In this blog I will explain how you can take your self from zero to hero in the world of social media. The four steps I will go through are listen, share, comment, blog.

The first thing you need to do is listen.
Listening means understanding what it is people are talking about in your chosen area. This could involve:

  • Setting up searches for key words around your business and your competitors. You can do this through a third-party tool such as Hootsuite which sets up feeds around your keyword on your chosen social network
  • Set up Google alerts around your key words which will pick up new mentions of the key words on websites, blogs forums etc
  • Creating a list of RSS feeds that you monitor through something like Google reader

When you listen you will start to get a feel for what it is people are saying and the topics which are of interest to people in your area of business.

The next level of engagement is to start to share ideas with people in your network that you have found through your listening exercises above. You can do this in a some of the ways I have listed below:

  • Like people’s posts on Facebook
  • Retweet people’s Twitter posts you like
  • Post links to interesting articles and blog posts you find
  • Create play lists on YouTube with video lists you like or think others may find helpful and post links to the lists elsewhere

After you have formed an opinion about what you like and dislike you may want to take it the next level by giving people feedback as to what you thought of the article/blog/tweet. People who write blogs want to know what their readers think (HINT HINT!!). Preferably good (from an authors point of view) but constructive criticism is just as useful. If someone states an opinion then is it perfectly acceptable for you to oppose that opinion in a polite professional way.

When you have more thoughts and opinions in your head that you want to share with the world then you might want to think of starting a blog. A blog is a great idea if you want to establish your self as someone who is a thought leader within your industry. If you are the MD or sales director a blog could be a great idea to share ideas about best practices which can establish yourself as someone who is shaping the next evolution of the products in the future.

In summary the purpose of this blog was to give you an overview of the four steps from zero to hero. There is no timescales to complete this process, you can take it at your own speed. It could take you a couple of days or it could take years. If you follow these steps it wont be long before you are blogging your way to your target audience and becoming the industry thought leader you want to be.

What things have you done to get yourself up to speed on business social networking? Is there any advice you can give or steps that you think are relevant that I haven’t included in this blog?

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