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Mike, the social media farmer

Being an active participant in the world of social media reminds me of gardening. First, you prepare the soil and plant some seeds. Then, you nurture the plants, giving them tender care and pulling any weeds that inhibit growth.

Some of your plants thrive. Others wilt away.

With help from some excellent teammates, I got my social media soil ready by (in this order) doing an RSS feed, audio podcast, blog, live online chats, YouTube channel, Twitter feed, Facebook profile, group and page, and Blogtalkradio program. I also tried several other social media practices. Some at work; some personal.

I planted seeds by following and friending people in areas of importance to me — public relations, marketing, social media, cancer research and the like. I nurtured them by doing posts and status updates — a mix of personal and professional information. I tried to provide info that would be of use to followers and help them get to know me better. I commented on their posts and updates, and tried to offer encouragement and helpful information.

I continue to weed by unfollowing or hiding those who distract me from good use of my increasingly limited time. Sometimes, I find I made a mistake and replant them in my social media garden.

The harvest started almost from the beginning. I’ve made literally dozens of good friends and business contacts. I’ve learned a great deal from some generous and highly intelligent people.

The process never ends. Just call me Mike, the social media farmer.

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