Monday, July 30, 2012

5 steps to building social media presence from scratch

Gone are the days when imparting knowledge was the primary work of a teacher. Today’s teachers need to be able to support their students in knowing how to effectively connect, communicate, collaborate, cooperate, and create. This means that to prepare today’s youth for success in the world, educators must become savvy users of social media. Opting out of online worlds which students can use to change the world, is no longer an acceptable option for teachers.  

But getting started can be scary.

The video below features my interview with Author Learning Center where I share ideas for how authors, and really anyone, can begin to build their social media presence.  Below the video are the ideas spelled out with a focus on education for innovative educators who are interested in developing a robust online presence and start connecting with others who share their ideas.

5 steps to building social media presence from scratch

  1. Don’t be afraid of zero - We have to start somewhere and when it comes to social media, that means starting at zero. That’s okay. Take that first step and join the biggies like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. Start a blog and don’t worry about not having any followers. You’ll start at zero, but it won’t be long before your connections reach the double and triple digits.
  2. Find your people - Who cares about what you care about? Each social media service has a way to connect with those who share your interests.  Do a search for groups or tags that relate to your areas of interest.
  3. Look around - Once you find people who care about what you care about, look around. See what the norms are. This is called lurking. Read. Learn. Think. Reflect.
  4. Join the conversation - Reply to tweets.  Respond to posts. Share ideas. Let people know what you are thinking. Build your network.
  5. Collaborate and create - Invite your network to join you in the creation of great things using online collaboration resources. For example, find others who are interested in doing what you are doing and write an article together using Google Docs, make a presentation together using Prezi, create a book using Flickr, work on your school curriculum map with Google spreadsheets.

Following these five steps will not only help you find those who share your passions and interests, but it will also lead to you (or your students) establish yourself as a leader in the field.  The resume is a 20th century relic. Sure, you can have that one dimensional representation of who you are, but what will set you apart from the rest is the online persona you actively create and the connections you make in your network.


  1. Excellent ideas that I plan to use with students, teachers, and parents alike in my class this fall.

  2. These 5 steps are the essentials to building a social media presence. I started my own business that offers hair salon training courses and I was always conscious of how many followers I had. However, you have to start at zero to be able to increase. Your steps are the core of how to grow but I also think that patient is also an important step! With patients and hard work your business will flourish. Thank you.


  3. It's been said that what you won't do today can affect you tomorrow, a great relation to your point of starting at zero. Many people today who opt to start a presence online forget that essentially you have to BUILD a persona it doesn't just happen automatically. Also with all the competition and different markets out there, you have to solidify yourself to a certain group that shares your interest and provide them with great value. As were all looking for a way to grow through social media I think these steps set the foundation for a great beginning. Great post!

    ~Innovation Creates Change~

  4. Lisa Nielsen has a point. Everything starts from scratch, and that includes building connections. Although there are times when you feel a little disappointed with the lack of followers and audience, just continue to give out fresh and innovative features that will attract users. Soon, people will follow your site.