Some have written asking for a basic understanding of social media as it relates to personal histories or telling their life story. My other site at Http://LeonardSipes.Com provides comprehensive overviews but I’ll take a brief stab as to some answers here.
Some see the opportunity to tell their story as part of a social media site; they have issues important to them and their life histories. Telling their story is simply a way of advancing their personal beliefs.
A problem in social media is a lack of authenticity. People “do” social media because they think it’s going to benefit themselves or their organizations “but” they forget that social is largely dependent on people seeing the real you. Social sites often lack personality and believability.
Telling your story through social media is a powerful way of getting your message to others. People “buy” your cause because people “buy” you. But people have incomplete or unrealistic perceptions as to what social media is and does.
What is social media? You offer unique materials and perspectives that no one is doing. They come to you either because you do it better than anyone else or you are the only game in town. Where other sites are passive and boring, yours is passionate and vivid. Whose site is most likely to attract visitors?
What’s the purpose? To make money; to get donations; to increase membership; to gain influence. If you’re not doing one of those four things, don’t do social media unless it’s a hobby and you get personal satisfaction from the interactions.
Do you have sufficient resources? It will cost a minimum of $500.00 for a top-notch website and $1,000 to $2,000 for a video and audio presence (yes, I know plenty of organizations who have paid much more). It will take a lot of time learning how to put it all together. Hiring people to do it for you is sometimes the only way to accomplish your goals. E-mail is still the heart and soul of most social sites so an e-mail client is crucial.
What are the goals? Making sufficient money; getting sufficient donations; gaining influence; increasing members. Yep, all I’m doing is restating the “Purpose” section above.
How do we measure success? If you’re spending $2,000 in social media efforts and not getting $2,000 in new donations or sales or membership, you need to evaluate whether or not to continue. Influence is harder to measure. Personal satisfaction is self-guided.
There are endless books, courses and tools on social media and most of the best are listed on the front page of Http://LeonardSipes.Com. Or you can use this or other personal history sites to create a presence. But authentic social media sites are somewhat rare and you do have an opportunity to engage audiences in a special way.
Just understand that it will take a lot of hard work on your part and a minimum of a year (probably more) to engage an audience.