What is the true cost of social media?

Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are free, right? Just sign up, throw your picture in, say something about yourself and you are good to go; nothing to it, huh?

Did you have a goal when you signed up?

Facebook and LinkedIn were relatively easy to get up and running and even though I am probably not using either anywhere close to their full potential, I’m certainly in deeper than a novice level.

Twitter was a whole different animal, it took me 4-6 months to ‘get it’ and even then it took a little luck for certain things to happen to get me fully engaged.

My only goal was to try to find out what it was all about. I knew there had to be more than me telling people I went to Starbucks.

I think I can do this

Once I got in and started engaging with other bloggers, I started getting some feedback and wanted to go deeper. I decided you needed a blog to do that.

I like to write but didn’t have a topic per se so my only goal was to at least get on the field, in the door, etc. I thought this was the ticket ‘in’.

How does this parallel my day job?

I like my day job, in fact I’m one of the owners. We are a 70 yr old regional insurance agency. Therefore my strategy might be a little different from some of the solopreneurs I converse with.

About 10 years ago my firm bought an agency in a neighboring town and wanted me to run the office. It was only about 12 miles from our main office and I already knew plenty of people there so I accepted the challenge.

When I got there, I jumped in with both feet. I got on the Chamber and Main Street boards and became a fixture at many events. I willingly accepted leadership positions as well. This opened many doors for me on a peer-to-peer level and it happened because people got to know me. They saw I was committed to their community and it didn’t matter that I was from out-of-town.

It was new and exciting and very similar to my twitter beginnings. Because of my commitment and involvement in the community, and having a great team to work with, this office out performed our two larger offices many a quarter.

What did I learn?

When you commit to something with a clear vision and sustainable business plan it will increase your chances of success tremendously.

It’s hard work and sometimes you scrape your knees.

Just as I grew my day-job business, I have enjoyed similar success in the twitter world with the same level of commitment.

Where will it take me?

I would like to be able to say I had the same business plan and focus with my twitter success but I do not. What I do know is, what little success I have had is certainly no mystery and I am very excited about the opportunities that lay in front of me.

So what did it cost?

Time, and I won’t lie to you, lots of it. When I say committed, I’m talking 3-4 hours a day at times while still doing my day job.

When I hear of my friends answering comments, writing posts at 2:30 am I cringe. I will be successful, but I don’t want it to consume me.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the journey and I want it to remain fun and exciting; if I’m losing too much sleep it might lose its appeal.

What’s the reward?

I have met some incredibly talented people. I love my community and fully understand the power it brings. As they say in the commercial, that’s “priceless”.

If any long timers happen to weigh-in would you like to share how you effectively manage your time AND stay engaged?

Any tweeners or newbies want to weigh-in and share what has worked for you so far?

My reward is I feel like ‘I’m in’ and I know it can create many, many opportunities not only for me but to help others and that alone is worth a lot to me.

How is your journey so far?

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69 thoughts on “What is the true cost of social media?

  1. Hey Bill!
    I’m so happy to hear you say this:”What I do know is, what little success I have had is certainly no mystery” especially since over at LFI we’re talking about accepting praise today. It is no mystery to me why this blog is taking off like a rocket – the reason is YOU! You’ve been so supportive, so involved and present on other blogs that the bloggers naturally follow you here.

    I can’t do the early morning part of the commitment.I do my best to organize my time so I can keep all things in balance. In fact, I just last week developed a system that is working wonderfully for me. I’ll be blogging about it sometime in the future. It keeps me balanced.

    “Engage” should be your middle name Bill! It’s always nice to see you show up at the party.
    Lori

    • Thanks for the words encouragement; very much appreciated.

      Yours was one of the first that not only allowed engagement, but encouraged you to come back for more.

      I’m getting better with the time thing and know I have to pick and choose my opportunities at times.

      I do like the engagement part of it.

      So good to see you today.

  2. Hi Bill, a thoughtful post as ever and a challenge we all face with our time management. When I think about how much time I spend online it makes me wonder what I did to fill my hours before I started all this.

    I love all this social media stuff and have enjoyed my journey to date very much but I do try to stretch myself too thin at times. The blog demands most of my attention followed closely by reading and commenting on other blogs. Twitter is my my favoured method of sharing and engaging but I also have a presence on Facebook, Linkedin, Empire Avenue, Friendfeed, Pinrest and probably a few more I have forgotten about!

