This past Monday, a team of ADGers had the opportunity to attend a one-day intensive on Blogging and Social Media presented by David Hobby and hosted by HoCoBlogs, an online library that supports the numerous blogs and online personas of residents in the Howard County area. As aficionados of all things blog/social, this workshop was fuel for our fires and we wanted to share a few takeaways from the event. Without further ado, here are the top 5 nuggets I took away from the workshop.
5. PLUG IN and MOVE FAST
We’re a fairly “plugged-in” society, meaning our time online is beginning to outweigh our time offline. In order to keep up with our voracious Internet habits, the way we communicate has had to evolve. Stone tablets are great and all, but they’re not the best way to get the message out about our favorite food trucks. We’re all moving at light speed through the day, so our communication methods need to move just as fast.
4. BE VISIBLE, CREATE VALUE
Social media isn’t just about connecting with people; it’s also about making yourself visible to groups of people who never knew you existed before that very moment. But you’ve got to bring valuable and useful content to the table. Content +, out of the UK, released a fantastic infographic expounding upon the idea of content marketing as the heart and soul of a company. The gist of it, though, is that companies with blogs get 97% more inbound links and 55% more overall traffic. A cardboard sign on the side of the road isn’t bringing that kind of traffic to your business, trust me.
3. EXPERIENCE IS EVERYTHING
Learn from your mistakes; repeat the strategies that work; make friends in high places. That’s the hidden joy of the Internet – we’re a society of teachers and the World Wide Web makes for one amazing classroom if you know where to look. The absolute best person to learn from is the one who’s made mistakes, invented best practices, and made a network of connections that’s not only full of resources but people willing to share their own experiences. Which leads me to me to…
2. NETWORKING, NETWORKING
Social Media was invented for networking – seriously! What better way to make a thousand valuable connections in a day than to put yourself out on the Net and become visible? The workshop was a great way to connect with the real faces behind social media network connections, a way to communicate the old fashioned way: face to face and with business cards. That little conference room was packed full of all sorts of people, from the personal blogger to the professional suit (Technically us ADGers were “suits”… what the?!). Exchanging ideas and contact information were as much a part of the experience as listening to Dave speak.
1. SOCIAL MEDIA COUNTS
That same infographic I mentioned, the one from Content +, has a section regarding the importance of social media. I’d read the article and perused the infographic before I headed to the workshop on Monday. At the time, I thought it ludicrous that 61% of companies find their customers via LinkedIn; I also thought it was crazy that 67% of companies used Facebook, while 53% used Twitter. And then I got to the workshop and after the first three hours I realized that it wasn’t crazy, it was currency. Society is online, which means our companies need to be online, too. Social media counts for way more than I’ve given it credit.
While our team continues to sort through the debris field of notes and ideas coming out of the workshop, let me leave you with this: The best thing you can do for your online visibility, social connection and digital capital is to blog well and blog often. The more pages and the more links you have, the bigger slice of the online pie you’ll own.
Success is a pretty tasty pie, too.