As an Internet and social media marketer, I have noticed that many new and prospective clients tend to fall into one of two camps. The first camp belongs to those who perceive social media marketing as an unknown land filled with reputation sinking quick sand, customer eating alligators, and perhaps even a few secret stealing boogeymen. The second camp is filled with the entrepreneurs who see social media marketing as the land of opportunity, filled with pots of gold, word of mouth fairies, and magical calculators that take all of the guess work out of marketing. My objective for each new client is to guide them to a much more comfortable spot, set up somewhere midway between these two polar opposite points of view.
Social Media marketing is not out to get you, nor is it there for the sole purpose of helping you sell more widgets. My advice to my clients (and anyone else who cares for my unsolicited opinion) is, in order to understand the pitfalls and benefits of social media, you should try to get comfortable with it from end user approach. I am happy to create effective social media marketing plans for clients but I am even happier when my clients take a personal interest in their online presence. So why not author a personal blog? Write about your hobbies or your alternate ego who happens to be a comedic genius. While you are at it, visit other blogs and make sure to leave comments. Set up a Twitter account, join LinkedIn. How many friends do you think you catch up with on Facebook?
Much like pretty much everything in life, utilizing and enjoying social media is one of the best ways to get comfortable with it and stay on top of current trends and issues.