    So like you I find it hard to concentrate on all these things and still find time to have a life, I may have a perch on all of these social media trees but I hardly ever fly to some of them. I think there is a case for not trying to be everywhere to make time management more manageable but sometimes it’s a case of joining up in case you are missing something, or perhaps just wanting to be seen in all the right places. Not a healthy attitude in real life so perhaps it’s better to review my online strategy in that regard as well.

    The main thing I have learned from my ‘journey’? Do your best and try to be consistent but accept there are times when you need to switch off, literally that is by logging off and switching off. I am so glad that I don’t have a mobile device that has online access, at least when I leave the house that temptation is removed!

    What really made me realise this is a recent weeks holiday away from the all things social media – despite my fears when I returned home the world was still turning, the blog still had visitors and comments, Twitter friends still wanted to talk to me and life carried on much as before, except that I was suitably refreshed from my time away.

    So lesson learned, enjoy the experience but don’t let it take over your life, maintain a balance and don’t be scared to risk missing out on something by logging off.

    Cheers

    (I have been reading too many of Griddy’s comments – it used to be so much easier when I just said ‘Hey Bill, great post’!)

    Tony

    • Wow Tony, you did go Griddy on me here; and I love it.

      Right now most of my efforts are twitter and blogging; I have a presence on the others but more of a cursory presence.

      I can justify some of the time because otherwise I would be watching TV and I find this much more enjoyable.

      Unfortunately, I do have the 24/7 access and probably should leave the phone in the car at times.

      It’s always a pleasure to see you Tony and I appreciate you taking the time to stop by.

    • I am the one who likes to be simple and say ‘Hey Bill great post’

      I am a man of few words but carry a shovel which I think is what Teddy Roosevelt was famous for?

      One thing Tony I must say is since this is my first visit to the guy who feels he can not blog very well’s blog is it gave me some great insight into more of who Bill is besides my friend who likes to divebomb great blogs with wry and occasionally insightful comments just to keep everyone loose. But of course its the thermos of space daiquiris that really adds to the fun!

      And anyone who can go Griddy is a person I know I could like immensely.

      • No way Jose’, look who is in the house. I have to come up w/ a new shtick as it’s harder to be witty w/ my blog. It’s a lot easier to carpet bomb somebody else’s place.

        I think it was somebody more infamous with the shovel, like Freddie Kruger or something….

        I’m just a po little bloggin’ boy in a house w/ a dirt floor and no screens on the winders. I can’t po mouth no mo; I’m validated now that you are here…..so take a seat and let me serve up one of those space daiquiris for ya.

        I’m part of a Tampa Bay Region leadership group and we met yesterday at the Trop and got to talk w/ the Rays ownership group about the economic impact they have on the community. We got to stay afterwards and watch the game from one of the suites. Price pitched a great game but they weren’t hitting. Mets fan, huh? I’ll have to file that tidbit of info away.

        Good to see you and I do love to mix it up w/ you at times.

        I’m actually at the beach this wk so haven’t been plugged in as usual but as Ahnold the sperminator would say “I’ll be back”.

  3. Bill,

    My journey is a mess. I am so far behind on social media. The one thing I can say is that I am farther along than I was a few months ago. I know there are a lot of opportunities that SM can create but the tools so often disconnect me from the things that are really around me. I get so consumed by SM that I forsake the actual things that are right in front of me. I guess it is a matter of balance. Using SM I have been able to connect with people all over the world and learn about their unique experiences and personal lives but like you said it cost me. It cost me time. It cost me some moments away from my family that I can never get back.

    I am still learning how to use SM effectively and not be consumed by it.

    • Like drinking from a water hose at times, huh? Trying to find traction and depth in the relationships, all the while trying to make sure you not to miss the all important family time.

      My kids are out of the house so most the time my choice is the TV or engagement; and the social part I like much more.

      Clean up that mess buddy ’cause I don’t want to lose you. Good to see you today.

  4. Hi Bill, I imagine you are successful at anything you put your mind to because of your dedication, talents and warmth.

    Blogging has put a new focus on my social media engagement. I was on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn well before I started my blog, but with each of these venues my participation has changed due to my blogging. In each of these I have met some wonderful online friends that I hadn’t before I started using them through blogging.

