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Lessons Learned in Social Media

 To kick off 2012 I wrote an article for agency personnel getting started with social media.  As I was reading over the edits to the article I thought this might be helpful also for our small busness community looking to step into the social network.  I'm in no way an expert as some of you proably have figured out.  I'm still in the learning curve and adapting to the changing cultures of each site.  I make mistakes with URL's, editing and more but I'm here trying to give what I can every day to make a difference for small businesses.  I'm growing with you and hoping that every moment I spend trying to improve the quality of your GSA experience will make a difference.  Enjoy the blog post below...

My mission at GSA is to help connect small businesses with federal contracting opportunities. The more people who follow my blog posts and tweets, the more likely I am to get critical information into the hands of the folks who need it most.

Social media tools have extended our reach, but we still need to think hard about how we communicate, and what we communicate. To me, that means not only knowing my audience, but also keeping them engaged.

You may find that posting about a procurement gets little to no response, while posting a FYI to a forthcoming procurement increases your following very quickly.  Adding a link to a general site or a link to the actual place to register for an event gets a different response. 

Some of it is hit and miss but one thing is certain: people are more and more about total service.  Make it as easy as possible for them to access what they need right now!  They don’t want to read, learn and then do.  What your followers want is direct access to move forward.  This requires a lot of effort, but meeting the needs of my followers is also extremely rewarding, as this is why our office was created in the first place.

Providing the best resources, information and access possible will not only improve the quality of your post, it will also improve the quality of the groups that follow you.  Which would you rather have, 10,000 followers who only followed you because you follwed them, or far fewer who actually utilize the information in your posts?

Social media has become more about numbers and less about quality.  There’s too much “you follow me and I’ll follow you back.” These folks may have good numbers, but too often they’re not contributing much. I’m more interested in attracting followers who are genuinely interested in using the information in my posts to reach their destination. That’s being real and making a difference, and where I see the real potential of social media.

If your next step is registering on a site to join the social network, I hope this article will help you provide informaiton that is relevant and helpful to the people you want to connect with.

Christy Jackiewicz

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