This is a follow up from last post. The good thing about waiting a couple of days to reflect is determining which information really stuck after listening to the panel on Thursday. Rather than give you a summary of what the experts discussed, here are the three most important things I gathered about social media management:
- BE PURPOSEFUL. Whether you use social media as a business, as an employee or for your personal use, you ought to use it with intention. It means you that your interactions, your feedback, your initiations on social media are not “random.” Even if you are “just” interacting or “just” sharing information. Are you interacting and sharing with the right people on the right medium? The social media experts all talked about how you have to be where the people you want to connect with are. For example, generally, I use facebook very personally. As in, if I’ve never met you in real life, we’ll probably never be facebook friends. However, using it on the Ms Career Girl page, I ought to interact and share information with people I will never meet in real life who are interested in networking, business, self-development and things of that nature. On the other hand, I use twitter to connect with people about my professional interests like marketing, event “stuff” and networking as well as personal interests like travelling, current events and my favorite sports team Arsenal FC. It doesn’t mean you don’t facebook or tweet “for fun” but that you know why you’re using social media and why you’re using the different tools you use, and that you’re targeting the right audience.
- BE AUTHENTIC. Do you like fake people in real life? Do you like people who are only interested in themselves and pretend to be interested in you? Well, social media is kind of the same thing. On the panel, MsCareerGirl talked about FlirtyCupcakes and how the lady was a “soccer mom” and she would talk about the things that soccer moms talk about. She wouldn’t really carry on extensive conversations about her cupcakes but people became interested in her and her cupcakes because she was herself, but on social media. Also, and probably more importantly, while she was herself, she wasn’t “all about herself.” I think the fact that business is booming for her cupcake business speaks for the product as well as her handling of social media. It pays to be authentic…literally.
- MEASURE IT UP. This third point is especially important for business but also if you have an edge of professionalism in your social media use. If you want to see what you’re doing right and build on it, as far as reaching the people you want to interact with, tracking is invaluable. This is made easy through a multitude of web tools but even just looking at your followers/fans on twitter or facebook or blog or google + and seeing where they come from and analyzing information that interests them can be quite valuable too. Maybe it’s the mareker in me but, especially for business, your social media presence needs to be measured and for that matter, measured against your goals. Is your social media driving your goals? For everyone, at the very least, get on http://twitaholic.com/ to see some numbers or klout and get an idea on what your reach is and what you’re known for. As for business, more sophisticated measurement is needed. Ultimately, “measuring it up” will allow you to make changes as to who you want to reach and what information/topics you want to be known for as well as change strategy to meet your goals.
With regard to social media management madness, as I suspected, it can and does happen, especially when you lose that first point and become purposeless. In addition, if you’re not LISTENING as well as talking, you easily become just another voice in the crowd. On social media, just as in your business, in your company, in your personal life, you want, you need and you ought to be differentiated and people need to know who you are and what you do and what you don’t do.
Lastly, a word to the wise, especially to young professionals like myself: when you’re on social media, be on there intelligently. If you’re not on there at all, that’s when recruiters are worried. But, that’s a different topic for a different post so I’ll leave it at that for now.