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DIVIDE AND CONQUER! (Your Social Networking Plan of Action)

September 3, 2010

Divide & Conquer (Planning Part 2)In this article, we’ll address the three fundamental social networking activities.

Decisions, decisions…

You don’t need to join every social networking site or Actor’s forums. In fact, I would advise against even attempting to try!  Stretching your time and attention so thinly would only dilute your efforts and work against your primary goal: to connect and engage with your audience with authentic dialogue.

Your time is valuable – so how do you decide how to spend your time? Each online platform/site can be categorized in relation to its benefits and uses. To create a well-rounded online presence, it’s important to make sure you choose a selection of tools and sites to cover each of the three activities categories:

Listening: Reading and researching (‘listening’ to) what people (your audience) are saying about your industry, your competitors and you! Remember the term audience is specific to your goals, and can refer to your existing and potential fan base, your peers, or it can be your hit list of agents or directors.  Listening gives you perspective in relation to how you and your business is perceived and using that uncensored feedback you can make decisions regarding how/if you need to change your message. By listening to what your audience wants you can better adapt your ‘product’ to fit and your online approach to remain flexible and ever-changing. Listening to your competitors also provides valuable inspiration and ideas. Perhaps most importantly, listening keeps you connected and up to date with trends and happenings within your industry.  Learn from what you ‘hear’ and let this stream of information inspire you!

Creating: In this category falls all the content you will write, source and create and ultimately feed out through your site, blog(s) and profile pages.  It includes the blog articles you write, your e-newsletters, audio and video files, photos, reviews, webinars or podcasts.  The content you create will communicate your message, attract fans, and open conversations with industry professionals. As an artist, this is your opportunity to shine. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, and don’t be limited by the tools that are mentioned in my blog.  Constantly challenge yourself to think of remarkable, new forms of creative communication that will showcase what you do best, warrant some well-earned attention or be of benefit to your fellow artists. Your content is what will attract your audience, and the more engaging and comment-worthy it is, the longer they’ll stay, the more often they’ll come back and the more people they’ll tell.

Communicating: Communicating is participating in conversations, not broadcasting a one-way sales message. This is when you interact directly with your audience and you really get the opportunity to exude your brand and connect with people in your community. Communicating is also getting all the cool stuff you’ve worked on out there, online for the world to see, share and comment on. On a day-to-day basis it will include updating your online profiles, blogs, and your website. Equally as important, is responding to people’s comments on your blog, commenting on other people’s blogs, offering advice or support, giving credit to others, sharing industry buzz and reaching out and having ‘conversations’ with people within your online community.  This is not just selling your product!

Next week we will categorize the various online platforms (sites) into Listening, Creating or Communications, helping you decide which ones you need to pursue your goals.  We’ll also look at planning your social networking efforts, how to divide your time to get optimum results and creating an easy to follow schedule.

Keep sharing – Have a great long weekend!

“I like being able to be really honest. I’ll share everything always because it’s what I want.”

Angelina Jolie

Image by Leo Reynolds via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

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