    For those who might be a bit befuddled by all the social media, don’t worry, it can be confusing. Just hand in there, read up on them and see how they can enhance your online experience!

    Great post, Bill!

    • Well that was a nice thing to say Carolyn; and so good to see you too.

      It’s funny, but the blogging, commenting and responding sometimes takes me totally out of twitter at times too.

      I like the information you have in your posts and if I had more gadgets to play with I might be in a better position to provide intelligent responses.

      I’m not a quid pro quo guy and I respond on some sites that I don’t see them around here too much, but that’s ok. They know where I live now and so if they want to stop by they can. However, I will definitely stop by and see the people who take the time to come here.

      Good to see you today and hope your wk goes well.

      • Bill you always leave intelligent and entertaining comments on my blog. I come here because I have enjoyed every one of your posts and comment because I know how much comments can help blogs thrive. Your visiting my blog is a bonus, though not the reason I visit yours. But your visits and comments are always appreciated!

        I am at the beach too but I leave tomorrow. I hope you have a wonderful time!

  5. Hey Bill, nice post here sir πŸ™‚

    I have found that one of the most effective ways to build a valuable online social footprint is consistency; not pouring all of your time into it.

    Like you, I had a business to run and many responsibilities to stay on top of before I entered the world of social media. I think the trick is to stay consistent with your efforts and define what time is reasonable or available to commit to building your online presence.

    Everything you’ve done to this point is your social footprint. Every blog post, tweet, comment and/or update you’ve made is forming your online persona. It’s not going to get done overnight, over the next few months or the next year. It’s a process of being you and consistently participating and contributing value even just an hour or two a day.

    By the time a year or two passes, you’ll be amazed at the “footprint” you’ve established during that time. The relationships and credibility you establish will only grow and stregnthen each day you participate. The value of your efforts will increase over time and how that value is extracted is wide open to what your goals are.

    It does takes time and work, however, it doesn’t have to consume you… And it can absolutely enhance both your personal and professional life for many years to come.

    Cheers to you sir!

    • What? You mean I can’t erase any of this? It will be interesting to look back in a year and see what you think of the footprint you have left, huh?

      You are definitely one of the good guys out here in the blogosphere and I would like to think my ‘style’ and participation is very similar to yours; when I grow up I want to be like you and everyone will be pimpin’ me like they do you now…:).

      I’m at the beach this wk so I probably won’t be able to Skype you back until next wk but we definitely will hook up. Good to see you today.

  6. Hey Bill –

    Time, and lots of it! Honestly it’s so easy to get sucked into reading all of the amazing information & ideas that people share on a daily basis, and finding that balance takes time to get figured out, as well. If someone would just pay me to read and interact all day, I’d do it. But I too have a day job that I like very much!

    With your commitment to making those connections in person and online, I see great opportunity for you to bring the two together. How about some local Getting Started with Social Media classes at your chamber events or with your clients? You’d be the perfect person to teach them! Sure we need to find our way with this new communication, but any help and direction that we can get to help focus that potential time suck is so helpful!

    Go forth, Bill, and start the convergence!

    • That’s funny because I’ve had someone at the local Jr College ask me to do just that. Also, there was a Chamber breakfast I’m going to miss tomorrow, but some people wanted me there to help w/ a social media program.

      60 days ago I felt I was really a novice, and in many ways I still am but in others I feel like I’m a grizzled veteran.

      Fortunately I do like to read but it can sure have you going off in many directions.

      If you notice, this post was a small attempt to start bringing my ‘day job’ into the mix. I don’t know if it will have 87 comments like my previous post (crazy) but I’ll drag it around for a few days and see what happens.

      Good to see you today, hope all is well.

      • In fact, I did notice the mixing of the two. πŸ˜‰ Yes, a grizzled veteran – you’re already there because you’ve been doing this in person for so long that the online transition is a natural one for you.

        I look forward to hearing the debrief of your local teaching sessions! It’s all good for business.

    • Look at Ari sneaking in and calling me out.

      I feel like a veteran in some of the things I thought were initially important, like number of followers, no responses to comments, etc really don’t make my radar anymore.

      I feel like a novice in my set up and sharing is pretty weak and I have requests for guest posts that I don’t feel real secure throwing those out there yet. Probably more from the fact I just haven’t taken the time to write them, but working on it.

