Dr. Mary Ann Campbell, CFP® = "Dr. MAC"

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Is Social Media Right for Me?

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

To Social Media or not to social media?   If so, where and how much?  How do I know what is private and what is there for the world to see? 

These questions and many more were answered for me last evening by a knowledgeable presenter from the Small Business and Technology Development Center.  Most SBTDC’s across the nation currently employ social media experts to help their small business clients understand and utilize this incredible phenomenon.  Type the name of your state in the upper right hand search box at http://www.asbdc-us.org  to find an SBTDC nearest you.   Nancy Knighten was our presenter.  She is at the Arkansas SBTDC.    

Nancy asked how many of us have Googled ourselves, at least a third of us have.  Googling is good, because you learn what is being said about you and what others will see when they Google you.  Margaret Bogle shared that she first learned about Googling five years ago when she attended an International Women’s Forum dine around.  The hostess knew something unique about each guest and later shared with Margaret that “Any good hostess will Google her guests before they arrive.”  If you want to know what’s being said about you on a regular basis, you can set up a Google Alert at www.google.com/alerts.  Just enter your name.   Another useful self monitoring website is www.SocialMention.com

According to Nancy, the top leaders in social media are Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  For your own credibility, make sure you’re putting the same information on all sites.  In other words, don’t be one person and one website, and present a completely different persona on another.   Also, think before you post.  Whatever you upload will be there permanently. 

Facebook is useful for family and closer relationships.  You are allowed only one personal Facebook account per person.  Otherwise the Facebook cops will kick you off.  Learn more about privacy settings at www.GCFLearnFree.org/FaceBook101.  LinkedIn can help you build your professional brand.  You can manipulate your privacy settings into groups.  Twitter allows you to prove your expertise with regular, helpful tweets under 120 characters.  YouTube can be both entertaining and useful for video marketing.

Ms. Knighten recommends having a purpose behind your presence in social media.  She shared with us the enlightening and entertaining YouTube video by Erik Qualman, Social Media Revolution.  Nancy also recommends his book, Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business.

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