Here are some thoughts on my use of Social Media and genealogy. Includes a recap of week 2.
Seems like a tremendous amount of work, but the payoff hopefully with going full time it will generate more leads. I have dabbled in all forms of Social Media at one point or another for the past two years. Here are my thoughts.
Facebook- I have used this site probably the longest. On Facebook I am the administrator for Family Search in their Indiana, Michigan and Ohio research communities. My Davey Associates page is on here as well. Have not really gotten anything from these Platforms, but have made a few contacts recently.
Twitter- There are things on Twitter that I find no where else. Has not done a lot to develop business, but the information I find on here is excellent. Feel this is more of a vehicle to keep me up to date on things in the Genealogy World. Don't get me wrong I have many followers, but not seen any real results. Do a tremendous amount of Tweeting and Retweeting. All genealogy related.
LinkedIn- I have used this site for a long time. It has been very good from a professional learning point. This is one site that I have paid to be a full member. Unfortunately it was a gigantic waste of time. One thing that irritates me is many of the groups are run for the benefit of the person running the community. Extreme amount of editing. Since they have changed their policy of contact by having to know the persons email the collaboration feature has become very frustrating. Still visit it on a daily basis, but out of the sites I visit this one I would have no problem in dropping.
Google+- I have made a lot of great contacts here. Much more open format in following people. Since going full time I have attempted to build this feature. I enjoy the information that you can find in the genealogy groups. Since going on to Google + I have gotten new business and speaking gigs. Google Hangouts in my plan have not really hit my interest. Limit of 10 people in my room seems to be very limiting. Hoping to see some changes with this site.
Blogger- I have maintained 3 blogs on this site for over three years. Primary goal for me was to build an audience and drive traffic to my website. Traffic is up and down. For the amount of writing I do does not seem worth it, but I have continued to do it. Since allowing posts to be put freely on the website there have been a lot more comments. I know I have gotten talking gigs and a couple of projects from this activity.
Scoop.it- This is a great way to share genealogy articles that are within mainstream media and the genealogy companies. Find it a great way to expand audience. This is relatively new in my strategy, so early results are inconclusive.
All these sites have allowed me to meet some wonderful people and help others. Recently many of those contacts have stepped forward to help me. Signed a contract just yesterday to do five Quick Guides. Could be some decent money which is rare. Made connections with a couple of research bureaus that has been very helpful. One of them I have gotten 8 lead and two that have converted to business. Third was in in the process of starting.
Website- I have had a website for over four years. This is where I get the majority of my business. Use the Social Media sites to drive potential customers to the site. Conversion rate is low, but still worth while. This is an area where changes are going to take place as I move forward.
Started preliminary planning for group tour to Ireland next spring and Germany Austria in the fall of 2014.