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Use social media strategically

Nearly everyone is obsessed with social media these days, whether it’s from the C-suite or down to a freelancer trying to figure out how he/she can use social media to increase revenues. In reading a number of blogs about social media, it seems to come down to this: People rush to the social media without first figuring out what they will do once they get there. Almost like the proverbial dog chasing a car. What will he do if he ever catches one?
This is to say that most of us will fall into the obsession trip of tools (boss to subordinate:  We have to get on Twitter or something.) that are new without first determining what the will do once they get there. (Subordinate to boss: Hey, boss, we’re now on Twitter, what do you want us to do?) (Boss to subordinate: That’s your job.)
The moral of this little story is don’t fall for the “shiny object syndrome,” i.e. Twitter is the shiny object, without first planning a strategy of what to do once you are there. Getting on Twitter is a tactic. What to do once you are there, i.e., send 140 character messages, sell something, explain something, which would be the strategy.
These tools change. Remember CompuServe? AOL as a one stop shop? MySpace? And others? These things are all just tools and they have been surpassed by something bigger, better, easier to use, etc.
Be guided by your strategy, not by wanting the next shiny thing.
Social media are the tactical tools for many freelancers. The strategy is what to do with them to reach your goals, i.e. increase revenues.
If you are planning on attending the June OWAA annual conference, you will learn much about these new shiny objects from experts and how to profit from them by even more experts. Stay tuned for more. ◊
Mike Walker,
Phoenix, Ariz.

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