You are already busy and yet you are committed to raising your profile and improving your personal brand through social media.
You don’t know where to begin.
You don’t want it to be a burden, but can set aside some time.
I have been blogging since 2006, and have been on LinkedIn and Twitter for a number of years. It can all be a little daunting, but I am happy to share some of my lessons learned here.
Here are 10 practical tips for any executive wanting to build their social media presence:
Commit some time. I would suggest that you commit an hour a week as a starting point. Book the time in your calendar and treat it like a meeting so that you are not distracted by other things you are more familiar with!
Set some goals. Start small and build. If you are not on LinkedIn or Twitter then I suggest you set a goal of getting set up, in the first week. Set a goal of adding people you know (minimum of 50 people) as contacts on LinkedIn and following 50 people on Twitter. Set a goal of starting to contribute content after the first couple of months.
Set up a LinkedIn account. Have your resume handy to help with setting up your profile. Have a picture available to upload … it should be a professional picture, but does not need to be stuffy. Use your company email and your company address information.
Set up a Twitter account. Again it should be professional looking with a brief description of you that will attract people’s interest if they read it. Don’t sweat over it, you can update later.
Spend 30 minutes on LinkedIn looking for people you know. Ask them to connect, but type an actual message; do not use the standard LinkedIn message. Personalise it. Look at their profiles and steal ideas for your own profile.
One of the values of LinkedIn comes from Groups. In your second or third visit to LinkedIn find a couple of groups and join them. Join groups your colleagues are in, industry groups, similar profession groups, and personal interest groups.
Spend 30 minutes on Twitter and look for people to follow. You will find less people that you know here, but try that as a start. Find someone to follow … try me @KevinDee300. Follow me and then see who I follow that might interest you (and who they follow etc.).
Hashtags are the “lifeblood” of Twitter and can bring tremendous value. Want to find out what is happening in your industry search for relevant buzzwords. E.g. #autoindustry would bring up relevant articles about that industry (such as Google’s entry into the auto industry).
You are now scratching the surface and beginning to learn what questions to ask … so ask lots of questions. Involve friends who use these tools, your marketing department, find some good articles to point you in the right direction. Your confidence level will go up with time.
Once you are feeling a little confident you can start to share content. If you have your own content, or company content available on the web then that is great to share. You can share interesting articles you find … and this brings value to all of your contacts.
Obviously this is biased by my experiences as a busy guy who is now quite active in social media. There is a lot more that can come later … but at least you are in the game. You will never again have to say, “I don’t understand all that social media stuff”, the same way your dad used to say, “I don’t understand that “new-fangled” computer stuff”!