29 Social Media Leaps of Faith

Social Media: If You Build It They Will Come—Maybe

A social media leap of faith gets you to stop lurking and jump into the social media conversation. By participating on one or more platforms, you exercise your go-with-your-gut intuition to make a pay-it-forward contribution to the community.

The most important piece of advice for leapers is to remember that whatever you post on social media is part of your permanent digital footprint. So don’t say or write anything in haste that you may regret later. Remember others are paying attention, even if you don’t think so.

In honor of Leap Day 2012, here are twenty-nine leaps of faith to help you build your social media presence and activity.

  1. Create a profile on a social media platform. Take the first step towards establishing a social media presence.
  2. Take a peak-a-boo approach. Show your face with a photograph in your gravatar and/or profile. Personalize your profile and show who you are. Others won’t trust you if you leave your profile and avatar blank.
  3. Think informational strip tease. Reveal some information about yourself but don’t necessarily let it all hang out. Remember to keep private information private!
  4. Adjust your privacy settings. Decide where you draw the line on your personal information.
  5. Build your social media tribeInvite family, friends and colleagues to join you on various social media platforms.
  6. Share an article on social media. Extend relevant content’s reach by letting your social graph know about it. Go a step further and give it some useful context.
  7. Like a product, company or group. Show your support with a simple click. Many consumers do this just for the discounts and promotions.  (Here’s some research on the value of a like.)
  8. Wish someone a Happy Birthday. Everyone loves to have their birthday and other special events remembered.
  9. Be the hostess and introduce social media colleagues to each other. You can do this with friends or to help someone networking for a job or other need.
  10. Give a shout out to someone you respect. This can be a FollowFriday (#FF) or other way of highlighting someone. Related to this, don’t forget to attribute content to the original creator.
  11. Get help by asking a question. This is a great way to get involved and learn the power of the social media community. Use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and/or Quora.
  12. Answer questions on a bulletin board or other social media platform. Reach out and help others with your knowledge of a field.
  13. Recommend former colleagues and bosses on LinkedIn. Take time to help your coworkers with meaty comments.
  14. Share interesting photographs. Let people know what’s happening in your life via Flickr, Instagram and Facebook. Go a step further and allow others to use your content.
  15. Review products to help others with their buying decisions. Use the retailer’s site or a third party site, such as Amazon, Yelp or TripAdvisor. This doesn’t mean that you should add bogus comments to tout your own products!
  16. Live tweet a conference or meeting. Share the best twitter bait and insights presented by using relevant hashtags.
  17. Live blog a conference or other event. Let others benefit from the information being shared and add your own comments. Remember you can do this for the organizer or other entity, not just your own blog.
  18. Participate in a Twitter chat. While many members of a chat just lurk and watch the stream of tweets, at a minimum, introduce yourself.
  19. Comment on a blog post. Let the blogger know how you feel about their article. Remember to keep it polite. And keep it both substantive and short.
  20. Contribute a guest post to a blog. This step is a bigger commitment because it means taking the time to craft a full post. It’s a great way to test the blogging waters and/or to support your business.
  21. Start a blog. This is a bigger commitment than most of the other options. It requires showing up on a regular basis and creating useful content.
  22. Link to other bloggers’ content in your blog. Give your readers additional background information.
  23. Respond to comments on your blog posts. Let readers know you’re involved in the conversation. Go beyond “Thank you for commenting.”
  24. Share a presentation you gave on a slidesharing site. Let others learn from you. Don’t forget to include your contact details. If it’s work-related, make sure your it follows your organization’s social media guidelines including the rules covering confidential information.
  25. Write an ebook to share your knowledge. Pay-it-forward by teaching others.
  26. Make a video to share how-to lessons or entertain. Expand your media presence with your own television network.
  27. Get out from behind your computer to attend a meetup. Don’t overlook the real time connections you can create using Meetup.
  28. Curate content on a specific topic. Use products like paper.li to create regular emailings.
  29. Create a set of social media guidelines for your organization. Let your employees participate on social media platforms. Ensure that they’re playing by the rules you set.

Regardless of what you decide to do on social media, the hardest part is taking the first step no matter how small or how large.

There are lots of other leaps of faith an individual, business or organization can take. What would you add to this list?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Here are some related articles on how to take a social media leap of faith.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/leafbug/5064154026/

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  • http://twitter.com/drsuzyyhall dr suzyy hall

    I’m an Ob/Gyn ‘taking the leap’ into Social Media for patient education.  As physicians, we spend a large part of our time counselling patients on their medical concerns, answering questions, and educating… I dediced, ‘Why not share this information by Social Media?”  I’m enjoying my new venture, but I must admit, it has been a process of self-education!

    From those of us new to Social Media,  Thanks for your Tips/Lists.  As a first time viewer of your site, it’s obvious how comprehensive your content is!

    I’m following your everywhere :)

    @drsuzyyhall:disqus 
    Gynecologist with ‘Simple Answers to Everyday GYN Health Concerns’
    twitter @drsuzyyhall @GynoGroupie:twitter 

  • Anonymous

    Dr Suzyy– Good luck with your educational project! Medical education is a challenging topic for social media. Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen

  • http://notordinaryblogger.com/ Okto

    “Remember others are paying attention, even if you don’t think so” … your statement is so encouraging me!

    I have experience about this. At first time it is hard to get any attention from social media users but then I start to find out how …

    “Share some love”. What I mean is show them that you pay the “first attention” then they all will pay attention on you. It works on me, I believe it will works for other’s too.

    Thanks for the post Heidi

  • http://www.epoff.com/ Elizabeth

    This is a great list and makes so much sense.  I think it’s hard to make that first leap off the ledge.  I’m trying to get a friend and former colleague to get on some of the social sites so she can network a little more.  I was so pleased that she started a LinkedIn and Twitter account…but no picture yet.  I remember I didn’t want my face out there but then realized making my posts personalized really helped.  Do you have any further advice to give someone who’s still shy about putting her photo out there?  Do you see any real disadvantages to doing it?

    • http://riversidemarketingstrategies.com/ Heidi Cohen

      Elizabeth–

      I totally agree it’s tough to take the first small step. The more you think about it the harder it can be. Like jumping in a swimming pool, sometimes you just have to hold your nose and jump.

      As for posting photographs, I can appreciate that it’s a difficult choice. I can see when there are times when it can be dangerous or against one’s religion in which case I wouldn’t recommend it.

      Please understand that putting yourself on social media can open you to good experiences and bad. If you have any concerns, you should do more research and make an informed decision rather than following the crowd.

      Happy marketing,
      Heidi Cohen