I've always thought of myself as a doer. When other people are meeting and planning, I close my door, press mute and do things. For me doing means listening, experimenting, responding and writing - and it's nice to be recognized for what you do.
I mention this because The Silicon Valley Watcher blog has published a subset of Jeremiah Owyang's long list of Enterprise Social Media professionals. The shortened list highlights "Social Media Doers," and my name appears on the list.
First, I have to say that I'm only one of dozens (maybe hundreds) of Social Media doers here at SAS. Within the last year, we've had many SAS country offices and entire divisions start to realize the benefits of adding social media elements to their work flows and marketing campaigns. Dave Thomas, the primary author of this blog, has written a handy "social media cook book" to provide guidance for everyone at SAS who wants to do more in social media.
Dave's cook book includes ten or so chapters on blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media staples. But I wanted to provide my top three tips here for anyone who wants to start doing social media. They are:
- Write a blog. Stop putting it off. If you don't have time to manage and edit your own blog, find a blog in your area that publishes posts from guest contributors. Blogging will give you a home base where you can send people who want to know more about how you think and what level of expertise you can offer.
- Comment on blogs. This is the one piece of advice I give over & over & over again. If you're not reading what other people have to say and taking the effort to respond, it's unlikely anyone is going to take the time to read what you have to say. Commenting on blogs is the single best way to drive reliable traffic to your own blog. Lately I've been giving our SAS bloggers a one-comment a day challenge. Even if you're just saying, "Great post, I enjoyed reading it," the practice will make it easier to comment when you have something more substantial to say later.
- Reply on Twitter. Twitter is not just a broadcast channel. Engagement there is important for the same reason it is on blogs. The point is to get to know your followers and understand how they think, so when you do provide content it's more of what they'll like. One problem I have with Twitter is that it's so easy to plop in and tweet a link, that I sometimes forget it's a conversation tool. When I saw that happening lately, I set a new rule for myself that I've been following regularly: Don't even open Twitter or Tweet Deck unless you have time to reply to at least one person.
Speaking of rules, here's another one I set for myself about commenting: Don't Tweet or bookmark an article unless you've commented on it first. For some reason, I started to feel safe tweeting articles and had forgotten that the real value is in the comment streams. Now I remind myself: If it's worth a tweet, it's worth a comment. Take the time to comment first, and then close the loop with a tweet.
So that's what I've been doing lately. What about you? Do you have tips for doers? Do you set rules for yourself that help you accomplish your own goals in social media?