Social Media, Clients and My Philosophy

photo credit: Darren Lewis
photo credit: Darren Lewis

As you all know, I am what I call a Social Media Gal. What that means for me is I get to work and play in this space for a living. What I enjoy most is sharing my knowledge with others through both community events and client interaction. Seeing those light bulb moments happen when an audience or a client recognizes the value social media could have on their business or cause is what I enjoy the most.

My philosophy when it comes to social media is that the folks with the boots on the ground should be the ones telling the story. We all know social media is not a “set it and forget it” tool. It is more like a newborn infant which needs to be watched and fed often. This “boots on the ground” philosophy does require the entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations I work with to invest in what I call the Three T’s:  Time | Team | Tools.

Time

Discoverability meetings, staff training and education, profile optimization, design, page creation, social media guidelines, response flowcharts et al., all take time to explain, understand and implement. Anyone who is delving into this social media needs to understand which platforms will work best for their needs, the use and languaging for each platform and how to participate in the space effectively.

Team

One of the decisions a company will have to make is who will be responsible for monitoring, posting and responding on their social channels. I stress the importance of this position so that they understand that every tweet, post and comment is a direct representation of their brand. This is not something that should be taken lightly nor maintained long term by an intern or someone who “will get to it when they have time”. So, making sure they have the person or team who can actively participate is key to the ongoing success of a company’s social media outreach.

Tools

The tools are fairly simple: computer, smartphone, tablet and of course internet access. Make sure your team members are equipped to represent and respond. You do not need all three to succeed, but removing barriers to access is important. You can post, audio record, live video stream, photograph and more all from a smartphone. I know some folks run their entire business from their phones. We are truly living in the Age of the Jetsons.

 

Not everyone I speak to is ready for this kind of commitment  That’s ok. There are plenty of companies that provide social media services who will do all the heavy lifting for you. They create, post and engage with your followers and fans on your behalf as if they were your brand. When I come across folks who want to hire me to “do it for them”, I smile politely and tell them, “I’m not your gal.”

Each company has what I call a unique flavor. In my mind the customers who frequent your company know how your receptionist answers the phone and how your team talks, walks and interacts with them on a daily basis. If your online presence doesn’t also reflect that same flavor then there can be some disconnect.

So, it should be no surprise that when I work with a client they are someone who subscribes to my “boots on the ground” philosophy and have put the Three T’s into action. In my line of work, I am fortunate in that I can be selective and choose the clients I enjoy spending time with and projects which interest me. One of the clients I have been working with for the last few months is Linda Elliott of Elliott Connection, LLC.

LInda Elliott, Connections Expert
LInda Elliott, Connections Expert

Linda contacted me when she made the decision to delve into the world of social media after she saw me speak at a local event last year. We had seen each other at events throughout the year so I already knew we got along. However, it wasn’t until we sat down to have our discoverability meeting I knew we would be a perfect fit. Linda is a Connections Expert and has a unique talent for finding the perfect partnerships for her clients. Personally, I would describe what she does as an elegant introduction. To experience it is to understand it. Once you have, you will never forget it. I know I never will (more about this in a future post).

As with all projects, you spend months building the platforms and training the team and then there is the moment when they are ready to go live. It is a true pleasure to share the news that today Linda Elliott is launching her Power of Connections blog. Wander over there, take a look and let her know what you think. As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments.

 

Using Cinch For Quick Audio

Most of you know that first and formost I am a podcaster. I love the audio medium. Back in the day (2005) I used a computer, mixer, mic and various software to share my message on the web. Fast forward a few years and now I am doing almost the same thing with an app on my iPhone. Recording a podcast or interview is as easy as pushing a button on my phone and so is posting. I can upload a photo, show notes and cross post to Twitter and Facebook. Talk about making things easier.

Granted, I am giving up editing, intro and outro music and all manner of possibilities when I forego post production. However, the ease of having my show audio up quickly and easily has made me a believer. For folks who are still sitting on the sideline when it comes to podcasting, I challenge you to give Cinch a try. You’ll become a fan of audio with a few taps on your screen.

Here are some of audio posts I did while I was at South by Southwest #SXSW last month. None of these audio posts were planned. They were all serendipitous. I was able to take advantage of the opportunities as they presented themselves. Imagine being able to do something like this at events or with your clients? The possibilities are endless.

 

Staying Connected In A Time Crunched World

We all lead busy lives. It doesn’t matter if you are a 9am-5pm cube dweller or a stay-at-home mom and dad. From the time we wake up until we finally close our eyes, we are busy. Time is already at a premium, so how are we supposed to add social networks into our jam-packed schedule?connect-four-game

One of the great things about the social networks, Staying Connected,  can also one of the the biggest drawbacks. Sure we want to chat with folks from around the globe, get news as it happens, learn about people making a difference and even find out about amazing shopping deals but it does take time to participate on the networks in order to be privy to the latest news. If you’re already busy, it seems like a daunting task to take on Social Networking.

Here are a few tips to help you make the most of the time you do have to participate on the Social Networks:

1. Choose at least 1 but no more than 5 Social Networks. Remember each network requires your active participation in order to work for you. So take the time to investigate the networks that best suit your needs upfront.

2. Find the mobile versions or tools for each of the networks. Almost all of the Social Networks have a mobile version or integrate with existing mobile tools. Think about the time you currently spend standing in line at the bank, post office, store or waiting for a connecting flight. These are prime examples of how you can use what would be considered wasted time to stay connected.

3. Timing can work to your advantage. While all the Social Networks are available 24/7, there are optimum peak times to dip your toe into the busy conversation stream. By the same token there are also off-peak times in which your voice can carry further by interacting closely with fewer participants.

4. Participate in the conversation daily. Sure we’re crunched for time, but if we don’t take the time to at least post an update or two daily, we’re missing out on keeping our connections current. The last thing you want to do is take the time to build up your presence only to have it fade away due to anemic posting.

While there are many more techniques for staying connected these four are a way to get off to a good start. Feel free to add your tips and techniques for staying connected in a time crunched world.

photo credit: ManiacWorld