October 25, 2009

The value of status updates

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:11 pm by SD

Everyone, including me, loves the status update. In fact, a new Pew Internet & American Life Project study found that one in five Internet users use Twitter or some other service to share status updates about themselves. Unfortunately, status updates have turned into the ultimate tool to share mundane details about your life from what you are eating for breakfast to what you just watched on TV. This is a perfectly acceptable use of a status update if you are a college student. However, if you are a professional doing this, you are throwing away a valuable opportunity. For you, the status update is the ultimate expert positioning tool.

How do you use the status update as an expert positioning tool? First, you must change the way you think of it. Status updates should answer the question “what has your attention?” rather than “what are you doing?” This opens up the door for you to:

  • Comment and link to a recent news article
  • Comment on a recent trend
  • Link to an article or blog post you just wrote
  • Mention an event you are speaking at or attending

The key to successful status updates is balancing self-promotion (e.g. links to articles you have written) with sharing relevant and valuable information (e.g. commentary on a recent news trend). It’s a tough balance to find but your network will tune you out if you only use status updates to promote yourself. However, if you continually provide them valuable information, they will view you as a thought leader and be more inclined to read your articles/blog posts and attend your events. So, next time you are thinking of Tweeting about the hot dog you ate for lunch, resist the urge and use the opportunity to comment on the recent hot dog trend.

~S

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