Tuesday, March 6, 2012

9 People Who Have Influenced My Social Media Style

Image Courtesy of Buzzom
This is cross-posted on the Smedio blog.

When I joined Twitter and Facebook in January 2009, I had no idea what I was doing. Zero. Zelch. Nada. I didn’t know how to build a following, the importance of third-party apps, and the various ways to drive hits for my then new blog. It took months – six months to be exact – before “tweeting” became a language I fully understood.

Nobody achieves success in social media without some assistance. I’m no different. I have learned from social media veterans who have helped to established the foundation upon which we all stand, and from the newbies who have emerged on the scene and built impressive reputations in a relatively short period. It has been one exciting thrill ride.

It is a full time effort staying on top of the trends, forecasts, and shifts, as well as major changes to major sites like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, GooglePlus, and Chime.in. Without the retweets, likes, +1’s, blog comments, and recommendations, I would not be where I am today. So let me single out 9 people (among so many) who have given me great perspective in five crucial areas:

Digital Listening – This is truly an art. And Glen Gilmore and Sung Lee do it exceedingly well. Twitter is perhaps one of the best “listening post” ever created, and understanding the chatter about relationships and events behind the scene takes skill. Gilmore, the advisor to my Twitter Powerhouses Series, is keenly aware of literally every major development and online discussion about disaster preparedness. Lee, whose recent venture I profiled in Huffington Post last Summer, is one of the leading voices regarding the online, Asian-American presence. Both men monitor hashtags, and make extraordinary use of Twitter lists.

Sharing Other Bloggers’ Content – One of the things I always advocate is sharing the content of other bloggers. No, not simply your friends, but, others outside of your immediate circle. Ann Tran and Amy Neumann are pros at it. To them, millions of bloggers around the world simply provide “millions of opportunities for fresh’ content”. Those who understand this, and do this, often thrive in the social space. Besides, it’s fantastic networking.

Connect and Engage – People always ask me why I recommend the names of people in a particular field or city to someone noticeably new to social media. Well, in late 2009, my first year on Twitter, director and artist Kim Sherrell included my name in a tweet, recommending me to some of her friends. It was the first time someone had done that for me outside of a Follow Friday context. It showed me just how creative I could be in bringing people together. Indeed, tweets are most effective when used to inspire, inform, empower...and connect great people.

Make Your Enthusiasm Consistent – I am continually inspired by bloggers Kelly Clay and Christel Quek, two geekettes who live and breathe all facets of social media. Their success is powered not just by the substance of their posts, but also by the boundless, infectious they express about their work. There isn't one conversation I've had with them (not one) where they weren't very excited about their next projects. Indeed, enthusiasm is great fuel for confidence.

Have a Sense of Humor – No matter how nice and non-controversial I have tried to be, there are people who challenge my ideas, and my reasons for profiling certain people. Always! So it pays to laugh at it sometimes. And who has a better sense of humor about being challenged in social media than Brett Petersel and Khayyam Wakil? They are so funny, so hilarious that they deserve a show in prime time TV. So when someone is questioning your retweet mojo (LOL!), call these guys up, and just laugh at it.

To be clear, these are not the only tips, just the ones that have worked for me. Social media is not just an activity; it is an investment of valuable time and resources. Surround yourself with people who not only support you and stay with you, but inform your thinking about ways to WOW your online presence.


  1. Thanks for sharing this insightful post on social media influences. I like the tips on engaging with others on social sites and with bloggers. I have met so many other bloggers by doing just that and it's been wonderful.

  2. I've read a lot of posts that include Twitter tips but this is the first that talks about ... listening! I'm glad you put it first on your list. We can't get to know other people if we don't listen. We can't build relationships without this valuable skill, and listening online is an art that takes time to develop.

    Social networking takes time and I agree completely that it requires an investment, not just of time, but of attention.

    Connecting is the most amazing gift of Twitter that I've experienced. It is such a joy to introduce people to each other and see them connect in a meaningful way. I have so many wonderful friends because someone else made an introduction.

  3. Hi Sean,

    Thank you for including me in your post. You have influenced me and I learned from the BEST, from the man himself 2K. Thank you for your kind generous support over the years. Your Twitter Powerhouses series has given a lot of us more exposure. Keep rocking and I LOVE having you in DC.