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What’s So Social About Social Media? How Social Are You?

We introduce our second guest blogger of our new monthly series on the 25th of every month, in celebration of our 25th anniversary, who encourages, in the below blog, those who are still hesitating to engage in social media to do so.

JG Low 5

Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible and The Little Red Book of Selling and president of Charlotte-based BuyGitomer, gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings and conducts Internet training programs on selling and customer service at www.trainone.com. He can be reached at salesman@gitomer.com.

It started like a small bunch of burning leaves. A little MySpace, here and there  –  a blog or two. And then the wind picked up. Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn. Growing from a windstorm to a firestorm, social media is a tornado running wild over the Internet plains.

How social are you?

How serious are you about social media?

REALITY: You can’t ignore it. Hundreds of millions of people are involved so far, and it’s just a few years old.

I tried to ignore it for a while, but it soon became apparent that this was the new, new wave – about a year ago I became a player.

I admit I have an edge. I have a lot of readers and followers who are interested in what I have to say and want to know what my immediate thinking is. That’s two of the values in social media – it’s immediate and it’s informative. It’s also fun – that’s why Facebook and YouTube are worth BILLIONS

The major networks in social media are growing by the second…

• For photos, it’s Flickr – worth billions

• For videos, it’s YouTube – worth billions

• Social networking for the younger set starts with MySpace – an original

• Social networking for the growing and grown set, it’s Facebook – worth billions

• To get connected and network with the business set, it’s LinkedIn.

And for that private message, there’s texting – it’s easy for me – I have an iPhone.

And that is just a partial picture. There’s more…

• For individual expressions, there are weblogs, or blogs.

• If you want to say a few words, there’s micro-blogging and interconnecting – also known as Twitter – worth billions.

• For chronologging, it’s Wikipedia – worth billions.

• And, of course, there are your personal website and business website. Priceless.

All of these medias are, or try to be, socially engaging – sticky if you will. All of them are, or try to be, passed on – viral if you will. Or, better stated, if you tweet, are you good enough or bad enough to be re-tweeted?

I have made a serious commitment to “socialize,” in other words, to expose more of my personal self and my business self through social media. I will still maintain my value-based philosophy, but I will personalize it, and humanize it to a point that others are attracted to it, benefit from it, and want to pass it on to others.

I will be social and viral at the same time.

So, what does this mean to you?

What’s the opportunity to you and for you?

Why should you get involved?

Social media is an opportunity, a new frontier, a space in cyberspace that gives you an individual place to play, build awareness of you and for you, brand yourself, and potentially profit.

You have to ask yourself …

Where’s the beef?

Where’s the fun?

What’s the value, both to you and others?

And how – if desired – do you monetize it?

Well, unless you’re one of the few people in an ownership or founding position of these social medias, your monetizing opportunities are at the moment limited – in spite of various claims by “experts.”

Here’s what I recommend to get going and get positioned, so that your value – either in social, business, fun, or money — can be realized:

• Sign on.

• Establish an account on each of the major medias.

• Post something.

• Tweet something.

• Connect with someone.

• Do it yourself.

• Do it every day.

And learn by updating as much as you can on your own.

Social media is fluid – it moves and changes daily. It’s text, audio, photo, and video. It’s every media and it’s every second. It’s current and it’s constant. Ever see a section of a website labeled “latest news” and when you click it, the last update is from 2004? Not good.

The Internet is instant. Social media is instant. And you have to be ready to participate consistently, and in a meaningful way, if you want to win.

Please don’t wait.

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