(An abridgment of a former series…)
Social media provides an effective avenue for enlarging your sphere of influence. But as mentioned before, your absolute bottom line is the quality of your content. Influence is worthless without it. But assuming you post quality content, here are a few suggestions…
Use but Don’t Be Abused
Every person has 24 hours in a day. Recall the economic nature of time discussed previously: where there is time spent, there is opportunity cost. Do not let social media master your clock. More specifically…
Blogs. I highly recommend blogging, but decide how much time you can invest in advance. Also, don’t expect to attract a huge audience. Your priority is quality content. If you build it [with integrity], they will come. (Build a .com website today. Or read more about starting an academic blog.)
Facebook. I recommend this site with reservations. I have found it helpful for networking and keeping up with friends and family. I have also watched many people spend entirely too much time using it.
Twitter. I have been using since July or August. So far, I have only found it helpful to (1) keep up with a few important people; and (2) keep those who follow me up to date, especially with respect to new blog posts. So far as I know, Jim West still contends that “twitter is twaddle.”
Other sites. Taking a look at the wagon above, you’ll notice some other popular social media sites. YouTube can be effective if you want to publish short clips that are readily accessible. Flickr is great for picking up nice photos for blog posts (like the bandwagon!). Digg can serve as a vehicle for distributing your content. These sites are just the tip of the iceberg, but they tend to be the most popular.