I’ve been having a lot of random conversations lately about “channel management”. That’s fancy jargon for looking after your online/social media presence. Here’s how it breaks down for me:

  1. Twitter is for work – sharing opinions/observations, finding sources, self-promoting and growing the network. I follow folks who are of interest to as experts/opinion leaders, sources or collaborators. And I have landed a nice paying gig from someone I follow.
  2. LinkedIn is for work – answering questions to establish myself as an expert source, finding sources and growing the network. The only friends on here are friends for whom I’d be a professional (not personal) reference. I’ve gotten a lot of great sources for articles from the LI network.
  3. Facebook is for fun – keeping up with friends, reconnecting with folks, processing the day’s mundane-ities, etc. I have queried FB friends for information related to work, but it’s primarily a place for socializing.

I like having specific purposes for each of these channels, and I work at keeping them that way. I also participate in a lot of online communities, but I’d say my favorites are IntrepidMedia.com and MediaBistro.com.

And then there are the blogs. Yes, I have a few in addition to this one. I also post economic/business news of local interest on the Orange County Housing and Economy blog run by the Carrboro Citizen newspaper; and I’m considering resurrecting my Education Is Your Business blog to continue making the case for why everyone – parents, business people, etc. – need to give a dern about what’s going on in our nation’s schools.

Our team members also have varying degrees of online presences. It’s our feeling that our own use of social media/networking enables us to bring better insight to our clients who want to leverage this new media channel. It’s also why we don’t hire people to do media relations who’ve never worked the other side of the desk. A visceral understanding of what it’s like to be on the receiving end gives us an edge when reaching out through these channels.

How do you manage your channels -- and your enterprise's? Let us know if you'd like some ideas for doing it more effectively.