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Social Media Best Practices Start with Blogging

There are several different tools and tactics included under the umbrella of "social media"—including podcasting, video, social bookmarking, wikis, forums, and social networking—but the ideal starting point is blogging. Having your own blog provides a "container" for all of your thought leadership and potentially viral content, whether in the form of text, images, audio or video. It's something you can promote on social bookmarking and social networking sites without being blatantly promotional. And it's unbeatable for connecting with other thought leaders in your industry, people who likely have significant influence with your prospective customers.

To create an effective blog, keep in mind the 10 P's of blogging, such as offering practical advice, being passionate about your subject, and most importantly being persistent in adding new content. Avoid the seven deadly sins of blogging, including pride (writing as though you're the only person who knows anything about a particular subject), wrath (using your blog to trash other people, companies, products or ideas) and sloth (not posting regularly or responding to comments).

Having your own blog is also extremely useful in helping you reach out to other bloggers; you can post about something interesting another blogger has written, link to other blogs within your posts (for example, here's a good post on how to promote your blog for free through social bookmarking sites), add blogs you like to your blogroll, add useful comments to others' blog posts with a link back to your blog, even invite people to guest-blog on occasion.

In a recent post titled The Best Practices In Social Media Marketing Writing Project on Six Pixels of Separation - The Twist Image Blog, Mitch Joel asked readers to identify what they thought were the best practices in social media marketing. Here's my answer: it starts with having your own blog.

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Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom

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