Why I feed my addiction to Facebook and how it made me better at myΒ job.

Okay, I don’t have an addictive personality BUT I am totally easy prey when it comes to social networking. I don’t know why. I never got addicted to smoking or drinking or anything… except social networking. I mean to the point where I check it on my phone at night in bed and tweet “Good morning, Tweeps” in the morning.

On the surface, you may think that seems sick but it gets worse. I manage accounts all over the social networking world for various groups that I represent. That means that more than half my day is spent logging in to Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Linked-in, etc. Rarely, (but it does happen) I get SNICS (Social Networking Identity Confusion Syndrome … I just made that up) and comment on a friend’s picture while signed into the wrong account but usually I only do what needs to be done for that group. I do, however, make all my personal friends be friends with those identities on FB. πŸ™‚

Right, so let’s guess that I spend two hours of my work day on social networking sites (for my main job with Ballet Nouveau Colorado), two more hours a day researching new ways to network & reading articles and an additional five hours a week on sites like YourHub.com, Denver Metro Mix, and This Week in Denver. Break out your calculators kids, that is 25 hours a week spent online networking…

One could say that I have a problem if half my week is spent digging online but I disagree. My intimate knowledge of the way Facebook and Twitter work has only enhanced my ability to do my job. I sat at the National Performing Arts Convention (NPAC) in Denver last summer and listened to well established companies complain that they can’t reach the newer generation. The generation that wants to “Go Green” and save the planet, the ones that refuse hard mailings, who are the newest philanthropists and theatre-goers, who can’t remember what color the yellow pages are and Google you before they meet you… my generation.

You see, my need to devour information and be an early adaptor for technology has served me right as the PR Director for Ballet Nouveau Colorado. I didn’t know I wanted to do PR until I realized it is what I do everyday anyway! I devour articles on the internet and in magazines. If someone has a new program… Friendster, Myspace, then Facebook… I want to be a part of it. I taught myself HTML coding so I could make my profiles look nice in the earlier days before they had the easy profile maker that inserts HTML for you. Anyway, I feel like I am going off on a bit of a tangent here. What I really wanted to say is, you can do it too.

Look, there are three steps to how I work.
Seek. Post. Trend.

Seek – You always have to be looking at what’s next. Where are people getting their ideas from? How did you hear about this restaurant or bar or theatre group? Google a popular group in your town and find out where they have their events posted. THEN –

Post – Everywhere. I am not kidding. You better be on all the popular sites but get on every free listing you can. Goodness knows someone looks at it! THEN –

Trend – GET GOOGLE ANALYTICS ON YOUR WEBSITE! Or something comparable. Google’s is free and easy to figure out. So, see what the trends are. Are you getting a bunch of hits off a website you never heard of? Go there. Figure it out. Post there.
Seek. Post. Trend.

So you read my rant about “new media experts.” I am not claiming to be one but it works for me. The biggest thing I tell any group that approaches me for advice is this… if you are a generation or two above me, while not impossible, you may find this type of work daunting (I’m not being mean here… my boss was the one who said it). Hire a recent college grad who either currently knows your org or can learn about your org and have them manage this. The onus of responsibility does not rest solely on your shoulders. You don’t have to learn HTML or tweet all day but you need to have someone in your org doing it for you!

Oh and P.S. I heart Facebook especially because I have found friends that I lost touch with over 22 years ago! Don’t underestimate the power of the net, homeslice!

P.P.S. I hate that spell check wants you to capitalize “internet” I don’t think it needs it anymore…


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