People Outside the sector often ask me how and where to use Social Media platforms and what’s the point? Why should I care about my personal Social BIO, why should I bother to create content or even take part?
‘Hey, I don’t want to share what the latest sandwich I ate was, or publicise my every move on social media’, ‘I don’t get it or how to do it’.
It is absolutely the prerogative of every individual to be on or not on social media at all, to elect the platforms they wish to partake in, if any, and what they wish to share. That is the very nature of Social Media, its open to you to do with it as you wish and share and say what you want (within sensible limits and rules) and how you choose to leverage it, be it for your business, your hobby, your club or just for fun.
However, I felt it worthy of sharing my journey, my escapades and discoveries and the benefits utilising social can reap for you if you want.
I fell into Social through LinkedIn initially, finding Twitter far later on and then Facebook and Instagram. I found as a Sales Leader that opening the door was getting harder and selling more competitive and that customers’ expectations had risen. Through using Social, initially to research for those nuggets of information and then further into social engagement, I found this was a useful tool for complimenting traditional selling skills, particularly in the 1st10-15% of a sales engagement. So I discovered Social Selling as a tool before the term existed and the value it bought. From these initial learnings and use, I then discovered (the now gone) Klout, Kred and new platform Skorr where you are socially scored as to your influence and now social influencer platforms such as Onalytica.
From being on social and self-learning I have slowly built up a profile for the subjects I specialise in, (Cloud, Social Selling, Sales and Personal Branding) met fantastic people and influencers I would otherwise not have met or gained benefit from knowing, had coverage in the public arena, been invited to speak, to events around the globe, to Guest Blog for the likes of Oracle, Sage, SAP, Maximiser, Equinix, Miller Heiman, Onalytica and more and been featured on many podcasts and top lists for bloggers and influencers.
From these, they have begat great PR for the firms I have worked for, greater knock on reach for myself and hence additional opportunities, engagement with senior industry and business leaders and been useful as a great door opener for day to day business.
I wrote about a year ago about making Real World Connections off of the back of Social Media, accompanied by the following picture. Many of the great people that I have got to know through bumping into them virtually in the social world through shares, likes and comments, progressing to direct messages and onto actually meeting in person. These include many leading Authors of books in the Sales World, Global Social influencers and through to the likes of BBC Apprentice Winners.
I learnt that simply by sharing the right content, creating good own content and thought leadership and sharing it with the right social accounts (i.e. include people whose attention you want to gain), and by using the right mix of # tags to be noticed, you can get your content and ‘personal brand’ not only spotted by amplified and used.
An example being if you go to a show or event, take some interesting content and quickly using free mobile phone apps combing the pictures, add a comment and post – it takes a minute or two whilst on the move and is easy.
Take this example from attending a Magic Show ‘Impossible’ In London’s West End. Simply by sharing this image on twitter and including the@ImpossibleShow moniker my comment was picked up and liked by the show and……
I then received a Twitter Direct Message (DM) asking if they could use my comment on the new poster to be displayed outside the show in the West End. See below for my comment at the bottom of the poster , which they extracted from my tweet.
Increasingly TV shows are looking to engage with their audience though Social Media whilst ‘live on air’. Like a Red Flag to a Bull., spotting this on Channel 4’s @thelastleg I tweeted using their #isitok and after a couple of weeks found one of my tweets (see below) not only shown on screen, but then discussed by all 3 presenters for a good 60 seconds or so.
The next challenge is to repeat this and get that 2ndtweet coverage.!!
So as you can see it can be relatively easy to get outreach and profile off of the back of simple no or low cost Social Media activities. The game is to get practised at it, the more you play the better you get .Identify the social channels, influencers and content areas that you wish to get coverage within, figure out the sort of content that is likely to get shared by that social channel and construct your ‘packaged’ social shares around this. It doesn’t always work and often takes experimentation and persistence, but the coverage you can get and benefits can sometimes surprise.
As an example of this on a recent family day off we got caught up in the Power outage at Chessington Theme Park on the outskirts of London. A quick engaging photo and tweet targeting major news outlets led to my photo and coverage being used in 3 mainstream news outlets and one journalist call to get a full featured interview from a visitor on site.
Thus, from a variety of efforts and engagements what has this begat. Well recently I did a search for the webinars, podcasts, papers and events I have been featured in and just in the past year I ran out of space to do the below image. On top of this I continue to get outreach from new followers, connection invites, asks to speak at events, blogging requests, invites to be a judge, invites to guest podcast and appear on webinars and recently to keynote at several foreign events. I am also increasingly receiving invites to attend events as a corporate guest / Social Influencer. From these you gain the opportunity to raise your personal profile and BIO higher and to gain backlinks and reach a wider and new audience of potential followers.
One thing begat’s another, the more you contribute the more people ask you to do so and the easier and wider your reach becomes. Does it take effort and investment, Yes. Is it quick and with instant return, No. You need to set out on a journey. If I had known ahead of time, I would have done more sooner knowing the end game and results. Through accident and progressive effort, I have found that secret sauce, but it was not overnight! People only tend to see the end result and want to jump to the finish, unless you are extremely lucky or already high profile it will take time and effort and many will fall along the path and fail to ever see the bright benefits that will come.
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