      Probably just to picky and should just keep charging ahead, huh?

  7. Well Bill you are certainly asking the right questions.
    What does it add to your life and is that enhancement worth the hours of effort. And is that effort at the expense of something you consider more worthwhile, profitable etc.
    For me, I plan to cut back on time related to blogging (but not at the expense of what I plan to write). I want to be proud of what I write and all other metrics off success are a distant second. I plan take a long term view and assess my progress after a year.
    Riley

    • I think a long term view is a good approach. I was fortunate enough to have a small measure of success early, but it did take a lot of time. I just have to view this journey as a marathon and not a sprint.

      I thoroughly enjoy meeting and interacting with all of the interesting people. At night, I might be giving up some book reading time but more times than not it’s just the TV. I think it’s a good trade-off.

      Good to see you Riley and I look forward to watching your continued journey.

  8. Hi Bill,

    The hardest thing to do is to balance the time commitment. If you are not careful you can easily over extend yourself here.

    It is a 24 hour game that never rests and there are always opportunities to feed the beast. That is not to say that there isn’t value in social media because there is plenty.

    I blogged about some of the benefits the other day. I have made some very dear friends and that alone is worth the price of admission.

    But I have also learned a lot about myself and life and there is merit in that too. Not to mention that I have converted some of my time here into cash and future business opportunities.

    I am very grateful for all this because it has given me so much.

    • You made a good observation because I too feel there is plenty of value in social media. Even though I don’t have a clear focus of where I’m taking it, my current focus is just enriching the relationships I have and it’s working for me so far.

      I will check out the post about the benefits, I’m sure it will be good.

      I used to write letters in a previous time and now I get to do some of this writing through blogging, commenting and responding. I’m learning a lot about myself through this exercise too.

      I’m glad to hear it has given you much and you still find the journey rewarding. I appreciate you being around and it has been a pleasure getting to know you.

  9. I second what Carolyn@TheWonderofTech said. I think you have been successful in this arena mostly because of your dedication and your authentic warmth. It’s refreshing!

    I “dabble” in comparison to many of the great people you follow. I look to social media for the connection and community I might find with co-workers (which one doesn’t have in a home office…please don’t tell my black lab that she doesn’t count as a co-worker). For 20 years of working in office environments, I knew balance had to be achieved by occasionally closing my door and forwarding my phone to accomplish work or find a bit of peace. So it doesn’t scare me to step out of the social media channels for a day or two. I don’t believe I’ll miss the once in a lifetime opportunity, nor do I care at all what my ranking is on any social media metric. I just love people, and I love connecting with them here…but I manage the connectivity to keep it from managing me.

    • Mimi o Mimi, my first post reader. It is somewhat funny to me how this crazy thing has progressed and I certainly didn’t expect to have the traffic I do.

      I know the social ‘crowd’ is the chatty crowd, but it amazes me sometimes how connected and powerful the sense of community can be.

      I’m social by nature and love the connection and community. That is where I find a lot of benefit in all this effort.

      I really appreciate your kind words and it means a lot coming from you. Thanks so much for your encouragement and support.

      Good to see you today.

  10. Hi Bill,
    I would say if you tell some people that you are a blogger, they might think you are from the moon. I tell you this, social media is still very new and often hard to say what the strategy should be. Time waster? YES! Learning new stuff? YES. Meeting new people? YES. Confusion? YES! Social media is all this and more. And so is life…
    Rock on,
    Derek

    • That’s funny D; I tell that to some of my friends and they think I just came out of the closet or something. Eventually I think we all figure out the time involved and when to jump in and when to take a break.

      I do like the analogy w/ life as well because it certainly is.

      Good to see you buddy, thanks for stopping by.

  11. Social media is a very interesting part of building a community. One part I don’t spend enough time on.

    Most of my social media activities go per automatic which means it completely misses the point.

    I have planned to start working on it more or hire someone to spend time on it, but it is still a while down the road.

    • It definitely takes real engagement which of course takes real time. At some point you do have to find a balance unless you are getting paid by the word, which I don’t think many of us are.

      It has been addicting in a way and I have to be careful with that and remember just to pace myself because I do want to be around for the long haul.

      Hopefully we will find the right mix and be able to work with it.

      Thanks for the visit Daniel, I’ll see you around.

