Three Social Media Lessons Learned

There is no learning like hands on learning. Books, seminars, or cocktail discussions are valuable, but it cannot compare to what you learn by rolling up your sleeves and doing something yourself.

In that light, here are three things I have learned through my increased involvement in social media and starting this blog seven months ago.

Find the UnexpectedNo one is so brave that he is not disturbed by something unexpected.  Julius Caesar

Until I actively engaged in social media, you could not anticipate the type of return I would see. The real results from my social media involvement have nothing to do with numbers. Not only has it exceeded my expectations, the return has come in areas I never considered.

Over the last few months, I have had exposure to pre-launch initiatives from a number of companies, including Bizo’s Switchboard, which I was able to share here the day it was released.

I have developed new industry relationships, some with people I have had tremendous respect for over the years, but who hardly knew I existed before. I’m awed by this democratizing power of social media.

Part of my top secret personal wish list at the launch of this blog: I hoped to have 10,000 page views in my first year (I hit that in less than six months), and I thought it would be cool if my Klout score could get to 40 (it is in the 60’s today).

Relationships are Key

Social media is social. I can tie every single benefit I have had to other people. People like you that have pushed me, challenged me and supported me.

The people that have unknowingly encouraged me, through their participation here and discussions we have had across social media, have been great. Without you, I would not have seen the benefits of social media and may not have continued through the first six months.

I can’t say this without saying thanks to Michael Brenner (@brennermichael). When I was wondering if I would ever see this blog get a comment from someone I didn’t know or help make a new connections, Michael encouraged me, and since then I have met a number of people through Michael. So Michael, thank you.

There are many others as well, people that today push me, challenge me, inspire me and keep me in line. Here are just a few of them: Maureen Blandford (@maureenB2B), Allison Aldridge-Saur (@aldsaur) and Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu (@mediasres).

If you are not already following the four people mentioned above, you should.

You Can Create Content

My objectives when I started this blog included a personal one: become a better writer. I do not know if I have accomplished it, but writing is easier than it was seven months ago.

Content is one of the biggest challenges in B2B marketing. If I can write content that has created dialogue and helped to forge relationships, you can too. What this taught me is the biggest challenge isn’t content, it is reorganizing marketing to reflect the priority of content.

Your Turn

What have you learned through your involvement in social media? Or if you prefer, what should I be doing differently? Please share your comments below or with me on Twitter (@wittlake).

About Eric Wittlake

I am a digital and B2B marketer with a background in online media and analytics. I work with B2B clients on media and integrated marketing programs. You can connect with me on Twitter at @wittlake or in the comments here on my Digital B2B Marketing blog.

6 Responses to Three Social Media Lessons Learned

  1. Eric,

    It is truly an honor for me to be recognized as someone who supported and encouraged you!

    I remember when I first encountered your blog, your Twitterstream, and your approach to Triberr like it was just yesterday. I like to say that if Life is short, then our business lives are much shorter! You embrace this with each and everything you share and I really respect that.

    You have inspired more of my own blog articles than any other source due to your unique and often provocative view of the world of digital marketing. I think I have even called you my muse!

    So thank YOU for the honor and please DO keep it up!

    Best, Michael

  2. Lisa Kanarek says:

    Hi Eric-

    I could relate to all three points, especially the one about relationships. I’ve lost track of the number of friendships and business relationships that were the result of social media. Whether it’s a new project (I’m co-authoring my next book) or corporate tie-ins (I’m the media spokesperson for Brother), social media has propelled my business to its current level. The main lesson I’ve learned from social media is that when you connect with others, it’s a win/win situation that helps everyone achieve their goals. Congrats on your success, BTW. 🙂

    • Thanks Lisa! I always paid lip service before to valuing relationships, but I didn’t fully appreciate the value until I took the time to get involved and invest in those relationships.

  3. I have also been on a mission to push the limits of social by experimenting with content approach. I have been developing visual content that targets a specific niche audience, as well as content for the broad social/ tech audience, and playing around with release and promotion on social platforms such as twitter, stumble upon, etc. vs. on specific relevant, influential blogs, allowing social activity to harvest itself on that 3rd party site. I find both approaches very valuable depending on the piece of content. To add to your post, I have found my Klout in the 50s of late, mostly thanks to personal influential friends and followers who participate in my virtual conversation.

    • Awesome. Have you shared any information about how different types of content work for you and your promotions are different for each? If so, please share a link, would love to see that!

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