Social Media – Part 1: Being Active in your Community and Answering Questions

I’ve wanted to start writing more about Social Media and I think the best way to start would be to talk abut what I love doing, and that is building my own personal brand and how it applies to an organization as well.

I have always considered it to be tremendously important in getting my name out there whenever possible, it has been absolutely crucial to my career development. This approach also really applies to companies and organizations as well. How you represent yourself online through Social Media can play a very important role in how your business is perceived by many. Building an online brand as a whole might be a bit more complex than building your own brand. But, when it comes to the aspects of Social Media though, more specifically thought leadership, it is definitely not as complex.

You can do this quite simply by doing the following:

Answering questions online: LinkedIn and Yahoo! Answers can be a great place to get some Brand Awareness by showing off some of your knowledge and expertise with a community. Branded usernames and/or individuals representing your brand through these services also builds a trust in your organizations ability to follow through on the products/services offered.

Comment, Comment, Comment: Commenting on Blog posts by sharing feedback and or getting involved in the community shows a real passion about the topics at hand. Especially in communities like technology/web/internet, you will gain a massive amount of respect if you can hold your own.

Be active on your own blog:
So, you wrote a blog, people are getting to it, linking to it, and commenting on it…you’re done right? WRONG! There is still another step to this, staying active and responding to your comments shows that you care about the community following you. The Mozzers over at SEOMoz do a great job of staying active on their own blog, and same with Aaron Wall of SEOBook.

Ever heard of “Twitter”, if not, you better!:
Microblogging using sites like twitter is an awesome way to reach users and amazingly enough, control any negativity. Although it is widely used for sending out updates and such, using the “track” feature, you can find out what people are saying about your brand. Steve Ganz at LinkedIn does this CONSTANTLY and I am always watching him follow up with complaints, issues, etc. and it just makes me feel good knowing that some people really “get it.” As a matter of fact, a blog post recently talked about how LinkedIn Hits the Mark.

All of the above items will help you build brand awareness and control the reputation of your brand.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and how you are using this or other things to either build your personal brand or corporate brand through the use of similar strategies.

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