  12. Bill, I love this. First let me say that I don’t reply to comments at 2.30 AM any more, lol. Although there were days like those, that happens when my hubby is away on assignment and I just can’t sleep. Second, I am so jealous you have Starbucks, I am far away from any SB 😦

    Yeah, we take our time for granted, but when I spend whole day online and realize what happed I sometimes feel sad. I am not a great time organizer so for me to have more time I have to cut down on some things. I actually cut down on my blog, since I am posting less lately.

    We will see what happens. I just wanted to say that you are doing all this social thing the right way πŸ™‚

    • When I jumped into this thing I got in w/ a pretty established crowd. Some of the things I did and the response I got (or lack thereof) is what I used as a measuring stick.

      To a certain degree I still do that, but I just need to start making my own path and let things fall where they may.

      It certainly took some time to plug in and sometimes too much time but I feel I’m getting a better handle on managing it.

      I appreciate your comments (as you were one of my measuring sticks but I won’t tell anybody) and I’m glad you stopped by.

      If you come to the dog show in Lakeland I would love to catch up with you and we can definitely do a Starbucks.

      Good to see you today.

  13. My journey so far has been amazing! I’ve met the most incredible people, learned the most incredible things, and have felt supported through friendships; some more significant than my offline friendships.

    The issue of “time” is the most significant. How to prioritize and spend time doing the things you love, running a business, taking time for oneself and loved ones…it is a constant juggling act…but one I wouldn’t change for the world.

    I’m dancing, Bill, every day:-)

    • If we could just get paid by the word, huh?

      I do find when I’m online, I’m usually ‘all in’. By being so, it’s easy to turn 1 hour into 3. But like you, I cherish the relationships and new friends and wouldn’t change it.

      I’m pleased it has been a good journey for you and wish you continued success and you keep the dancing slippers on.

      So good to see you today.

      • Oh, a penny for every word and a penny for your thoughts…we’d be rich! Oh right…we already are, in terms of friendships, relationships and livin’ the life…and dancing of course:)

    • Dancin’ away……..

      I saw you asking about Triberr; Stacey at MyLifeStyleMax asked me in. I hesitated for a long time because I didn’t think my blog was worthy.

      I would invite you but I don’t even know how to do that but hopefully somebody will ask; I think you will like it.

      Stacey is having some personal stuff in her life right now so she had been out of pocket. I might get in touch w/ Dino and see how that affects us.

      I would love to have you in our group, but if someone else asks I would run with it.

      • Thanks for the info Bill. Despite reading about it early on, I still really didn’t “get it”: its purpose, intention, benefits were outlined, but I still didn’t really get a good grasp of it. Maybe because it was early on, and my head was already spinning with so much other stuff.

        But I saw Erica was in, then out, then back in with her post today. Then Jayme asking Jon if he was still in, so it looked like the pot was stirring, and things were happening or changing. I’d like to know more about it. Don’t even understand the groups.

        But thanks for the info: and if we were in the same group…bonus!

        Oh, by the way…Vancouver just scored with 19 seconds left in the 3rd. Go Canucks! Cheers! Kaarina

    • Canucks and Celsius,what next?

      I just thought Triberr was a way to connect and help people in your tribe to ‘promote’ ea other and have them automatically send new posts out under their name.

      Has it benefited me? Yes, because I picked up some new friends but there is probably more I could be doing for the group I just don’t know what.

      I’m sure the people that didn’t or got in and then out had their valid reasons. I really never thought that deeply about it as I thought it was essentially just a sharing device.

      I would probably be where I am today with or without it……wherever that is….

      • I am preparing my Canuck dictionary for you, and mimeographing it with carbon paper, whiting out where necessary and using my etch a sketch for revisions. I’m just in that kind of mood today: fun, frivolous and ready to play!

        It’s funny when something hits the radar screen (like Triberr did yesterday): don’t want to chase all the shiny objects that hit that radar screen, but once brought to attention, it’s hard not to want to investigate. Lots of differing opinions, and that’s good…spice of life!

        I like your common sense, laid back attitude about all this “social media stuff” Bill…that and your sense of humour and quick wit. Keep it coming! And whenever I can’t find you, I’m going to put out the call “Car 54 where are you” (before your time?) so I can find you…”wherever that is…” Cheers! Kaarina

  14. Hey Bill,

    Ok, I would agree, it has and does take time. Too much time in fact and a little obsession of checking out whats happening again and again.

