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How social are you?


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It started like a small bunch of burning leaves. A little MySpace here and there – a blog or two. And then the wind picked up. Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn. Growing from a windstorm to a firestorm, the social media concept is a tornado running wild over the Internet plains.

How social are you? How serious are you about social media?

REALITY: You can’t ignore them. Hundreds of millions of people are involved so far, and the phenomenon is just a few years old.

I tried to ignore it for a while, but it soon became apparent that this was the new, new wave. About a year ago, I became a player.

I admit I have an edge. I have a lot of readers and followers who are interested in what I have to say and want to know what my thinking is immediately. Those are two of the values in social media – they’re immediate and they’re informative. They’re also fun – that’s why Facebook and YouTube are worth BILLIONS.

The major networks in social media are growing by the second …

• For photos, it’s Flickr – worth billions.

• For videos, it’s YouTube – worth billions.

• Social networking for the younger set starts with MySpace – an original.

• Social networking for the growing and grown set, it’s Facebook – worth billions.

• To get connected and network with the business set, it’s LinkedIn.

And for that private message, there’s texting. It’s easy for me – I have an iPhone.

And that is just a partial picture. There’s more.

• For individual expressions, there are weblogs, or blogs.

• If you want to say a few words, there’s microblogging and interconnecting – also known as Twitter – worth billions.

• For chronologging, it’s Wikipedia – worth billions.

• And of course, there are your personal Web site and business Web site. Priceless.

All of these media are, or try to be, socially engaging – sticky, if you will. All of them are, or try to be, passed on – viral, if you will. Or, better stated, if you tweet, are you good enough or bad enough to be re-tweeted?

I have made a serious commitment to “socialize.” To expose more of my personal self and my business self through social media. I will maintain my value-based philosophy, but I will personalize it and humanize it to a point that others are attracted to it, benefit from it and want to pass it on to others.

So, what does this mean to you?

What’s the opportunity to you and for you?

Why should you get involved?

Social media are an opportunity, a new frontier, a space in cyberspace that gives you an individual place to play, build awareness of you and for you, brand yourself and potentially profit.

You have to ask yourself …

Where’s the beef?

Where’s the fun?

What’s the value? Both to others and yourself.

And how – if desired – do you monetize it?

Well, unless you’re one of the few people in an ownership or founding position of these social media sites, your monetizing opportunities at the moment are limited – in spite of various claims by “experts.”

Here’s what I recommend to get going and get positioned, so that your value – either in social, business, fun or money – can be realized:

• Sign on.

• Establish an account on each of the major sites.

• Post something.

• Tweet something.

• Connect with someone.

• Do it yourself.

• Do it every day.

Social media are instant. You have to be ready to participate consistently and in a meaningful way if you want to win.

Jeffrey Gitomer can be reached by phone at (704) 333-1112 or by e-mail at salesman@gitomer.com. © 2009 Jeffrey H. Gitomer

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