I keep going to seminars on the local media, not because I don’t know much (I actually am quite adept at them), but because I keep learning more. So can you, if you add awareness to relatively little effort.

I am the sort of person who goes to a party and does what is commonly known as “working a room.” I don’t that term, mainly because it is often used as a pejorative. But actually, I socialize at parties because I am genuinely interested in meeting new people and learning more about the people I already know. Similarly, that is why I make great use of the social media. I use them to reach out to a number of people, learn about them, and also to speak about those topics that interest me. (Hey, if I didn’t, I would be marketing myself as a speaker and communicator.)

Since joining LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, I have reconnected with people with whom I lost touch. That’s great; I like hooking up with old friends. I’m also able to create new contacts. I’ve also found that these media are great ways to expand your influence. Also, I am always looking for new information, so these media are good ways to gather research.

I am struck with how important the traditional principles of good, sound communication are to the effective use of the social media. The most obvious skill needed: Succinct writing. You want to have just the right amount of detail in your posts. Not too much, not too little. You also want the paragraphs to be short. Bullets are nice. Tone is also important. First person is more inviting.

Good, effective communication always goes back to staying on message, so keep your goal in mind as you write. Also, as some of my speech idols have advised me, don’t just tell your audience, TAKE them. So I use web links, and I encourage you to do so, too. Add documents, videos, anything that can add to your storytelling.

The most important point is we want to use the social media to connect with other. Don’t be buttoned up; participate, collaborate and be open. Having these sorts of connections can have many so many benefits that you can’t even imagine right now.

Doing all of these things will build your personal brand equity. And really, which brand do you prefer for yourself? One of a person who is always talking about her- or himself, or one who exchanges information? Do you pontificate, or do you create a free flow of information? Think of these traits, and you will make great use of the social media not only to have more people learn about you, but you will also learn from others.