my social media mistakes…

..and, they are a plenty.

If social media is meant to be lived according to the mantra

ready, fire, aim

then I sure as hell have walked the talk!

Mistakes

Mistake #1

Not sorting out my browser. For a while I had Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome all running.

It was dumb. And I wasted vast amounts of time trying to work out the plethora of extensions, themes and patches that were on offer (I did manage to avoid Opera).

I have been using Chrome for about 18 months, and it works brilliantly. I have had the odd shockwave crash, but in the main it has made searching, connecting and sharing a dream.

At the moment, I use an assortment of extensions including Evernote, Stumbleupon, Ex-fm and Hootsuite.

Mistake #2

Thinking that I could keep pace with the platforms that emerged with such rapidity it made my head spin. I have stopped trying to follow the next shiny thing, and now just focus on:

> my blog

> Twitter

> Tumblr

> Soundcloud

> Facebook

> LinkedIn

> Audioboo

> Google+

I think I could go further and probably drop a few of these sites or include a few others but with social media it is always work in progress, and nothing should be set in stone that you can’t change to suit your circumstances.

Mistake #3

Following too many people all saying the same thing.

Seth Godin besides, the amount of originality in social media is lamentable.

I long for the day where you don’t see the same stories repeated ad nauseum, and presented in such a way as if it is make or break for you or your business.

Mistake #4

Not creating enough of my own content.

At one stage, having signed up to Buffer, I was posting material from other sites with such abandon that people must have thought “What does this guy actually stand for?”

I now hardly share and when I do so it’s because I think it is valuable, or because I think my followers might be interested (this includes music, sound and fun stuff).

I don’t Re-Tweet much on Twitter because I don’t feel I need to.

Mistake #5

Not listening to my inner self. And I don’t mean my ‘critic’. No, I mean the person who always feels anxious about upsetting someone, and as a consequence there is always the tendency to play it safe.

I don’t like to swear on line (I can be pretty foul-mouthed in person – sorry Allison) but I also don’t want to put myself in harm’s way just for the sake of a hackneyed story. That said, I still think I could be more expressive about my interests – let’s see what 2013 brings.

Mistake #6

Thinking like a lawyer, and feeling that I had to respond to everything.

In the early days, particularly as regards Twitter, I thought that I needed to land the last blow. I now realise it is not necessary to try and win every argument.

Mistake #7

Not taking enough of my on-line engagement into the real world.

I see Twitter and LinkedIn as excellent ways of organising meetings. Too rarely do we use the functionality to go beyond a simple connection. It must be right that we want to escalate in more cases the need to develop the on-line relationship to something more meaningful, and that doesn’t just mean you want to bug someone for attention.

Mistake #8

Talking and not listening.

… pause

… pause

feel the silence.

I have this nasty habit of going off and talking about (blah blah) social media. Nobody cares. All they want to know is how it can work for them or their business.

I promise to try harder.

Mistake #9

I wasn’t focused on what I liked, and, as a consequence, what I wrote (across my multitude of platforms) felt devoid of emotion, personality and passion. The trouble is, I read all these ‘How To’ posts and thought, mistakenly, that if I followed the ‘ABC’ guide to blogging et al that I too would be successful. What a load of crap.

Write (or produce) for you, and the rest will follow.

Mistake #10

Assuming that everyone gets it.

They don’t.

And it’s not a generational thing.

Social media rips a lid off the notion that only the big Boys have the right to occupy the top table.

Social media is democratisation, realised.

Perhaps it’s different to women assuming the vote, but, notwithstanding the BS that goes on within the company framework (erratic posts to Facebook aside), you don’t need someone to give you power.

Just take it.

Mistake #11

Trying to cover all the content bases and, as a consequence, watering down my presence.

My future doesn’t lie in omnipresence. I see myself as a coach, writer and speaker. That means cutting out the distractions and doing more of the things that speak to my soul.

My advice

Everyone will tell you what to do, but once you have mastered the platforms (and that is easy), you need to select a platform that people can find, navigate and can be talked up among a group of people.

Everyone will tell you to write for your audience but my advice:

write because you believe.

If all you do is put up a veil of opportunity – “look at us” – then nobody will give a damn.

Follow your instinct, and you won’t go far wrong. Take comfort that lots of people are in the same position (less than blissfully ignorant) but, in time, something will click, and success will follow.

Working with me

I am available for speaking, consulting and one on one coaching. Please feel free to email me at juliansummerhayes@gmail.com or contact me on 075888 15384.

You can follow me on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn,  Tumblr or Flavors.me (for mobile users)

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