Jennifer Valdes|Feb 17, 2012

Social Media Week, the world-wide conference that has made a name for itself in the last three years, finally came to Miami! So you know Digital Park just had to be there. We sent a few bloggers out to the field and asked them to share their thoughts on their favorite sessions.

During the Stereotypes & Misconceptions in Social Media panel discussion earlier this week, moderator Bruce Turkel brought up two points that had me nodding my head and wanting to throw my hands up and proclaim: Yes! If only EVERYONE understood and accepted these simple truths.

Truth: The cost of social media isn’t what you pay if you actually DO social media; it’s what you pay if you DON’T

Unfortunately, there are still many who are intimidated by social media. What’s the purpose? I don’t get it. I don’t have time for it. How will this benefit me or my business? Have you heard these from your family, friends or clients? I know I have, too many times to count.

Social media is rapidly growing and there is no end in sight. If you’re ignoring this fact and refuse to participate, then you’re living in the stone ages! Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Foursquare, Yelp: They each serve a different purpose and each offer different benefits to individuals and to businesses.

True, there is no cost to sign up with these social media platforms; but there is a cost to not signing up and not having a presence. By avoiding or ignoring social media platforms, you are closing the doors on many opportunities. You are losing the opportunity to build your brand, connect with those who have shared interests, create buzz, direct traffic to your website, generate revenue and so much more.

There is a guaranteed ROI for those who invest time in building and maintaining a strong and meaningful presence online. Don’t be intimidated or fear the unknown. Put in the time to build a community while building your brand. Be patient and embrace the ever-changing, ever-growing world of social media.

Truth: Content and experience matter most, not technology

Don’t try to impress me with your fancy graphics and animation; win me over with your purposeful messages and memorable experiences. Technology is not king; content is king. Each social media platform is different, so there is no one-size-fits-all for content.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the tools and add-ons available online. By starting with your passion, you will find your purpose and your voice. This is what attracts social media users: valuable content, genuine interest and a different perspective. Social media is a shared interest; likeminded people will find each other. Your content will dictate the people and opportunities you will attract. Write on!


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