    I haven’t really understood Twitter as yet, I signed it to find out what time my favorite star was going to have a bath but they really don’t do it that often.

    Facebook has been a little better; I did get in touch with a lot of friends and so many in fact that their number is way over 500 now! Also, the high school girl who was labelled “skinny ***** ” is “friends” with all now!

    But yes, all sarcasm aside, social networking works if you want it to work and push the right buttons; though we just join in for the fun, there is still a lot we can do and benefit from; just us lazy people are still trying to figure the way around!

    Have a nice day!

    • The stars you follow don’t bathe often?…….:). That was my start, I thought they would be interesting, and they really weren’t. Also, it was only one-way social networking and that wasn’t too cool to me.

      I’m having a lot of fun with it and there probably things I can carry over from the networking side to ultimately help me and my business; I just don’t have a clear focus for it yet.

      So good to see you Hajra and thanks for coming by. I hope you had a great day.

  15. For me, it’s all about trying to achieve a reasonable balance. The time commitment required just for a blog and Twitter is enormous. I keep thinking I’ll get around to creating a Facebook page, but I just haven’t had time. As I pick up more projects, I have to limit my participation and write fewer blog posts. It’s all day by day…sometimes I wish I could just put the world on pause so I could get caught up with my “back burner” stuff!

    • I hear ya about getting caught up w/ the back burner stuff. Sometimes it is a chore just to stay up w/ the day to day stuff.

      I have been somewhat out of pocket for almost two weeks and I haven’t carpet bombed many posts w/ comments lately; I have been lucky to just being able to get in a comment at times.

      I think I’m getting closer to balance and hopefully I will achieve more clarity soon.

      You had a great post about your dad and I’m sure it was very tough to write. Sometimes life throws you that curveball and you just do the best you can to get through it.

      So good to see you.

  16. Well I’m certainly not surprised that when you took over, things started going really well. I would have to say that if you are are personable offline as you are on, no wonder you love your job. The people love you.

    A few years ago my Mom needed a new insurance plan so because of her hearing I set up the appointment with a gentleman that was recommended. Not only was he knowledgeable, but very caring about his customers as well. He’s run his own company for over 30 years too and he’s just a great guy. Wouldn’t you know, we are now close friends all because of that one meeting. I see a lot of you in him and as my Dad use to tell me when I was young, it’s all about relationships Adrienne. It’s all about relationships. Priceless is right my friend.

    Present yourself online like you do offline and success will continue no matter what you do. I’m just glad you are enjoying your time here. We’re very happy to have any time we can get with you Bill. That I truly mean.

    Hope you are having a blessed day!

    Adrienne

    • Wow, that just put a smile on my face; that was very nice of you to say.

      I do think you would find me very similar in real life as my persona is online. Of course my wife says “everybody thinks you are so ‘perfect’ online, they should try living with you for awhile”………:). She doesn’t get the attraction of active engagement online.

      I have enjoyed this crazy little journey and have enough curiosity to want to see where it takes me. I just hope we can all stay engaged along the way.

      Good to see you and hope you had a great day today.

  17. Hi, Bill.

    I am so fortunate then that blogging and interacting with all of you cool people whether through blog commenting, Twitter or Facebook is a huge part of my day job. πŸ™‚ But, you know what? Even if this is the case, there is still not enough hours in my work day for me to be able to meet all the new people I wish to know and read all the new posts in my Google Reader.

    But, what a great journey I have had so far, Bill. πŸ™‚ I am having so much fun getting to know wonderful people everyday, reading their posts and sharing them to everyone else. I take pleasure in learning different things from various people that sometimes, I wish a day wouldn’t end.

    Thank you so much for being part of the journey, Bill. Really appreciate it. πŸ™‚

    • Cool people, that’s right and make sure you let everyone know how cool I really am……..:). No dorks allowed……..yikes………

      I do enjoy learning the new things and wish I had the time to read and interact more. I could have kept it really simple and just been a professional commentor and popping in and out as time permitted, huh?

      I need to check Google Reader out; I’ve heard it mentioned but of course ol’ dunderhead over here doesn’t have it installed. I really came in the door walking backwards. I established the relationships first and then realized I don’t even have any screens on my windows at home.

      It is still very much an enjoyable journey for me and I’m glad you are a part of it and hopefully we can continue to grow together.

