To begin, your social media platform right now could be compared to a clean slate, and you are going to begin to build it and grow it from its foundation upward. The foundation is going to be you – by building your brand and all that you bring along with it.
You are the first and foremost social media tool! The rest are the ways to promote, grow and channel "You" most effectively.
Let's start with the foundation. Your first objective is to get your name out there. Here's what works best.
- Keep your eyes and ears open to what is going on and to what is being said around you at all times! Begin training yourself to focus in on what others are saying in your industry, about your industry, etc. You could have the greatest product or service around, but if you are not keeping in mind the needs of the people and hearing what they are saying, none of it will really matter.
- Do Internet searches on your company, the company that you are working for and the competitors in your industry. Read and really hear what is being said. Find those topics online that people are discussing most about your company or your industry.
- Familiarize yourself with the social media top guns, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, etc, if you haven't already, and be sure to make it a habit of updating and checking those websites regularly to keep them current. Make sure that the information and the message that you are sending them is the same one that they are actually "hearing." Always put yourself in your customer's or target audience's shoes.
- Participation – You must find a way of engaging your target audience by continually offering new ways to keep them engaged. This is where your creativity is necessary; leave them with the feeling that they are "gaining something" from visiting your site or using your social media channels. You are building a virtual "relationship" and trust and this takes as much time as the relationships take in "real life" to cultivate. Always make it you top priority. If you cannot manage this yourself, hire the appropriate people to help you.
Most importantly, remember that you have a life and that social media is supposed to enhance it and make things run more efficiently. It should not take over your life. Period.
In order to still maintain your life outside of social media, keep the following points in mind:
- Know how to filter your information by being selective in choosing what is important and what is not. Discipline yourself early on to only look at what you need to know, otherwise it will consume you in an instant. With so much information streaming in from all sides at all times, be sure to link in and follow only those who provide you with what you need. At times, it's like being a kid in a candy store, where they want everything that they see with their glossed-over eyes! So, you must train yourself to notice the smaller details in order to help keep you on track.
- Keep your communication skills refined and perfected. You should not only be "data-driven" and analytical. Rather, you need to be both cerebral and creative in order to succeed. You need to be able to communicate your information and abilities to people whose impressions of you are going to be made only by what you say and put forth. So, be sure that you are creating a "masterpiece" before clicking the "post" button.
As nothing in life is written in stone, you should keep the continual mindset on the phrase "subject to change." Your media and its management will be an ongoing sprint and each mile marker will be a place for you to note what is working, what is not, and to alter your course of action appropriately.
As McDonald's has said, "Our head of social media is the customer." If you keep this first and foremost, it will keep you grounded. Always focus on the fact that without the customer, a business has nothing.
About the Author.
Marco Giunta is a Senior Business Development Executive and the author of the book: Rethinking Sales.
He is a leading expert in Global Outsourcing with a focus on banking, financial services and other Industry sectors and has a long list of clients. Mr. Giunta is a speaker and presenter. He has led start-ups, business strategy groups, technology think tanks and has experience as a career coach. Visit Marco’s website at marcogiunta.com.