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Social Media Roadmaps by Kapil Apshankar

Social media is one of the most misunderstood – and underused/abused – concepts of our times.

To borrow a term from Michael Stelzner’s lexicon, social media is indeed a jungle – where it’s very easy to get lost or get (b)eaten! We all need a roadmap for success here.

Chris Brogan had a wonderful post a few days ago – Sharpen Your Pencil – that talked about making success happen. The original post is a worthy read by itself – but one of the comments (by SocialSteve) really rocked:

This sounds similar to what Emmet Smith said at the induction of the Football Hall of Fame. He said something like he had dreams. And the next step after a dream was writing it down on paper. And then turning that into a plan. Maybe there will be a social media hall of fame some day.

Social media success strategies need to be customized and tailor fit. A one size fits all approach just doesn’t work.

Here are four key steps to build a custom social media roadmap – one that works for you.

Establish Your Base Camp

Your base camp isn’t Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Your base camp has to be your blog. Take it anywhere else, and you’re at the mercy of external forces to keep your camp alive. It just doesn’t work that way.

There is also the About Me page – the center piece of any base camp – that needs attention. To recap the wisdom of Darren Rowse,

Setting up an about page is really important – it’s one of those pages that a new reader will head to in order to help them work out what your blog is about, who is behind it and to decide whether they’ll keep reading it.

Fortify (And Diversify) Your Primary Social Media Channels

The next step is to focus on your primary social media channels. In all likelihood, they will be Twitter, Facebook and/or LinkedIn.

One rule to remember here is something I learned from Tamar Weinberg. Every baby is different, so also every social media channel is different.

Play to the strengths of each channel. Danny had written a wonderful post right here on the topic, How to Use Blog Lists for Your Social Media Strategy. And then, take them to the next level. For starters, answer questions on LinkedIn and get on Twitter chats. You want to get more from your primary channels.

Establish Secondary and Tertiary Channels

Social media without interactions is a monologue at best. Think about ways to make your social media interactions rich – both in content and semantics. Encourage comments, cross-comments and discussions. Healthy debates are good for everyone involved.

Also to think about are mechanisms for your audience to share more than just text – how about images, audio and video?

That’s also what I would refer to as your secondary and tertiary channels of the social web.

Think beyond the conventional channels – think YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, UStream, Vokle et al.

Keep The Big Picture Perspective

Social media is all about real connections that thrive on the foundation of trust, empathy and authenticity. Anytime we violate the Golden Rule, we dent our reputation and credibility. Everything that we do with social media should fit into our big picture perspectives.

It might help to define your big picture using the framework I laid down at Social Media Success – One Day At A Time!

Thanks to Danny Brown’s blog for this article.

Categories: social media
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