that’s barely the beginning. These folks are missing the bigger picture. Channel isn’t strategy; it’s just another outlet.

Now, the mission is to use these social media tools effectively. How? By pushing out credible information, whether self authored, found through sources you respect, or (ideally) a well-syncopated combination of both. You need to engage your audience, ask them questions, offer up free expertise, etc. Then, and only then, with extreme discretion, would you push something self-promotional or self-congratulatory.

You’re trying to cast yourself as a reliable source. That’s how you’ll build a following. You want to tell people how long the line is at Starbucks? Fine. Expound on the antics of your toddler? Your choice. But if you don’t mix in a juicy dose of valuable insight and information, I’ll un-follow your inanity faster than a Jersey Shore spray-tan session.