This is interview with social media maven Amy Vernon. Amy is well-known on social media sites such as Digg, Mixx, Twitter and Stumble Upon. She has been on the front lines of old media as it morphed into new media. You can read more about her on her linkedin profile.
The prime motivation for this Interview is to enhance the social media experience for average users, so they can do better on these social media sites.
1) Tell us something about yourself?
I was a newspaper reporter and editor for nearly 20 years before I was laid off last year. Oddly, that was the best thing to ever happen to me, career-wise. I also have two little boys, who love having a mommy who works from home now.
2) What’s your definition of social media? Is it more clicks on a page or does it mean something more?
It’s far more than clicks on a page. Sometimes, that’s not even the point. If you are a major corporation, social media may be about customer relations. That said, for most people in social media, more clicks on a page may be the ultimate goal of social media, but that’s not what it’s about.
The first thing to remember about social media is that it’s SOCIAL. If you want anyone to do something for you, you need to be ready to do things for other people. It’s really just good old-fashioned networking, just done online and with far more people than you might have had access to a few years ago.
It’s all about building relationships.
3) What’s the first baby step you’d suggest for newbie’s?
Depends on the particular network, but it all comes down to getting the lay of the land – you’ve got to settle into the community before you should expect results of any kind.
On a Digg-type site, vote and comment on submissions for a while before you start submitting content. On Twitter, don’t just tweet about yourself or your site. Retweet content you find interesting, engage people in conversation.
Again, build relationships before you even think about results.
4) Twitter, Digg, Reddit or StumbleUpon? Which one do you support most? We love diplomatic answers as well.
Honestly, I use all four, but Twitter, Digg and SU the most. I have bursts of activity on Reddit, though, where I get into the swing of it.
Digg was my first social media site, though, so I’ll always have a special place for it, and Twitter has become wholly addictive and is quite fun. I find more interesting and fun content that way.
5) Has Twitter been a game-changer for social media?
Absolutely. I honestly think the tipping point was when Zaibatsu was banned from Digg. Let’s face it. When Z puts his mind to it, he’s a force to be reckoned with. Unlike many folks who were banned, he never tried to come back. He went to Twitter and in just a few short months, everyone on Digg was suddenly on Twitter and it had become almost impossible to get something to the FP of Digg without it going out on Twitter.
That’s not to say there haven’t been other major players, but it’s an awfully big coincidence that Twitter started having an outsized effect on Digg not long after Z made the switch.
6) 5 do’s for a social media expert?
¢ Remember the phrase starts with “social”
¢ Help others whenever possible
¢ Have the same username on all your accounts; less confusing for your contacts that way. For example, I’m AmyVernon virtually everywhere.
¢ Always fill out your bio. Let people know who you are.
¢ Use your real name. I think one of the things that’s helped me, actually, is that I am who I am and haven’t used some cutesy fake name. I’m not going to engage in behavior that’s going to get me banned, because it’s my name and reputation at risk, and I think people realize that.
7) 5 don’ts for a social media expert?
- Don’t call yourself an expert. Honestly, no one’s an “expert” in social media, because it changes almost daily. I jokingly call myself a social media maven-in-progress, but I’m not even sure I like that.
- Don’t pretend to understand things you don’t. If someone wants your advice on a topic you don’t really know about, reach out to your network and link that person up with someone who is an “expert” in the field. Both people will remember that and appreciate it.
- Don’t be a spammer – it’s about quality (or, at least, amusing) content, and people will start getting annoyed if you’re asking for help on a half-dozen things each day.
- Don’t use scripts or engage in other behavior that can get you banned. It’s not worth it.
- Don’t be a jerk.
8) Last words?
Honestly, just be genuine.
Editor’s note : Thanks Amy for taking out your valuable time. As Amy stated social media is all about being social. So Instead of self promotion start digging, tweeting about interesting stuff. Don’t forget to maintain your identity by using same avatar and same handle (Nickname) everywhere.
Don’t forget to check out earlier social media articles on shoutmeloud:
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