If you’re ready to create, strengthen or build upon your presence on the web then you’re going to need to make sure that your Social Media Briefcase is stocked with the right tools for you to succeed.
There is no “one right tool” for everyone. Every social media strategy is unique and a good strategy should also be malleable and prepared to quickly adapt to the landscape as it develops. The inability to adapt is the one sure way to ensure failure.
That being said, as you prepare to launch yourself into the great unknown the one thing you can do to prepare yourself is make sure you’re properly equipped.
The list below is by no means exhaustive, but it will definitely get you started on your way to staking claim to your own little section of the internet. While the three tools listed below may not be the only weapons in your arsenal they are sure to lay down enough cover fire to get you safely where you want to go.
Easily configurable, powerful and user friendly. Those are three of the most important things you can say about a content management system (CMS). Throw in Open Source and you start to understand why WordPress has become one of the most widely used publishing platforms on the planet. WordPress is perfect for the experienced user or even for the beginner, that’s what makes it so appealing to such a large audience of users. You can have the best CMS on the planet but if you don’t know how to use it or customize it’s worthless to you. WordPress is a rock solid foundation on which to start building your presence on the web.
Rob Dionne, Jacob Clark, Elizabeth Lupfer and Aaron Brazell. Besides using WordPress and being passionate about their product, what is the one thing that all of those people have in common? An idea. Each of them had the idea that they could leverage their brand and give themselves a voice. Each of them chose WordPress to amplify that voice to users all around the world.
If you want to know more about where WordPress came from you can get to know Matt Mullenweg, he’s the guy who developed the most popular Open Source CMS on the planet.
I almost don’t even know where to begin with Posterous. Posterous is one of the most innovative blogging platforms I’ve ever seen. I cannot say enough good things about it and I cannot imagine having any sort of mobile presence if Posterous didn’t make it so “drop dead simple”. That being said, for me, Posterous, at least at this point in time, isn’t quite what I’m looking for in a full-time blog.
I do use it full-time for my mobile blog at jamespoling.mobi and you can also see it embedded in my sidebar if you glance just a tiny bit to the right. Posterous makes me wish I traveled more just so I would have an excuse to exclusively use my mobile site for a while. Posterous not only makes posting on the go far simpler than anyone else has ever managed to make it, they go one step further than that and also post to all of your other social media sites to make sure everyone you now stays informed. And this isn’t a cheesy link just to get you to click back to Posterous, this is a full-fledged legitimate launching pad to populate virtually every social media tool you can imagine.
I rely on it to update my videos and photos to YouTube, Vimeo and Flickr as well as Twitter, Facebook and a few more. It can even populate your blog with complete posts if you want it to. If you are constantly on the go, or even if you just want a dead simple platform to give power to your voice, Posterous is something you definitely want to be in on.
This one has been flying under the radar a bit so you may not have heard of it. Twitter. All kidding aside, the amount of information available on Twitter that can fit into 140 characters is mind boggling.
The ideas, concepts and experiences flowing through the Twitter stream at any given moment is staggering. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of completely useless tweets that are a complete waste of time, but the wonderful thing is if you don’t follow them, you don’t have to be confronted with their stupidity on a daily basis.
If you join Twitter and worry about the amount of followers you have, you’re doing it wrong. Whenever I decide to follow someone I almost never look (or even care to look) at the amount followers they have. I want to know who they’re following. I want to know if they are on the same journey as I am. I want to know if they are using Twitter to make connections, to build awareness and to learn. If I am considering following someone and I check out who they’re following and it doesn’t impress me, that’s a deal breaker. I’m not trying to sound like an elitest, but I don’t have time for nonsense.
I’m not at all saying that every single tweet has to be profound or meaningful, but I want to know that everyone I am following is providing me with some sort of information that I otherwise would not be exposed to. And that is what makes Twitter so important. Never before has a person been able to surround themselves with CEOs, thought leaders, writers, artist and more and be exposed to their thoughts and their experiences in real time.