Short Version of My Story

Today I tell some of my own story and share some of my own social media strategy.

This article is about an idea that was planted in my head and how I nurtured that idea. The article is slightly longer than usual, so please hang in there with me.

Creative problem solving has been a forte of mine since my teen years as a math whiz and chess champion. Once I began employment, I applied my problem solving capabilities to helping companies improve their business processes and getting a better handle on many different types of business and scientific data.

Thirty years into my career I learned about the social media and Web 2.0 revolution from Time Magazine’s BIG December 2006 cover story, Time’s Person of the Year: You. I saw that, while I could no longer be one of the earliest adopters of social media, it wasn’t at all too late to position myself near the forefront of this enormous trend.

I had previously experienced and benefited to a small degree from online social networking and social networking sites such as Ryze and Direct Matches, but the Time article opened my eyes to possibilities greater than I’d previously imagined. I decided in January 2007, after reading the Time article, to master social media and to watch and see where that mastery would lead me.

Online Social Networking

Rather than try to master all social media at one time, I instead focused only on online networking and developed a first version of my online social networking strategy. These early conclusions, I based on my observations at MySpace, Direct Matches and Yuwie, social websites I have since rejected.

By September 2007, I was contemplating my next step.

Blogging and SEO

At MySpace and Yuwie I experimented with blogging. The next step was to start an independent blog, and I chose Wordpress.org as my platform in connection with web hosting at Go Daddy.

Before launching my Online Social Networking blog I spent months reading about blogging and search engine optimization, as well as conducting keyword research. The time invested paid off. I got started right, and keyword research become an important skill for me, as well.

I began blogging in November 2007 and devoted a year to learning how to write, promote and optimize my online publication. By October 2008 I no longer viewed myself as a novice blogger.

At present Online Social Networking has more than 350 Feedburner subscribers, receives 2,000+ search visits per month, and is ranked by Alexa in the top 100,000 websites.

Ning Social Networks and Twitter

First Ning networks and then Twitter captured my attention. These two social media platforms are powerful and growing rapidly in popularity.

Just as I’d done with my online social networking strategy, search engine optimization and blogging, I set out to master Ning and Twitter, writing articles on each that have since been read many times and featured by top news sites.

@larrybrauner on Twitter has 20,000+ followers, and thousands of users have already visited my blog.

“One Bite at a Time” Works

The key to my progress is internal motivation coupled with focus.

Rather than go off in too many directions and spread myself thin, I’ve applied the 80/20 Rule, taking one bite at a time out of the social media giant. This strategy has worked well for me and will work well for others too.

It’s March 2009. What will my next bite be?

FacebookStay tuned, but Facebook is at the top of my social marketing list, and along the way, I’m building my social media brand, helping clients, and looking for new ones.

We’ve now reached the point in the article where you subscribe to my blog and join my Facebook business page. ;-)

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web. See also my Disclosure Policy regarding affiliations and compensation.

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15 Responses to “Social Media One Bite at a Time”

  1. Dave Gilliland on March 1st, 2009 8:24 pm

    Great advice.

    I tried to add you to my feed.

    Sorry, don’t know if I did or not. Working on it.

  2. Debbie Morgan on March 2nd, 2009 1:01 am

    Hi Larry!

    Thanks for the history lesson. I think I jumped into your story during your Ning days. Thanks for being there with your insight.

    Deb

  3. Larry Brauner on March 2nd, 2009 3:11 am

    Hi Deb,

    This is more than a history lesson. It’s insight into how I went from a social media nobody to a social media thinker and leader.

    You can see in practical terms the role that determination and focus play in major achievements.

    Thank you for your consistent participation in the conversation on this blog.

  4. Kunal on March 2nd, 2009 5:23 am

    Hey Larry,

    Some really great tips for others like me who are starting out with their social media careers. I always look forward to your twitter updates.

  5. The Divine Miss White on March 2nd, 2009 7:45 pm

    Well I read this on the right day - thank you for this very affirming read.

  6. Debbie Kessler on March 3rd, 2009 1:30 am

    Larry, you are so right to lead us by example. Keep up the good work and be our mentor!

  7. Mike Foster on March 5th, 2009 3:15 am

    Hey Larry,

    I consider you a social networking expert and I enjoy your blog quite a bit. I would be honored if you watched my latest music video called Social Networking Blues and let me know what you think.

    Peace,
    Mike
    @livelife365

  8. Debra on March 5th, 2009 11:50 am

    Hi Larry,

    Tell us more about why you left Yuwie and MySpace, please.

  9. Larry Brauner on March 5th, 2009 1:26 pm

    Hi Debra,

    Great to hear from you!

    Let me clarify one thing first. When I say that I have largely abandoned Yuwie and MySpace, I mean that they are no longer part of my overall social networking strategy, and not that I never log into them.

    I left them primarily because the options they offer for communicating with a large following are ineffective.

    A second reason is that both sites have annoyingly high levels of user spam.

    And finally Yuwie’s ads make site navigation quite a chore.

    I haven’t closed the door on Yuwie and MySpace forever, but for now, Twitter, Ning and perhaps Facebook are more appealing to me.

  10. CyberCelt on March 8th, 2009 10:32 am

    It was a pleasure to read your methodical progress to social networking success. You should write an e-book.

    All the best.

  11. Larry Brauner on March 8th, 2009 10:36 am

    Thank you.

    The main problem with writing an e-book on social media is that by the time you finish, it’s already outdated. :-)

  12. Irish Leprechaun on March 24th, 2009 8:42 am

    The traffic I get from social media is far more certain and personal than from any other means. Its the traffic I can rely upon and that is worth gold (quite literally) to me.

  13. Phil Johncock on May 24th, 2009 11:09 pm

    Larry … thanks for sharing your story. How refreshing to have someone my age also diving into Internet marketing and social media. You’re an inspiration! I loved hearing how you are using Ning sites and applying your genius at problem solving to social networking. Three questions for you …

    1) What specifically about keyword research helped it become an important area of competence … like online social networking?

    2) What are the primary ways you’ve been able to make money using online social networking?

    3) What advice would give for people of our generation for why they should get interested in social networking sooner rather than later?

    Thanks!

    Phil Johncock

  14. Larry Brauner on May 25th, 2009 10:37 pm

    Thank you for your questions Phil.

    Keyword Research

    As I indicated in The Long Tail and Social Media, search-ability of social media adds long term value to your content.

    Keyword research helps you choose your wording so that you maximize the number of search visitors who view your content.

    Sometimes a small adjustment in wording will make a huge difference in traffic.

    Monetization

    The main ways that I make money using online social networking and social media are through selling my services as a web marketing consultant and through affiliate sales.

    Advice for the Baby Boomer Generation

    Social networking online is more convenient than attending offline networking meetings, and you can meet people from all over the world.

    It also provides for richer communication than e-mail.

    See my blog’s site map for a listing of all my articles.

  15. Gevril Group Launches Social Media and Web Marketing Initiative | Online Social Networking on November 28th, 2010 7:10 pm

    […] social media one bite at a time the past few years was an effective strategy for me, as the needs of my small number of clients […]

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