Dear GutsIsTheKey Reader. As promised, I will have guest authors from time to time; when they have something great to share and it seems to be a good fit for this site. So, as promised; today I am sharing the thoughts of Dale Longenecker Jr. As you will see: he has some awesome and constructive advice on getting more out of your social media experience.
Here is a background sketch on who Dale is:
Dale was raised in Pennsylvania, Dutch Farm Country and had a rural farm life upbringing. His values like mine are homespun and down to earth.
Dale’s father planted the seeds of an incredible curiosity of things electronic, by bringing home old electronic parts from his workplace that would otherwise be thrown away. His tinkering with these parts resulted in Dale making and selling electronics. He even customized his own Chevy Nova growing up with a custom console, buttons for many special features and lighted gauges (proof of his serious interest in muscle cars).
As personal computers began to come onto the scene, He remembers getting his first Radio Shack computer. As he will readily tell you. Things were much different back then. “Nowadays the ram (quick memory) on a computer is thousands of times larger than the hard drive was on these old machines. Everything back then was pretty much hand coded or typed in to make the computer do what you wanted it to do. This is not mine, but a photo of the exact same model I had as my first computer. The TRS 80 from Radio Shack.”
“In school we had the old card readers as a way of entering data into the computers. We had to use a pencil, and color in the information blocks we wanted so the computer could read it. I was part of a team where we made a computer game of tic tac toe. Now since I can normally play the game where I either tie or win, it was hard building in a certain factor of human error so people could win occasionally. We made the grade on this project.”
Dale had a varied work experience that created a background, from which he can relate to people, from many different types of experience. In a manufacturing plant, he controlled and managed work flows. Thus, further developing his interest in computers and adding to it, an interest in work place efficiency.
After these work pursuits, Dale returned to the electronics business, working with his father. At this point, in addition to interest in computers and efficencies, he added becoming an expert in tele-communcation systems. Yes, the picture is clear; with a passion and background in computers, efficiency and communication: Dale has a unique skillset and perspective to share, with us.
He is married now and lives in Pennsylvania. He does web design and has his own servers to host websites and sells domain names through his re-seller account. He “can install and maintain many different software scripts ranging from classified advertising to storefront and auction scripts.”
Wow! What an incredible asset for those of us looking for good resources in our social media growth. Dale has an inside out knowledge of electronics, computers, efficiency coupled with a Christian character and conscience. In his own words:
“I love the web and computer software, and enjoy helping others learn how to get started in their own online adventures.” “I love what I do in the online web arena, and love helping other start-up and small businesses to grow by getting established on the web.” “If I can help you to succeed, then I become successful along with you.”
So it is with excitement and enthusiasm that I share these thoughts with you of Dale Longenecker, whom I hope you will consider as a resource for your computer, social media growth. I know I am.
Social Media – Using it Wisely
Wow, I just made my new Twitter account for the first time. Now to send my first Tweet. Kind of nervous since I never did this before. Ok, now that I had to redo my message 10 times because I couldn’t get it to fit in the box and still be understandable, I am ready to send my first Tweet. How cool, my first ever Tweet is out there for all of Twitter to see. (At least I am assuming they are seeing it) Oh wait, I just found out that the only ones who see my Tweets are those that follow me. Wow, now I have to build a following so they can see my Tweets. Learning the ropes is only the beginning, but after a short while, you will consider yourself a Twitter pro and will be helping others to do the same.
Now you find out that there are a few followers who regularly retweet your tweets, so the smart thing to do would be to also retweet some of theirs. On and on it goes and before long your list of followers is growing, and you are tweeting and retweeting along with the best of them. Now along the way you begin to realize that the more effort you put into obtaining followers and retweeting others, the more other people start retweeting your tweets. The cycle continues and grows at a frantic pace until you find you can spend hours a day Tweeting and Retweeting in the Social Media Jungle. Wow, I am really getting somewhere, right?
You see and read about many others who are on all of the Social Media sites and they are bragging about how busy they are and how well they are doing. This only fuels your fire even more to do a better job, get more followers; I know I can do better. Now on to Face book and a plethora of other Social Media sites and I know I will get where I want to be. All of the guru’s will tell you it is all about Social Media. More, more, more, I have to keep plugging away.
