* DO Post The Same Content On All Your Social Profiles

It’s not the seeds that matter, it’s the flowers.

This article is in response to another article: Don’t Post The Same Content On All Your Social Profiles.

It does not matter whether or not you post the ‘same content’ on multiple social networks. There are many other examples of where the ‘same content’ is posted: direct mail, your answering machine, your website, the Associated Press, syndication, just to name a few.

What matters is that you converse with others (friends, family, followers, prospective clients, fans, whomever) wherever they choose to be. I have many conversations. I often forget whether I had a ‘conversation’ with someone in person, via email, via text message, or on social networks. In all likelihood, it was some combination of the above. It doesn’t matter where or how the conversation occurs. What matters is that the conversation occurs.

If the Associated Press thought that its stories would never get picked up, then it would stop writing them. But AP wire stories often blossom and grow into other conversations. Imagine if, based on advice from so-called social networking experts, the AP had to rewrite its headlines for each of it’s target networks!

Some social networks make having conversations extremely difficult. LinkedIn, for example, limits comments to 144 characters, so I hardly ever converse there. But LinkedIn is important for other reasons. Twitter.com is terrible for following conversations, but that’s why the TweetDeck application was created. When I blog, I get more comments on blog posts on Facebook than I do on my blog itself. And lately my techie friends, many of whom are absent from other social networks, have been appearing on Google+, which is nice.

For the record, I moderate all comments on my blog (and other social networks) and delete all of those that add zero value to the conversation. It’s not hard to add value. But just saying ‘yah’ or ‘me too’ isn’t enough. You actually have to do the hard work of thinking.

Yes, Virginia, social networking involves hard work. So while I use services such as Ping.fm and Seesmic to coordinate my seed-planting across multiple social networks, I follow up personally.

When I was looking for office space, I got some good advice: go where the clients are. My clients are on various social networks. As such, I do not discriminate against social networks. I’m even on Pinterest! Plant the seeds of conversation on many social networks. Then have the conversations wherever they take root. Some seeds may rot, others may blossom.

But don’t try to guess where conversations want to happen. Unless you want to reap nothing. Like information, conversations want to be free. Free to happen anywhere.

And beware of self-appointed social networking experts peddling their wares.

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Erik J. Heels is an MIT engineer; trademark, domain name, and patent lawyer; Red Sox fan; and music lover. He blogs about technology, law, baseball, and rock ‘n’ roll at erikjheels.com.

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