What’s Your Swag? Strengthening Your Social Media Network

After months of listening to and trying to figure out what a social media is, how it can be used, what’s a twitter, who’s face is in a book and what am I linking in, I thought it might be time to try and catch up with the rest of the world.   I knew going in it was going to be tough to get me up to speed in 2010, but a man has to start sometime.  I mean, I’m on Facebook and LinkedIn, but I really don’t know what to do with them, and more importantly, how to use them to my advantage.

I was invited to a seminar about LinkedIn and knew this would be my first step.  But, I decided to jump in feet first.  It was amazing some of what I learned.  Could there be 940 million people engaged in social networking?  We don’t just advertise with famous or attractive people telling us to buy something because they like it.  Now, marketing includes converting someone through conversation.  Want to know about a product, go on line.  You can find out whatever you want in a matter of minutes.  Millions of people spend how many millions of hours just writing about everything and anything.  Who would have thought that people have that much time on their hands?  I was asked what I thought my “swag factor” was.  I had no idea what they were talking about.  I found out that the swag is important as it refers to how strong your network is.

Looking for a job?  Social networking is a great way to go.  Need a plumber?  Go on line and find any number of plumbers with multiple recommendations.  Want to find out about your next door neighbor?  There’s a good chance you can read about them on one the social media web sites.  Unbelievable to me what can be done.

This seminar was about LinkedIn and how to use it.  LinkedIn is a professional networking site that helps make key business connections.  An excellent presentation was given by Sima Dahl at Parlay Communications.  She went over how it should be set up and the work that needs to be done to maintain your account.  Me?  I filled out my home page and figured I have done my work.  Now, all I have to do is sit back and wait for all the important people to contact me.  I have to now admit that I might have been a little off on that assumption.

There is far more involved than what I thought.  Do you know you should change your status every week or so?  Seems doing that means all of your contacts will know and maybe take a look.  You need to make deposits on a regular basis.  Deposits?  You should spend time each week responding to requests, recommendations, and changes in the status of others.  And, they want my picture posted.  Ok, if I can use my high school or college picture, it’s a definite go.  But now, I don’t know.  However, statistics show that we like to see what the person looks like that we may be dealing with.  Makes us a little more comfortable.  The picture is still on my list of things to do, but moving up quickly.

This is a marathon though, not a sprint.  It takes time to build a network.  It takes time to maintain it as well.  However, if done correctly it seems that social networking is a way to market yourself and help others in your network as well.  We want to buy from people, not companies.  We are going to feel more comfortable about whatever we are looking for if others tell us it is a good service, product or idea.

Like many companies, Randolph Sterling is getting into social media more and more to spread the word about what we do and how we can help companies be more successful.  Whether we like it or not, this is most certainly the future.  So, if you’re not on board or, like me, just getting started, don’t wait too long to get connected.

So, if you got nothing else out of this little journey on the dark side, remember what your swag is and you want it to be strong.


2 Responses

  1. I am interested in being better educated on Social Media, and LinkedIn. Are ther any Seminar’s in the works?

  2. We do not have any of our own seminars on social media lined up, and we’d have to check if anyone else if putting something on. We do highly recommend a couple of blogs though:

    Gini Dietrich’s at http://www.spinsucks.com/
    and the guy’s at Mashable at http://mashable.com/

    We also have an in-house social media content manager and consultant, Daniel Nuccio, who directly handles many of our social media efforts and who would be willing to talk to you if you’d like.

    You can read some of the blogs he’s written for us here:


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