Have you ever looked at the clock and realized it was 2 in the morning and you had just spent your Friday night online trying to do effectively what everyone knows is the wave of the future, Social Media? Is this becoming a regular habit? Could you even find that the Social Media jungle is kind of addicting? Can you go one day without wanting to go on the computer and do your Social Media routine? If you agreed or acknowledged that a few of these points are valid, you at least are able to be honest with yourself, but what does this mean?
Screeeeech! Put on the brakes, and let’s step back for a minute and get a grip on this thing.
OK, let’s just look at a few things realistically here, and take a good hard look at where you fit into this picture.
Social Media is all the hype nowadays, major players are coming into the picture wanting you to follow them, make them a friend, like their page, or subscribe to their feeds. You know you need to get an online presence out there, but it all seems just so time consuming. Here are a few questions and facts to consider about how to use Social Media more effectively.
How many major corporations you like or use their products, friend you back or follow you in social circles?
Do they send you out personal messages, or are their posts and tweets factual, informative, and focused on a product or service they offer.
If all of those folks you admire and model your efforts after are so busy, when do they find the time to be on Social Media sites for 10 hours a day, especially during work hours?
Could it be they want you to think they are effective so you become a follower or friend and then purchase their products or services?
Are you making any money off of your efforts you put into Social Media?
Have you ever realized you put off things you know should be done to spend more time on Social Sites?
Would a part time job at the local McDonalds bring you more income than the time you spend online in the Social sites?
Do you find yourself feeling guilty because of the time spent on the computer, or should you?
Ok, I am not busting on anyone with any of this info, and some companies can do some of the above and make it work. Some companies are large enough to hire someone to manage their social efforts. My only point is that you need to be careful that trying to be more socially oriented doesn’t become a major addiction that doesn’t produce any results, and just makes your financial situation worse.
Here are just a few suggestions to help manage your Social Media efforts more productively, but there are many professional sources out there to obtain help from.
Pick a few Social Sites you feel will work best for you, then focus on just those few sites first. You can always expand your reach and add or change sites if one is not working for you. Look at a site and get a feel for what their target audience is first. If it is a fit for your business or Social needs, then perhaps give it a try.
Do some research on the sites you choose to use, and find out how to use them more effectively. How can you target an audience that will be looking for your product or service, or what specific group of people will want to read your Social Media? Once you know how to target your followers or friends more effectively, your sales or efforts may begin to grow. Large followings do not always mean quality. Sometimes a smaller following will yield more results if it is a targeted group of people interested in what you have to offer or say.
Look for, and read documentation from several different sources, and glean the best from all of them. No one source gets it all right. Remember, what works for one may not necessarily be the formula that works for you.
Do a sampling of different types of Tweets or Posts and record the results. Keep changing out what doesn’t work and try again until you seem to find the formula that works best for you.
Understand that what worked yesterday can change quickly, and may not be what works today. The web moves forward quickly. Do not limit yourself to one Social Media site; they can come to an abrupt halt very quickly if something newer and more effective comes on the scene. Don’t be caught without any audience if one of your Social Sites goes down.
Sometimes focusing on numbers is not always effective. A twitter user with over 10,000 followers has tweets scrolling on their screen so fast they never see more than a handful of tweets in any given hour. How do you know they even saw yours at all?
Remember that there are thousands, even hundreds of thousands of people out there looking to sell. Learn to read your audience quickly. Watch to see if they interact with their followers, or if they are just out there for the quick sell. You want folks looking for what you have to offer them; this takes more time and focused effort.
If income is a real consideration and a part time job yields more income than your hours a day on the computer yielding no money, maybe you should consider taking the job. (Yes, I know this tip is not a popular one, but you did want the truth?)
So let’s just sum it all up!
We could go on and on for hours on how to be more effective with social media. Keeping it short, sweet, and to the point is that if your efforts are turning into an addiction producing no results, then you have a real problem and need to change things drastically. Look at other companies that are doing it right, what are they doing or not doing that differs from your efforts. Look, listen, and then most importantly learn. If we can be honest first, and then teachable secondly, then we stand a chance of being able to get it right. There will be those mentors out there who think this entire post is a bunch of malarkey; however I have learned most all of these lessons by attending the school of hard knocks. If I can help even one person in a small way by what I wrote here, then I have succeeded.
Social Media – Using it Wisely
Submitted by Dale O. Longenecker Jr. – Noble Group USA – www.noblegroup.us