A Social Media Success Story

by Keri Honea on August 29, 2011

Social Media Success

Courtesy of TechAffect

Ah yes, it’s story-time with Content Solutions’ resident Social Media Butterfly, and this time, it’s about my personal business success story due to social media.

I’ve talked a lot about the importance of social media as of late, especially when it comes to search engine optimization. However, it’s hard to see exactly how important social media is for your business without seeing how beneficial simply using social media is outside of the search engine box. So, let me share how social media has helped me get where I am today.

Warning: There will be a lot of nerdspeak and revelations about what a huge gamer I am in the following discussion.

I have had a personal Twitter account since 2007, about a year before Twitter became mainstream with celebrities. I originally used it as a micro-blog feature on my personal blog, and I followed maybe four or five other people who were webcomic artists, just because they were funny. It was also around this time that I started to become a bit more important at the now non-existent Kombo.com, in that I moved up from a lowly copy editor into a content manager for the site. As a result, I started to chat more with the writers and other directors, and one place we all converged was on Twitter.

Around that time, Twitter was more of the conversational platform we see today and not a micro-blogging tool, so our discussions on Twitter were a lot like public chat rooms. This was also before Twitter removed the ability to see everybody’s replies (mentions) of Twitterers you were not following. So, I was able to see the Twitter IDs of several big names in the gaming industry and follow them to 1) see what they had to say about the gaming world and 2) to attempt to converse with them. It’s taken a couple of years of consistent tweeting and chatting, but I now have real, professional contacts in the gaming industry. When I went to E3 for the first time last summer, I had the opportunity to meet several people that I only talked to on Twitter, and the best part was, because I am such an active Tweeter, they knew who I was.

When Kombo dissolved, it was thanks to Twitter that I found a new gaming journalism job. In addition, when I started my Strategy Guide Reviews site, I had no contacts and no dedicated readers; all I had was my experience from Kombo, my friends in the gaming industry, and hopes that something would come out of the little site. Through Twitter, I made my first strategy guide publisher contact, and now I receive review copies of every strategy guide they publish. The other major publisher in the US was not on Twitter or even Facebook, so I tried contacting them for review copies the old-fashioned way—through an email contact form on their site. It was, as you can imagine, ignored. When the publisher joined Twitter, I immediately struck up a conversation with the social media manager, showed the company my website, and presented a few of my reviews. I am now on their press list for strategy guide review copies, I received the opportunity to formally meet them at E3 earlier this summer, and they promote my site on both Twitter AND Facebook. With those promotions and my own promotions on Twitter and my Facebook page, I have brought in a steady, consistent stream of readers. I’ve even been a guest on numerous gaming podcasts to discuss my site and my opinions on the gaming industry.

I now no longer pay for any strategy guides for my review site, which saves me hundreds of dollars every year! On top of that, the publishers now have a really cheap PR plan in place.

If you need another example of how social media has made me who I am, let this soak in: if it wasn’t for Twitter, I wouldn’t have THIS job at Content Solutions. (Come to think of it, that’s probably why I was ushered into the social media realm of the business.)

Without a doubt, I am a social media success story. I am living proof that you can improve your business by conversing on social media platforms. All it took was a few specific goals; for me it was

  • converse with gaming industry leaders,
  • obtain review copies of strategy guides from publishers, and
  • promote and grow my blog.

It also took a bit of motivation to make it all happen, which included

  • consistent blog posts,
  • a steady DAILY stream of conversational tweets, and (most importantly)
  • loving the purpose of the blog.

If I was able to improve my meager blog and my presence with the gaming industry just with Twitter, THINK about how much inexpensive PR you could achieve by creating a dedicated social manager position—or outsourcing your social media to experts—to promote your business and converse with customers and colleagues. It really is that simple, and with the current nature of social media, it won’t take nearly as long as it took for me to reap some benefits from being active on Twitter (a lot has changed in the last 4 years).

All it takes is for you to find your motivation and your goals for being involved in social media. You could easily have your own social media success story in a matter of months.

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