Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Using Social media to promote yourself

Social media offers very powerful tools that can help you promote your unique skills. We all know about the importance of Linkedin and Facebook which offer professional and personal networking opportunities. However, if you want to establish yourself as an expert in your field of interest, there are a lot of choices.

1.Blogs: Blogs (web logs) are very simple, easy to use media for many-to-many mode of communication. A lot of websites such as Blogger, Wordpress etc. offer DIY (Do-it-yourself) options. Using these, your blog can be ready in minutes.

2.Podcasts: Podcasts are basically audio or video broadcasts on internet. They can be used if you have something very important to tell the world. Podcasting is very easy and once recorded, you can host them on either paid sites or free sites such as Youtube, Widdler or Google videos. These videos can also be ported on your blogs. Audio podcasts are similar except that they are smaller in size. There are a lot of podcasts dedicated to particular subject. Look up a podcasting directory, decide on your niche’ topic and start podcasting. The obvious advantages of podcasts are:
a. Easy reach to your target audience. This helps you build your identity as an expert.
b. It is inexpensive and convenient.

3. Micro blogging: Sites such as Twitter can be used for blogging with a restriction on the no. of characters (typically 140). Micro blogging can be effectively used to promote your presence on other social media. E.g. you can twit about your latest blog or a podcast.

4. Personal Social networking: Web sites such as Ning offer excellent tools to build your own social network. You can start discussions, twit through the social network, import blogs of all the group members and do much more.

Letting the world know:

1. Share it: You can share your blogs or podcasts with your friends on as many as 15 social networks including Facebook and Twitter at a single click of mouse. You can do all this within your blog site.

2. RSS feeds: Encourage friends in your network to use RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds which are a revolution in social media. With the explosion of blogs, podcasts or twits, it is increasingly difficult to keep track of all the blogs or podcasts you love. All you need to do is install free RSS readers such as Sharp reader or Google Reader on your computer. Feed the RSS links of your favourite blogs to RSS reader and voila! As and when a blog is updated, a feed automatically goes to the RSS feeder in your computer.

Social media offers a lot of avenues for promoting your skills. I will be glad to help you in case you plan to setup your own social media presence.

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