Using Social Media
There is some mystery about the array of platforms available to us as we try to inspire and motivate people to engage with us. The reason we communicate is to grow the business and the way we grow is through engaging with ‘friends’ who become our clients, ambassadors and evangelists.
We should use social media to capture the hearts and minds of our followers by giving them something for free. Free works, free is good and free is always well received. We should always be on the lookout for stuff we can do for free.
This can be show and tells, knowhow, skills, knowledge and facts. The way we assemble this is to first occupy the mind of your audience and become them. Once you become them you will know what is important to them, what is valuable to them and what will cause them to act on our behalf.
There is only one danger with sharing our knowledge, with showing people our stuff and with giving things away that are important to us…that we do it badly. We need to show excellent stuff using excellent tools and through the right channels.
We are all capable of creating valuable and interesting materials. Materials that are easy to produce, unique to us and, most of all, valuable to our audience.
So when you are out and about feeling the creative juices flowing through your mind you should come up with the messages we need to get out there and creative ways to communicate them.
This is a ticker-tape type of platform to announce small sound-bites about something current, interesting and important using just 144 characters including short links to information and photos…a snapshot in time as the event unfolds.
Pros – quick and dirty…feels good
Cons – you need to work hard to build a good follower base and make it really topical (or it gets lost in the ether)
A forum based platform for sharing opinions and feelings about a topic close to everyone’s heart. Something of real value that will invite people to participate and share with their friends. This platform never works (in business) as a ‘look at me’ profile as people build resentment and will you to fail and fall. Nobody likes a happy t*”t…we are British and don’t do the disingenuous and falsely gratifying selfie promotion…it’s crass.
Pros – a people’s platform and is ‘friendly’
Cons – needs a huge ‘follower’ base to have any meaningful impact
Now owned by Facebook, Instagram is a photo based repository where you can enhance shots and host them online for others to see. The obvious platform for location snaps and course promotion…but only when linked to something of demonstrable value to the intended audience.
Pros – a picture tells a thousands stories
Cons – crap pics don’t have any positive impact
YouTube (or Vimeo)
A Google owned platform for hosting video content for show hows and live records of exceptional events. Training materials can be added and a knowledge base built. This can build quickly and categorised into useful and valuable content.
Pros – media heavyweight and forms a strong and useful resource. Can integrate into websites and blogs. Is more personal and gives a face to the viewer
Cons – do it on the cheap and it will work against you
This is the platform to show your credentials. It’s your work CV and carries enormous weight when people search for individuals. It is very useful to add gravitas to our online profiles and is impressive when tended and displayed correctly.
Pros – great for an organisational CV platform (if the CV’s are strong)
Cons – rarely gets used unless someone is looking specifically for you of for people that do what you say you do.
This is like a scrap book of all of the (work related) things you find interesting. Topics can be arranged into individual pin-boards and you can deposit things you have discovered online that you want to share with the rest of the world.
Pros – great nostalgic feel to it all
Cons – only usful for others to find your topics when they are looking for topics that you like
G+ ( Google Circles)
This hasn’t taken off as everyone expected as we are still hooked into old platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. When (if) it does it will need some careful thought as it is powerful and links everything to everything.
Pros – immensely powerful and far reaching
Cons – used mainly by techies as they a) can be bothered and b0 can work it all out.