Social Media Framework

If you’re trying to establish a presence online, it’s difficult to know where to start. Facebook or Twitter? Is blogging worth my while? What the heck is Google+?

I’ve recently been reading Platform by Michael Hyatt, which is a must-read for anyone who has a something to say or sell in today’s world. Hyatt gives a practical guide for establishing a solid platform online, and as the chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers and a successful author and blogger, he knows his stuff.

He points to Chris Brogan’s “simple presence framework” as an effective way to think about your online platform. Here’s a summary:

  1. Home base. This is where you spend most of your time. Where you own the content. This is where you hope people will eventually come to interact most with you, and is your best place to promote you product or share your message. In many cases this is a blog or website.
  2. Outposts. These are places where you don’t own the content, but have an established presence and engage in conversation. They’re important for making connections and gently guiding people towards your home base. These are sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+ etc.
  3. Passports. Even if you don’t want to establish an outpost at all the social media sites out there, Brogan recommends getting a passport (i.e. registered profile) at all of them, even if you don’t want to be a contributing community member at this point. He provides a handy list of sites you might want to check out.

Over and above these three, Brogan recommends “listening first.” It’s important to understand where conversations are happening, which blogs are important to follow for your industry, and what is being said about topics that interest you. Listening first will help determine where to invest your energy online.

This framework suggests that the most important place to start in building your online presence is a strong home base, and working outward from there.

What’s your experience? Are you following this strategy, or do you have a different way of attacking social media?

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