More and more, executives have questions about social media, and recently they have turned to me for answers.
It’s clear they’re moving along the continuum of interest from ‘I’ll let this fad pass,’ to ‘wow, I best get on board this train before I get left behind.’
Because I grapple with the same issues, people feel comfortable approaching me with what could be seen as “basic” questions. Typically, the conversation starts with a light touch on the shoulder, and a motion to talk in private. These chats have recurring themes:
- I am not a social media native
- I have little idle time
- I need to accelerate the learning curve and get value
Just last week, I met with an executive who really wanted to learn more about social. We sat down to lunch and I immediately launched my browser to jump into a demonstration of the various social networks and tools.
She reached over and tapped my arm to get my attention. She asked a question that reminded me once again why she has been so successful in her career..."Deb, before we get started, give me some context. Why is Social Media so important? Why should I spend time learning and using it?"
My answer? There are 3 reasons:
- Nearly all companies now recruit via Social Media
- The demographics of the US population will change drastically in next 5-10 years due to the Millenials joining the workforce. Their methods of communication, their trust and openness, and their use of Social Media will overwhelm us. It will happen fast. Boomers were a huge influence due to their overwhelming numbers. This "Echo Boom" brings with it not only numbers (60 million, just shy of the 78 million Boomers) but a vastly different view of communication.
- Increasingly, customers make buying decisions based on digital content. It’s imperative that we make our content and service available to them on their terms.
After setting the stage with this context, I walk through these 4 steps, which, by the way, could be used to pique the interest of anyone in your organization:
- Google your name. What appears? Is it what you had hoped for? This is your brand!
- Create value by networking: LinkedIn profile and groups. Two really great sources are from Fortune and another is a blog by Jason Alba that refers to how Chris Brogan uses LinkedIn
- Determine if Twitter is a good fit. I show people how I use TweetDeck as a content aggregator and search tool. Who I follow is becoming less important than the searches I monitor.
- Teach people to listen before contributing to the discussion.
For more tips and tricks, I recommend Chris Brogan's newest book, Social Media 101, and a great new video titled ‘Social Media Revolution 2’ that’s filled with interesting, and sometimes shocking, statistics concerning the social environment.
Don't get left behind!