      Good to see you and thanks for stopping by.

  18. Quite simply Bill, I use social media because I want to use it, and because I get benefit from it. If I no longer got benefit from it, I’d drop it, no matter how popular the service was, or still is.

    Take Facebook; I’ve been thinking of dropping that recently, because of a couple of incidents involving me and my girlfriend vs. so-called friends. They helped me realise whether Facebook was as useful as first assumed. Is it? It still is for me at the moment, but I can’t say the same 3 months down the line.

    Social media can be tricky at times can’t it? πŸ˜‰

    • It can be tricky; I signed up for FB and found people all the way back from 1st grade. Some of it did get a little creepy and actually had a stalker or two that made me change some settings. Twitter was a little more protected so I like it better.

      Like you, if I quit enjoying it I will just walk away and find the next great thing.

      In some ways social media gives you more freedom and in other ways it can bite you in an ‘unerasable’ way if that makes any sense.

      I’m at the beach this wk so I’m trying to stay caught up in a hit or miss method. Thanks for stopping by though and I’ll catch up to you.

  19. Hey Bill – hope the week has been a good one for you.

    I’m new to social media.So new that I only have a Twitter account; no Facebook and no LinkedIn. I will be setting up a LinkedIn at some point in the near future, but have no immediate plan for facebook (just not a big fan at the moment, but trust me – I get it!)

    I’m a networker. I’m involved in some many organizations in the business space that it’s often hard to name them all. I started doing this when I really grasped how powerful networking is. I used to think that “who you know” didn’t matter. Well, that’s not true at all. Because of the people who know me, and know how I operate – I’ve been offered opportunities lucrative opportunities that I never imagined in.

    Through social media – I don’t have an immediate plan. I’m simply just going along the journey, and having fun in the process. I can say that I’ve been a a chunk of people who I consider as friends and would (with out second thought) interact with them in real life and invite them to my home and even entertain business ventures with them. And yes, I’d invite you over for sure. I don’t drink but we can throw down a bottle of Gatorade (on the rocks)!

    And the costs – that’s the great part. There’s very little costs to it all. Time and creativity. That’s all, that’s it. However, time, as they say, is money, so the opportunity costs is pretty high when you really think about it…but the potential of return can be huge!

    Take care buddy!

    • Whoa, don’t tell me my rep is the big ‘drunk’; I can be social w/out drinking……..:). Unfortunately, my mother had a problem w/ drinking and I vowed to never expose my kids to something like that. It’s funny what experiences you use as life lessons, good or bad, huh?

      I did FB because it was easy; the only thing I might do differently is being just a little more selective on who I let in. I would say 20% of my ‘friends’ I would not know by face or maybe even name.

      LinkedIn I have done very little with, but I have seen some really cool stuff on connectivity; kinda like who knows who and how can I use that to get an audience. It’s definitely more business related and I would suggest checking that one out.

      The wk has been great; we are at the beach so I am having to be real selective on my ‘computer’ time. I’m trying to catch up when I can but most of my ‘stuff’ is thru my phone right now.

      I can tell you the sea breeze is great and not near the humidity as the big swamp Disney.

      Having fun is the key word and as long as we can do that, I think we’ll figure it out.

      I just see Marcus working so hard and more than once I have heard him say he was in front of the computer at 2 am. Good thing he is young, I just hope he is able to reign it in because I would hate to see him burn out and disappear. He’s a smart guy (don’t tell him I said that) but he’ll figure it out too.

      Good to see you JK and we’ll have to figure out a good Skype time soon. Take care and I’ll catch up w/ you.

      PS – you too are someone who I feel I could leave my kids with and not have a second thought. In fact, even though they are grown, can I send the over….:)

  20. Bill,

    It’s a great question — what is the cost? And you’re right, it really is time. I think what is interesting is that the great majority of the people I interact with have probably traveled the same journey — they got involved with blogging/ SM for some sort of business purpose (whether specific or not) but then found real connections and relationships developing. I know I never expected the depth of connection that can come from blog commenting and tweeting. It’s truly amazing!

    In the short time you’ve been out there, I think you have demonstrated more than most how active engagement can create true connections. I doubt I’ll ever clock anything close to the hours you mentioned above, but it is inspirational! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      When I first started looking at the commenting and then the blog part of it, I saw some really good niche sites but they weren’t getting any comments. Now that doesn’t mean they weren’t getting visitors, but to me it looked like an empty house and I didn’t want to go down that road. That is why I chose to get engaged first.

