Developing a Personal Social Media Strategy: Blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter…who am I?

How many social networks and web 2.0 apps can a person use? What do you do with each of these? I read an article recently about a phenomenon where people who had 100’s of friends on Facebook were committing “Facebook Suicide“. Some ‘killed their virtual self’ because of their loss of privacy and others from a sense of ‘how can I really be friends with 500+ people?’ Some start over with a new identity to do a reboot of who they connect with. Others just go through and unfriend vast numbers of people hoping they wont’ notice.

If I could do it all over again, here’s how I would have executed my personal social media plan:

1. BLOGGING: I would have picked a more singular voice for my blog Goodmanson.com. Right now I step between Church Planting, Missional Ecclesiology, Culture, Church Technology, a bit about my work at Monk Development and a very limited level of personal posts. I hope because there is a unifying factor in seeing all these as part of a calling/mission that it still works. I wonder if church planters who read my blog wish I would do more posting on that and less tech related posts and vice versa. Ultimately, I’ve tried not to create a ‘Cat Blog‘ or a ‘Boss Blog‘ but a Viral Blog that spreads ideas online. This means I don’t really blog personal stuff and reserve those postings to other apps.

2. FACEBOOK:facebook If I could do this over again I would friend only those that I am close with on Facebook. I’m closing in on 700 friends and I know that most are acquaintances and some I don’t even know at all. One challenge with this number is that people I’m close to get lost in the stream of the crowd. I continue to post pictures of my friends & family and update my status with things that I imagine are entirely uninteresting to people who aren’t close to me. If people decide to un-friend me because of that I don’t take it personal. If fact, I wish I had early on used LinkedIn for more of the people I know through work.

3. TWITTER: twitterTwitter is an unstoppable force that I haven’t done much with. UPDATED: After I made this post I began to use Twitter primarily to communicate about what we are doing at Monk, church technology and church planting. In this month Twitter became the third highest referral source to my blog. I now use Twitter as a tool to communicate what I am doing in these areas and other links/ideas that my followers may be interested in.

4. LinkedIn: linkedinAs I stated in #2, If I could do it over again I would have connected with more people through LinkedIn. It has a more professional, networking focus that I would use to connect with acquaintances I meet at conferences or through work. I am fine with anyone Linking in with me and hope to expand that network rather than Facebook.

5. OTHERS: As of yet I don’t see a need to join any ‘Christian’ social networking sites just like I don’t go to ‘Christian’ malls. I am a part of a few online community sites that are private and allow me to discuss very specific topics with others who are swimming in similar streams. These include private threads for people to discuss leadership, church planting, technology, etc. These niche sites are helpful and allow us to resource others who have experience in areas important to me.

These are just a few of the ways I would re-do my social networking, what would you do different?

17 Comments
  • Paul Steinbrueck

    March 6, 2009, 3:32 pm

    Hey Drew,

    It was good to talk to you this afternoon. Very thought provoking post. I am wrestling with a lot of the same questions. It seems to boil down to the question of whether its better to one unified network for all areas of life or whether it’s better to have separate “channels” of your life – work, personal, ministry, etc. I need to give it some more thought, but am starting to lean towards separate networks for the different spheres of life.

  • D. Goodmanson

    March 6, 2009, 3:41 pm

    Paul, I agree. As much as the convergence is happening of life/work I’d like to do a better job in keeping some of these streams separate. Let me know when you feel you’ve come up with a good plan-of-attack, I’d be interested in hearing what you land on.

  • Mike Edwards

    March 6, 2009, 9:16 pm

    Great topic for discussion. Just when I think Facebook is pointless, it ends up connecting me to someone I know from high school who became a Christian and whose wife is not. I grew up from her down the street and now I have the opportunity to connect, pray for and serve them as best I can. Suddenly, FACEBOOK has served a purpose.

    I think you need to know your goals going in. Also, streamlining as much as possible. The twitter to facebook status revolutionized it for me and is a huge time saver. On the go, I use the iPhone facebook app to check on statuses and simply peck out comments to stay connected.

    I also began to find that I was having more conversations from blog posts through importing them into facebook notes, than on my actual blog. This has led me to a new idea/format for Part of the Story and I’ll continue to put other thoughts as I have them into facebook notes or have learned to condense thoughts more into smaller chunks.

    Ok..anyway.

  • Stephen Murray

    March 6, 2009, 11:30 pm

    Drew I think having hundreds of friends on Facebook – even if you’re not intimately connected with them has huge benefits. Take us for example – you and I are friends on Facebook, we’ve never met face to face we’ve only had a few brief online conversations – yet through this connection my wife and I were able to help settle a missionary couple (Aaron & Nichole) from the States here in Cape Town and give them the inside scoop on the city. Subsequently we’ve become good friends with Aaron and Nichole and the potential for future ministry partnership is massive.

    On another note – we put on an Acts29 conference in Cape Town last month. The fact that the conference happened is almost completely down to social media. My connecting with Acts29 and coming over to Seattle last year was down to social media, plus I did a ton of promotional work through social media to get people to the conference. As we start a church planting movement here in Cape Town we have to give credit to the fact that Facebook and Blogging (and now to a far lesser degree, Twitter) have contributed significantly.

