Building Your Online Network

Guest Blogger – Julia Rosien, Social Media Strategist & Chief Idea Officer

Friends, please welcome Julia Rosien, social media strategist, to JohnLusher.com. I have been fortunate enough to know Julia for the past couple of years through social media, and my life is richer because of it. Her energy, enthusiasm and lust for life is inspiring.Maybe you are new to social media and social networking, or possibly you consider yourself a veteran; either way, Julia has great advice in Building Your Online Network.

The Screen is yours Julia!!

Just because you build it, doesn’t mean they’ll come

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I’m a self-proclaimed social media evangelist – I spend too much time there and have more fun before 6 am than some people do all day. But even though I’ve been on Twitter since 2007, doesn’t mean I believe it’s for everyone. Twitter is like visiting Saudi Arabia if you’ve never stepped foot out of North Carolina – the culture shock can be a bit of a hurdle.Social networking is no longer an option for most of us today. It’s where we need to be to grow our businesses, continue learning and connect with people who can help us do both.If you’re considering using Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn (or one of the 27 other networks cropping up) understand that everyone uses social media differently. My mom is on Facebook because she wants to share in her kids’ and grandkids’ lives. My former boss used LinkedIn for a different reason…I’m on Twitter to learn from others and share my work as well.Before you sign up for Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, ask yourself some serious questions – because starting in social media and abandoning it is more damaging than not starting at all.

  • What do you want get out of social media – sales, brand awareness or maybe community building? (And yes, even if you’re not a business you can build your personal brand on social media.)
  • How much time you have to devote to it? Can you spare ½ hour a day? Do you have more time on weekends but nothing to spare Monday to Friday?
  • Where are your peeps hanging out? If your industry thinks Twitter is a tween thing, LinkedIn might be a better bet.

Now start looking at which network best suits your needs, time availability and social skills.

Twitter ~ Social media soirée

From the moment Twitter launched in 2006, it was a cocktail party. It’s evolved into many things since those early days but it’s still a social space where sharing is top priority. Regardless of how big your network is, the average tweet has a shelf life of 1 hour. But it can be a powerful way to connect with a wide variety of people across many networks. If you’re a connector and like sharing, Twitter might be for you.And remember, it’s not just for geeks. One of my favorite people to follow is a local farmer who tweets from the tractor, the chicken coup, whenever he can grab 5 minutes. He’s got a wicked sense of humor and knows that relationships with his local community start with making friends.

Facebook ~ The full meal deal

For many folks, Facebook is the easiest network to understand and contribute to. It allows you to post pictures, chat with friends and co-workers (at a slower pace than Twitter) and share information about your industry or concerns. Facebook can be a great place to test the waters of social media because of its speed.Couple things to remember:

  • Take time to get to know people – networking is about sharing, not self-promotion
  • Share yourself – people want to get to know the real you. If you’re using Facebook for business and personal, think of it as the company picnic. Have fun but behave.
  • Remember John’s pay-it-forward philosophy and talk to your friends about what matters to them. It will come back to you.

LinkedIn – Your best foot forward

I’m always a little amazed when people tell me that LinkedIn is only for job seekers. That would be like saying you only nurture relationships when you need something. A relationship, like communication, is a two-way process that takes care and nurturing.Recently on LinkedIn, a job opportunity came my way that wasn’t right for me. I passed it along to my contacts and connected the employer with someone looking for that particular specialty. Although the players were in different countries, they found a way to make it work. Further proof that John’s pay-it-forward philosophy is the best way to navigate through social networks.If you’re testing the waters of social media, it’s time to jump in with gusto. Pick a network and start building your profile. What are you afraid of? Success?Got social media questions?  Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn – I’m always on.