      The caveat is, I got engaged w/ the social media crowd which is the most chatty anyway so I don’t know how well that blends with my business side but I’m sure it’s there somewhere.

      When I started the blog I really didn’t expect the traffic I started receiving so that just added a layer of time as well, but I enjoy it.

      My kids are out of the house so a lot of this ‘time’ was TV time anyway. That’s my justification because I feel I’m doing something I enjoy and it puts me in a position not only to help myself but others as well.

      Hope your day is well and feel free to stop by any time.

  21. I’m new to the blogging and twitter world, trying to figure out the time management balance of using social media. Not only is it important to my business, but to my clients as well; Many of them are small business owners who know they need to be involved in social media, but unsure of where or how to start, especially for those for whom marketing is not their area of expertise.

    While I personally would prefer to be less involved with social media, as a public relations and marketing specialist, I’ve had to learn the tools to be able to help my clients use these them and keep their focus when comes to running and launching their businesses.

    As I get my full marketing program for my own business up and running, I know the best thing I can do is plan ahead what updates for my and my clients need to be scheduled among the real time updates as well as be consistent in engaging with others.

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting Leah. It seems not that long ago I considered myself new and unsure what I wanted to accomplish; which is still going on to a certain degree.

      Social media is here and has many benefits and you are probably taking the right path to know as much as you can and how it can help your customers. Having said that though, it can be a time eater so I would suggest to be disciplined.

      What little success I have had has been through the active engagement. Fortunately I have been able to replace some TV time at night to get this done.

      It has been a very interesting but fun journey for me. I really like my community.

      Best of luck on your journey and feel free to stop by anytime.

  22. Hi, Bill. You are right. Time is indeed the true cost of social media. When I find myself snowed under with so much work and meetings, I am unable to visit and comment on blogs. When I also get caught up in blog commenting, I find that I can’t accomplish my projects on time. So, I am looking for some way to balance things right now. It is hard though.

    • Part of the crazy thing is I feel I’m always trying to stay current or catching up I give myself very little time to write. There are several things I want to do but carving the time out and actually doing it are two separate things.

      I do feel like I’m getting in some type of rhythm however and with a little tweaking hopefully I can get more efficient.

      When I first started I would comment, walk away and wait for a reply and that was it. Now, I saw Marcus doing the carpet bombing with the comments so of course I had to emulate that………:).

      Good to see you Wes, hope all is well.

  23. Hey Bill!

    I will echo the thoughts of some of your other readers and say that time management may be my biggest challenge with social media. I started getting involved with social media the same time that I started my online business and blog. In addition to that, I started another part-time business, and you know I am raising a 12 month old. There just aren’t enough hours in the day!

    Even though I’m still relatively new at all of this, I certainly don’t think social media is a waste of time. I have really connected with some people. I have made clients, friends and colleagues. I have found people who inspire me and (to my surprise) people whom I’ve inspired.

    I feel that I’m always tweaking the time I spend or how much interaction I have to decide what suits me best. However, the world of social media is always changing as well, isn’t it? Who knows if I’ve got it right, but I’m having fun doing it:)

  24. The key words being “I’m having fun doing it”. As long as we can have fun then eventually I think we will figure out what works best for us.

    For instance, I had a bunch of stuff I wanted to catch up on and I still needed to write a post for next week. I have a few archived but didn’t really like them. I got the wild hair to do a vlog and what I thought would take 30 min max ended up into a 2 hr project. That’s par for the course w/ me however.

    So good to see you and hopefully we will continue to to have fun along this journey.

    I’ll be by to see you later; take care.

  25. Hi Bill,

    I haven’t used that much time with social media compared to a lot of other people. But I have spent way too much time just surfing around without a single clue about what I have been doing. Like you, I spent a lot of time (many months) before I understood the real value of Twitter. I’m not on Facebook much. Just too much stuff going on, and too many features πŸ™‚

    In the end, social media is what I use blogs for and blog commenting. I create relationships with people and I try to help out as much as I can. It takes a lot of time, and I still don’t have a single goal other than the part where I create relationships. I don’t think about traffic at all, and it’s never about money.

    Jens

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