Social media frenzy

frenzyJUNE 2009 – As Mike Stelzner’s recent Social Media Marketing Industry Report reveals, I’m not the only person feeling nearly overwhelmed by the social media frenzy. It’s quite common for regular business people, not just teenagers, to spend 5–10 hours each week blogging, Linking, Facebooking, tweeting, and using other forms of social media. Now, if you approach social networking as a stress-relieving hobby, you might consider those hours an investment in renewed mental health, or an efficient way to build relationships with a wide, diverse network. But if you are using social media to broadcast a business message—in addition to fulfilling your regular obligations to traditional, print-based forms of communication—you may find yourself overwhelmed and wondering where the greatest ROI (Return On Involvement) is.

I’m wondering that myself. I’m new to social media. I joined Facebook less than a year ago when an old high school acquaintance asked me to confirm our friendship. I began tweeting just a few weeks ago out of curiosity. LinkedIn is probably my favorite network—it’s friendly and helpful, but always professional.

Then I signed up for the Social Media Success Summit 2009. The first three presenters were so passionate about social media and so clear about its benefits, that I was swept up in their enthusiasm. I sat through hours of presentations and took pages of notes. I downloaded the video and audio files the next day and re-listened to them during my commute. I updated my Facebook page, started tweeting regularly, and joined a few LinkedIn Groups. I was hooked.

Only time will tell if the time I’m investing will result in business growth, new friendships, heightened creativity, increased crankiness due to lack of sleep, or all of the above. Three weeks into the Summit, I can relay only these specifics: I’ve sold one book, I’ve received three positive comments on my website, and I’ve more than quadrupled my network, my followers, and my fans.

Whether those results turn out to be significant or not, I’m enjoying the frenzy for now!