You fully understand that rung #1 of the ladder is spamming and you've gotten past rung #2, noise.
You get it -- that in order to really make a dent in the social grid, you have to get folks engaged. You need to get a response -- to get noticed.
In the travel industry, we have been the eCommerce Pioneers of the world. In fact, that is the name of my first book, published in 2001 But a web site isn't enough.
So as you move on to try to learn the plethora of social media tools, you now are challenged with how to get past using those same tools on the rung #1 and rung #2 level and to figure out how to get a RESPONSE.
Quite often, the first step is following the big boys, the leaders of the social media pack.
You read their blogs, you comment, you try to get noticed for your clever observations. You join Digg, Disqus, Reddit, Newsvine and others and post your comments and even check that you want to "follow the dialogue". But the transom is silent.
So you get a little more narrow and see who is Tweeting about travel, or perhaps about your destination, your property or about a genre such as adventure travel or cruising. The best way to do this is to go to http://www.search.twitter.com and search for keywords using the "hash tag" or # sign. #Barbados will yield everyone that is talking about Barbados in real time on Twitter.
Once you find the active, social media stars that are frequently posting about what you are interested in, you "retweet" their posts on Twitter. You also shift your strategy to retweeting the posts of people that you know and follow.
You comment on their YouTube videos and even venture out into doing video comments.
Perhaps you are bold enough to launch your own blog or post articles on eZine.com. You even add a Google FriendFeed to your blog to give the hordes a way to signal their response.
While you are pursuing relationship and engagement, which is better than noise,
at this juncture, what you are still doing says loud and clear, "Listen to me! I matter!". It simply isn't enough to just talk or to hope that you can elicit a response.
Getting past the response stage takes time and energy. Getting to dialogue isn't easy, but the good news is that it is possible.
Stay tuned. We're going there next.
Chicke Fitzgerald | founder Solutionz Media and CEO Solutionz Group www.solutionz.com
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