I just read the best article written by Gini Dietrich on Social Media ie Twitter, Blogs etc. As the article was in a news periodical I cannot clip and paste her ideas so I will give you the nickel version.
I am very new to Social Media and from what I have been reading (and reading) is it's actually Social Marketing. My newbie status on the likes of Twitter has shown me that 'more' is not the way to go but select quality followers and followings. I watch my Twitter account several times a day and there is nothing worse than seeing Tweet after Tweet after Tweet from the same person discussing nothing but themselves, and mostly info that nobody would care about nor relate to.
Gini Dietrich began her article by talking about a man that walks in to a party and introduces himself, explains he just opened a company, he sells wrenches, but not just any kind of wrench, the kind you cannot lose because it has a 'Clapper' attached, so when you cannot find your wrench, you clap and there you have it, you have located your wrench blah blah blah. WELL, by the time he gets halfway through his ME intro, you have totally lost interest in the person, his company and his product that may or may not have been worth looking at.
So the bottom line, let's talk...that means all of us about all of us, not just you.
Create Brand Awareness
Prospect for New Customers
Develop Brand Loyalty Through Engaging
Increase Your Online Presence With Knowledge you Wish to Share
Social Networking can be very useful, but don't be my mother, don't try to be the Dali Lama, a Shrink, and for goodness sake, don't tell me how many times your child had a bowel movement today. Use this platform to keep your presence, but don't be 'in your face all the time'. Be active and be involved with others within your followers. Ask, answer back, seek more, be interested about them. They are, after all, your followers and they can very easily become bored or overwhelmed by the land of ME.
Itsastitch, a fellow Etsian, was the person that brought out my first wake up call on Twitter. She is not shy and is willing to say COME ON ALREADY PEOPLE! She made a simple clean statement one day and I stepped back and thought...wow, she's got a really good point. If you are in the Etsy or Artfire type business, don't keep listing items and end it there. After a while, as noted above, people will become very bored with you and no longer click to look at your wonderfulness. Become engaged and involved and every once in a while, send a new listing or something you think they would like to see.
In summary, Social Networking is a wonderful tool and quite addictive and fun in a nutsy sort of way. Dedicate one hour at the max per day for social networking or you will lose focus of why you are doing it in the first place. There are some great features to see if your networking is actually doing you any good. Twitter Grader is one, Popuri will check your popularity and sites like Digg or Delicious will tell you your ranking amongst search engines and number of subscribers. Twitter Analyzer will give you analytics for pretty much everything and Socialmeter scans the major social sites to analyze a blogs social popularity. These are great tools to use to start a benchmark now and and then see where you are in a few months.
I hope this info will help you grow as a Social Networker and allow you to develop your skills in the right direction.