How to Make Social Networking Messages Work For Your Readers

WebSavvyPRTip # 2 Give your last message on a SN site value, it may B 1st/last thing a follower sees http://websavvypr.com 4 more

Short expansion of the idea – How to Make Social Networking Messages Work For Your Readers:

Many of us talk about content being king, and about giving value to your audience in the social media realm; and many of you may be sick of hearing those overused words. But it is a part of why we follow, friend and link to one another – it’s human nature.

In addition to giving good value, we also have to balance that with being real, showing who we are, being authentic and building trust – that’s the nature of the social media tools we are using to communicate with each other. On Twitter in particular, all of that that can be hard to squeeze into 140 characters or less (this would help explain the volume of messages many of us send on a daily basis). But one tip I try and remember to follow myself, is to be sure that the last message I leave on the Social networking site http://Twitter.com (and others) before I head off to other work (or play), is one that gives some value to my audience, rather than the last message on the screen be the one about the blueberry pie I made from scratch over the holidays.

Longer look at the subject:

It is easy to fire back a response on these sites that is fun and engaging. And that is good, it is a part of why these Web 2.0 sites and tools work – they are after all, by nature social networks. And is a part of the way friendships and relationships are built. I have followed many people because what they said was funny or engaging, or because I liked their style or their spunk, their upbeat or even grouchy but forthright attitude, but more often I choose to follow or befriend them because something in their information stream was interesting, useful or provided value to me, or my clients (both is better, but usually the value is what catches my eye). You never know when someone will walk down the path into your corner of this social media jungle, and I want them to find a nugget of value in what they first read from me; so it doesn’t become the last thing they read from me.

I do enjoy the social aspects of the networks, for two reasons:

1) I primarily work out of my home office

2) I love to learn, and I enjoy teaching and helping others learn.

So Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. are my coffee break, or water cooler stop (okay – so long has it been since offices actually have something called a water cooler anyway?). These sites also allow me toget a quick pick-me-up helping other people during the day to learn a tip or trick about one of the social networking sites or find the right tool or WordPress plugin etc. to help solve their problem. While

In addition to the social aspects of these sites, I hate to admit it, but I am also here to do work:

  • to use the tools myself so I can show clients how they work,
  • to find the newest links to cool tools and useful info for clients,
  • to connect with potential new clients out here,
  • to share useful info with current clients who follow me,
  • to share my client’s info with my followers (always transparently – if I link to client info I always say so, though it is sometimes tough to squeeze that into particularly twitter’s 140 character limit),
  • and to expand the reach of my brand as a web savvy PR pro and Social Media Guide.

I do not follow my advice 100% of the time, but I try to do so.Do you ever pay attention to the last status message or tweet you send? Another reason why I pay more attention now, is that I have recently added a Twitter widget on my website – it shows my last twitter message on my blog’s homepage. Since many people are not using twitter, some of my tweets could seem strange, or out of context. So I try and remember when I shift out of twitter mode, to leave something of value for those who might stumble upon my corner of the social networking jungle.

P.S. I’m putting short versions of these on Twitter and expanding on them here on my blog – for the Web Savvy PR Intro go to http://websavvypr.com/cathy-larkin-web-savvy-pr-tips-series/pr-tips/admin/2008/12/

Or check out the conversation on twitter as the series growshttp://search.twitter.com/ Then you’ll have to copy and paste or type in the # sign like so:  #websavvyprtip to see the series and any conversations around the posts on that service, as the series grows.

About Cathy Larkin:

In her Web Savvy PR business, Cathy Larkin acts as a PR Professional and Social Media Guide using her 18 + years of PR experience, combined with an intense study of social media, to assist small businesses, non-profits, authors, bloggers, consltants, and speakers get online and use the tools that are right for them, to help expand their brands, build their businesses and have a blast while doing so. Also check http://www.linkedin.com/in/cathylarkin for more on her background. Check out her short posts on the micro blogging service Twitter too http://twitter.com/CathyWebSavvyPR.

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