originally posted on Concept Hub
One of the most asked questions that I hear regarding Social Media is “how do we get started?”
Option 1: Look around you. There are starting places everywhere. Who is already talking about you? Who is already talking about your competitors? Who is already talking about your industry? These are the people who would be happy to hear your ideas and perspectives. They are already interested. Communities have already developed around such conversations all you have to do is offer something of value. What would be of value? Insights, opinions, knowledge, but especially an eager audience. When entering an online community you do not have to go in with lots of advice and knowledge, sometimes it is more beneficial to come in with questions and a curious nature.
Option 2: What information is kept behind the firewall or offline that should go online? Who are you already in touch with on a day to day basis? Can you move some of your conversations online and welcome others to participate? How about pictures of events you are involved with? Are there communities on Flickr that would be interested? Flickr is possibly one of the most misunderstood and under-utilized communities on the Internet. There is so much power in sharing photos along with dialog within relevant communities. The same goes for video and the many various video sharing sites.
Option 3: Embrace the monkeys. I often laugh when I hear critics of social media state that a certain number of monkeys pounding on a typewriter would eventually churn out everything Shakespeare ever wrote. There are many concerns and criticisms about social media. Underlying each of those concerns is the lack of belief and respect for the very people that organizations want to reach. It’s time to let go of such beliefs that will not serve you. Find out what is important to the people that you want to reach and then decide how your organization can provide a service or product that can enhance the values of your audience. This will not only significantly decrease the risk of negative messages from your audience, but will increase the likelihood that you will create a group of raving fans.
So, the answer of where to begin your entrance into social media is simple. Start socializing.