February 1st, 2012 → 10:15 am @ Mark Story
In the field of social media, those who are highly recognized as experts are called “A-listers” (ironically, like comedians) or “cewebrities.” Many of their blogs are widely read, their opinions sought, and ironically (from my point of view since this Web site is about pimping my book), they write books. Lots of books.
One of the hardest things to do when you are seeking knowledge and looking to read up on valuable insights that can help make you smarter is deciding whose opinion to follow. I’ll not name names here because it’s not fair, but there are wildly successful social media “gurus” (I despise this term) who spout advice, tent their fingers and speak in platitudes. They have thousands of followers on Twitter, have widely read books and are quoted extensively. Does this make them experts, worthy of your following them and learning from them? Maybe, and maybe not.
I owe the inspiration to much of the topics in this book to a “secret group” on Facebook of about 70 people who I think are among the thought leaders in the field. They not only come up with original ideas, but they are experts in calling out those who are, well, phoneys. Snake oil salesmen. Those who get paid to offer advice that is a dressed up firm grasp of the obvious. Itdrives us crazy because I think that so-called experts like this pollute the space and make it harder for those of us who try to be practical social media practitioners to offer points of view that counter those of the “ninjas and gurus.” I have heard from more than one client that [this person] has written a book and was a keynote speaker at BlogWorld Expo and says the opposite, so why should I believe you?” It’s frustrating because it’s not about who is smarter, it’s about who offers the most practical advice. Advice that works for a mom-and-pop organization as well as a Fortune 500 company because it is grounded and practice, not “game changing.”
There are a few ways that you can help separate the wheat from the chaff, the “gurus” from those who offer practical, actionable advice and opinions that can help make you a smarter social media person.
Some solid advice comes from my friend, Brian Carter, in whose book “The Like Economy - BUY HERE,” offers some simple advice on whom to trust with your valuable time and study. He boils down his thinking into two simple and elegant questions:
In short, although this “expert” can write books, give speeches, tent his fingers and speak of “new paradigms,” what has he actually accomplished for clients? What are the industries that he has helped to achieve measurable results? In short, you need to determine if he, in addition to talking the talk, can walk the walk.
January 30th, 2012 → 10:06 am @ Mark Story
Sometimes, the best way to get your foot in the door in social media – or in any other job field – is to work as an intern. The deal made between an employer and intern is that you will give you them your time and efforts for a greatly reduced salary or for free and they teach me about the field that you want to enter.
In every job I have had in the social media agency world, we have not only had internship programs, but we have relied on them heavily as a source of cheap labor. In the summertime, we would wait for the crop of interns to come rolling in to help us with grunt work – or even fill out the company softball team!
The benefits of an internship
In short, when you do an internship, you get experience. Experience in learning either a practice or something as simple as using a phone. Other benefits include:
January 23rd, 2012 → 2:06 pm @ Mark Story
The more sites that link back to yours, the better, so be creative about how you create these links. Many online platforms enable you to create posts that contain links back to your site and further publicize what you have written, just in difference places. For example, when you write something that you want to broadcast, consider using:
Since you are presumably already posting links to others’ content and commenting on it, be sure to post links to your own work. Moreover, as you follow other Twitter users and hopefully they follow you back, read their content. Absorb it. If you think that it is of interest to people who follow you (or may in the future), “re-tweet” it meaning, provide a short commentary and link in your own profile. The most common convention for doing this is by identifying it as a share (a re-tweet), listing its author, and offering quick summary as well as a shortened link.This might look something like this: “RT @mstory123 ‘Job Seeking is a Double-Edged Sword’ – http://bit.ly/vFXe09.”
Twitter will only accept 140 characters and most people use a link-shortening service like www.bit.ly.com or www.tinyurl.com. You take your long link, paste it into a field on either one of these services, and it will offer you a much shorter link that will link directly back to your post. This syntax is almost essential when you are adding the social media convention elements like the indication of a re-tweet by including the author and title of the item you are linking back to. Plus, you are joinging a conversation that it talking place about a post and presumably, an issue – as well as creating an online record of your thoughts and opinions. This is exactly the sort of footprint that potential employers will be interested in reading.
In addition to the benefits that I outlined in Chapter 3, LinkedIn also has a very prominent place in your profile where you can share an update and a link. Post a link to your latest creation! It will not only draw links back to your original blog post or page, but it will also add to your online portfolio. Don’t forget to add links to others’ content that you find meaningful as well.
RSS (Really Simple Syndication)
Many blogging platforms like WordPress and Tumblr have built in .rss feeds. Make a link to your content highly visible so for those who use .rss readers, they can sign up quickly and easily.