    So thank you Jesus for social media.

  • ed cyzewski

    March 7, 2009, 8:56 am

    The power of Twitter is its immediacy. I tend to use it more than my blog reader these days. It’s a fabulous way to share your own blog posts and to discover the links that others value. You can build your reputation by sharing valuable links with others, as well as make informal contacts with key leaders in your field. The Direct Message feature keeps me in touch with people who may not have responded in any other format.

    My blog stats have consistently shown Twitter as the #1 referrer in the past few months. I recommend using twitter bar and tiny url creator in firefox and using tweet deck. Those 3 tools have made Twitter much easier and relevant for me.

  • Davdi Fairchild

    March 7, 2009, 9:27 pm

    I’m still trying to figure out my etcha-a-sketch! Every time I bump it my blog post gets erased.

  • Mike

    March 8, 2009, 8:14 pm

    I recently switched my strategy to be:

    -Facebook is for folks that I actually know. I tend to write more about personal things on facebook and have found it to be a very useful tool in spreading the Gospel and deepening relationships that to date have been more casual…

    -LinkedIn is for business use and I connect pretty much with anyone who wants to…

    -Twitter is for both business and personal, but I am careful not to post much about my personal life.

    I used to have my facebook status connected to twitter, but now since I am using twitter to cast a much wider net, I have disconnected them.

    To me, it will be worth the trouble to have to double post so I can stay more intimate with facebook…

  • D. Goodmanson

    March 9, 2009, 11:46 am

    Mike – Agreed. I’m moving in your direction with the Twitter/Facebook separation.

  • Paul Shriner

    March 10, 2009, 11:38 pm

    Drew,

    Funny you went down this path of technology and ministry.

    http://jcyl.org/about-jefferson-county-young-life/emails-and-ministry

    It would probably be worth reconnecting a little more at some point.

    paul

  • Dave Bourgeois

    March 12, 2009, 4:49 pm

    Drew –

    This is interesting. I have come to some similar conclusions. Just finished a Twitter “experiment” and have decided to keep on using it, but more intentionally. Just blogged on it: http://genesys11.com/lessonsfrombabel/2009/03/12/using-twitter-intentionally/.

    Dave

  • Tony Stiff

    March 12, 2009, 9:33 pm

    I find it difficult to get the full exposed value of Twitter as I’m balancing reading others blogs, checking Facebook status updates and fan news, and following connections on LinkedIn. I guess for me having a plan and actually executing it for social media networks are two separate things (the latter is failing).

    As far as how helpful these networks have been for me personally? Well take my recent job hunt as a pastor:

    As I’m looking for pastoral opportunities my blog has actually generated in person interview leads with a profile church, twitter has generated email correspondence and phone calls, and LinkedIn has been a good place to store ministry recommendations that several churches have used as they consider me. Having a webpage dedicated just to my story, resume, ministry samples, and more has actually been a tipping point for leads solidifying or for me staying in front of the pack.

    But one media that hasn’t been listed is iChat or other video conferencing tools. I’m noticing more and more churches using them as a second tier review tool for candidates (Paper resumes – video conferencing interviews – visiting candidates in person – bringing them to the church for a meet and greet/final review).

    (Stephen I appreciated the story you shared about Acts 29)

    Very stimulating post Drew.

  • Cody

    March 16, 2009, 10:51 am

    I couldn’t agree more that Facebook and Twitter should be separate, no matter how you use them. I assume this is for efficiency purposes, but social media is not about efficiency, it’s about relationships. If you expect people to follow you on Twitter, you cannot hang around on the outskirts, you have to dive in.

    This means learning Twitter tools and etiquette (re-tweeting, URLs, #followfriday), strategically following people you want to connect with or learn from, and taking the time to interact or give credit where it is due. It takes time to “get” but once you do you really start to see the value.

  • D. Goodmanson

    March 16, 2009, 11:06 am

    Dave – I came to a similar conclusion on Twitter and now plan to be more intentional with it with a focus on Monk stuff.

  • dafranks

    March 16, 2009, 5:56 pm

    “If I could do it over again I would have connected with more people through LinkedIn. It has a more professional, networking focus that I would use to connect with acquaintances I meet at conferences or through work.” LinkedIn is a way to connect with a new employee or colleague. It is a way to make friends at work. By the way, did you know that networking expert Jan Vermeiren has written a book about LinkedIn? It is called “How to REALLY use LinkedIn” (see: http://www.how-to-really-use-linkedin.com) He also gives away a free light version and access to webinars.

  • Pierre Pienaar

    November 3, 2009, 5:21 pm

    Good article and responses. My question still remains: Are blogs more effective than twitter, facebook notes, and LinkedIn Status updates?

    I know a combination of all marketing strategies are good, but time could become an issue. Do people really still read blogs?

  • Fiona MacNeil

    May 1, 2011, 5:38 pm

    Because my business is based on creating trust and rapport, facebook is an essential tool for establishing relationships. It’s all new and a little overwhelming but articles like this are very helpful.