Back when ’09 was shiny and new, I was already strapped in for a bumpy ride. 2008 had taken its toll, with nearly every client o’ mine on budget freeze and retainer accounts devolving to project-basis only. I opted to make use of the slow down to bone up on the emerging and increasingly relevant realm of social media. ‘Twas an important decision, indeed.
By March, I had two Twitter accounts, this blog and a valuable involvement with my ultimate laboratory of social media learning: the Social Media Connection website. I also started nurturing my LinkedIn account, launched a Facebook group and absorbed practical knowledge from any reputable source I could follow.
Between these social media commitments, my day/pay job and an expanded freelance business, I often found myself working triple normal hours during the anticipated “slow down.” As attested by timestamps on emails and status updates, I was often up and blogging…or writing copy…or editing video at 3:30 a.m. I lived a weekendless life much of this year. First and second quarters ’09 shall always be a sleepy, hazy blur in my memory. And if I were to calculate an hourly rate on those nutty-long days, I’m sure I’d be quite humbled.
It was totally worth it.
Considering what I do for a living, social media is essential. As a writer, I use social media to find and connect with readers, showcase my skills for potential clients and promote my career. When wearing my PR hat, I use social media to broadly, efficiently purvey client news and directly interact with those who want or need to know the latest. For marketing communications, I incorporate social media to give brands personality and build relationships and reputations. I love the immediacy and trackability. I love being able to shape messages directly and interact with audiences consistently. I love adding punch to traditional tactics and getting better results.
The good news is that clients also love these aspects of social media, and they often need someone like me to make it all happen. More marketing decision makers are admitting social media’s not a passing fancy, thus I’m starting 2010 with a nice roster of social media projects. Nearly 12 months of 3:30 a.m. start times, triple hours and lost weekends are bearing fruit.
If you want a more fruitful 2010, embrace social media. Inject your traditional and familiar marketing and PR efforts with an infusion of dynamic interactions. And if you need help to make that happen, let’s connect. I’d love to help take your small biz big time in Twenty-ten!
Happy New Year!