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A Hard Sell? Social Media and Your Boss – Part 2 Becoming an Expert

by Shashi Bellamkonda on March 10, 2009

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On Saturday March 14th at 3:30pm Raj Malik and I are presenting a Core Conversation “A Hard Sell? Social Media & Your Boss” at SXSW in Austin. Raj is one of our resident legal Gurus at Network Solutions for Social Media and I do not tire from telling people that I am the Social Media Swami at Network Solutions. Steve Fisher and Jill Foster will also be at SXSW. Looking forward to meeting you folks there.  Please swing by for the panel session.  It should be fun!

This is the second post in the series of blog posts with the session as a theme.

When you start evangelizing social media in your company people would expect you to be the resident social media expert.  It is important that you have a solid understanding of the social media landscape before you make the hard push to get internal approval for the company to adopt social media.  The reason why is that you need to be prepared for the inevitable questions that will come from everywhere and the peanut gallery about something so and so heard that their brother’s friend’s 13 year old’s school teacher said about the perils of Twitter and Yelp.

Here are some items to get you going on your path to acquiring the social media knowledge you will need:

Use the tools

1) Learn and practice on the tools even if you are spending  your own time doing so.

2) You should  blog about your interests – sports, shopping, reading, drawing, music, travel etc.

3) Test out Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and maybe a few other social networks and forums.

4) At Network Solutions, I joined Facebook as soon as they opened to non-students, joined Linkedin in the early stages and started blogging in 2005 well before my push to convince the powers that be at NetSol to embrace social media.

Find other Enthusiasts/partners in crime inside and outside the company who are social media enthusiasts.

1) Talk to people who have similar interests.

2) At Network Solutions our friends have blogs like http://www.thebarleyblog,com and http://www.timelooptheory.com , even today we ask these colleagues for advice.

3) Ask questions on Linkedin in when you need community advice

4) I have been a member of community forums like Webmasterworld for a long time

Invest time in attending offline events, meet-ups

1) In Washington DC, I would attend the XML-usergroup  or NOVAJUG ( Northern Virginia java user group)

2) Today you can check on local events at upcoming.org or meetup.com or socialmediaclub.com

Using the tools yourself gives you the confidence to speak as the subject matter expert giving you more credibility within the organization. It is important to pass this knowledge along the way as you line up your arguments for convincing the company to adopt social media. You become the expert only by training others.

We will talk about some of these things at the session.

If you are looking to start learning about the tools, Steve Fisher has a great presentation on an introduction to Social Media.

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