Inigo Montoya Was Right About Social Media Too

By Sid Smith

If I asked you about social media, would you conjure up images of Facebook and Twitter?
And did you also think, “I haven’t got the time to waste on such mindless drivel”?
Ah … but wait! In the unforgettable words of Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Will the REAL Social Media Please Stand Up …

Forget what you think you know about social media. I’ll buy you a beer if you read this entire post and can honestly say “Yes, I knew all that.” Seriously. If we ever meet, the beer is on me.
Let’s first turn to Wikipedia, a bastion of social media. Go there and you’ll read that:

“Social media is content created by people using highly accessible and scalable publishing technologies. At its most basic sense, social media is a shift in how people discover, read and share news, information and content.”

Not what you thought?

What most people think of as “social media” is in reality “social networking.” There’s a huge difference, and if you’re going to live on the beach while working part time on your web business, you’ll need to understand the differences.

Both are highly useful. They weave in and out of each other like two lovers on a moon-lit tropical beach, so it’s easy to confuse them as one giant sea creature.

Social media is information in the form of content – articles, white papers, special reports, video, audio, and other forms of content. It’s social in that it is meant to be shared.

There are tools specifically designed to share content:

• Blogs: Blogger, WordPress …
• Content Management Systems: Joomla, Drupal, and high-end proprietary systems..
• Video sharing: Youtube, Blip, Dailymotion, Viddler … (there are about 20)
• Audio sharing: Podcast Pickle, Podcast Alley, The Podcast Network …

Social networking is how people communicate with each other online. Sometimes they communicate about content (social media) and sometimes they just blather on (and on, and on … ).
There are tools specifically designed for social networking (communication):

• Twitter (did you know that Shaq has over a million followers?)
• LinkedIn
• User Forums
• The “old” Facebook and MySpace

And … this is where it gets tricky … there are tools that facilitate communication AND share content:

• The “new” Facebook
• Teleseminars (audio conference calling)
• Webinars (video and audio)
• Twitter (it can serve both masters)
• LinkedIn (it also serves both masters)

Use The Right Tool For The Right Job

As a web marketer and entrepreneur, you’ll be eons ahead of the pack once you understand how to use the right tool. After all, the ultimate goal is to make a pile of money for you and/or your client … right?
Non-marketers use the social media and social networking tools primarily for connection. They want to belong.

Marketers use the tools for BOTH purposes – to connect with, bond with, and communicate with their prospects and customers … AND they use the tools to make money.

Here’s my 7-step “Get Social Money Machine” (in a very tiny nutshell):

1. Get online and start connecting with people through Twitter and Facebook (their use is growing, while the use of Hi5, MySpace and LinkedIn is shrinking).
2. Create valuable content – a blog with articles and video.
3. Use social tools to share your content: video syndication tools (YouTube, etc.); blog syndication tools (RSS, blogging communities, Syndd) to share your blog entries.
4. Create a fan page on Facebook and start sharing your blog posts and videos to your Facebook community.
5. Tweet your blog posts: Install a “plugin” on your blog that automatically “Tweets” your blog post to Twitter.
6. Get Social: Once you’ve got a list of fans and followers, host a couple of free content-rich webinars that you announce to your fans and followers. To attend they must provide name and email address. They’ll announce it to their friends and followers.
7. Make money: If you read my previous blog post, you know what to do next … lead them down the path of becoming raving fans who will buy anything from you.

And PLEASE (with pretty hearts and flowers) …

Remember that the foundation of social media and social networking is the SOCIAL element. Your FIRST order of business is to connect. If you are providing value through your connections, then you will be rewarded by having many fans, followers, and eventually paying customers.

One final note: A recent $499 webinar was filled entirely through blogging, Twitter and Facebook. The marketers who created the webinar raked in well over a million dollars, with NO advertising costs and NO shipping or product costs.
Yes, Dorothy. We’re certainly not in Kansas anymore.

This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc. (AWAI) The Golden Thread, a free newsletter that delivers original, no-nonsense advice on the best wealth careers, lifestyle careers and work-at-home careers available. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.awaionline.com/signup/.

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