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Thursday, June 25, 2009

NET-TECH REPORT: 5 Ways To Be Less Social and More Useful On Social Media

Net-Tech Report with Chris Kauza

With all of the focus on the Technology of Social Media, many are people are still forgetting the "low tech" basics. Popular Social Media tools such as Twitter and Facebook are getting a bad rap from people simply dismissing them as a waste of time. The reality? As with any technology, these applications will more quickly and inexpensively scale whatever you put into it. “GIGO” - Garbage In, Garbage Out.

And you don't necessarily want a “large following” on any of these sites – you want a relevant following. Can you imagine what would happen to you Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign if you had 10,000 people a day click on your ad, at $.20/click – and nobody bought anything? I don't know many businesses who can afford to advertise like that these days.

If you want to avoid this situation, here are 5 things you can do right now to get better results.

  1. Be Relevant. How? Decide why you are using a particular tool, or participating in a particular community in the first place. Is it an industry trade group? Are you there because you have a particular passion for one of your hobbies? Are you there to learn? All of these different reasons require a different approach and dictate a different “voice”. There to learn? Then participate where it makes sense, try out different ideas and ask lots of questions. Part of an industry group, and want to enhance your expertise status? Be prepared to share specific examples with the community, and be willing to help (dare I say, “give away”) some of your advice or ideas for “free”.

  1. Be Easy. Easy to read. Easy to understand. Why use a $5 word when a $.50 word will do? Unless you are writing for The Economist or The New Yorker, impress your audience more with your applicability and relevance of your information, than with your erudition and eloquence (that means watch your “smartness” and “wordiness” folks!).

  1. Be Focused. Emerson and Thorough would have a tough time adapting in today's Social Media world. While their writings inspire, Social Media participants would be wise to remember what Shakespeare said in Hamlet: “Brevity is the soul of wit.”

  1. Be Fast. Today's readers (on the Internet or otherwise) seldom have much time to read (what, with all of those Facebook Applications they have to play, people to poke – who has the time???). Use short titles. Use a bold typeface for emphasis, so your readers can get the main idea of your article. You can enhance this by using shorter sentences and bullets.

  1. Be Illustrative. People are drawn more quickly to the images on the page than the words on the page. Using a relevant photograph or other image not only adds another dimension to what your are saying, but it also engages the reader more deeply.

Still need some help? For all of you who like analytics, try this tool on text readability. And don't forget – spelling and grammar still count! For the curious, here is how this post scored:

Have a Business-related question that you need answered? Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter, or take a look at the information on If you don't find what you need, just "Ask A Business Guy" and we'll get your question answered!

For more information, please check out Chris's TNNW Bio.

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