Before we begin – let me clarify that this post is not about getting drunk and tweeting. As fun as that sounds, it’s not where this is going…
Whether you love it or hate it, the social media phenomenon has very much landed and in my opinion it’s worth getting a basic understanding of what all those posts, pins and pokes are about.
One of the key lessons I’ve learnt about using social media for business, is the importance of approaching it with the right attitude. I like to approach social media, much like I approach an evening in the pub. Here’s why…
Pubs mix business with play
Unlikely as it may seem, some of the best business deals happen in the pub, or in other relaxed, social environments. Connecting with people through social media platforms can help you engage more easily than with a traditional email or cold call and business success often follows. People often achieve this work/ play mix through posting a combination of ‘business’ and ‘fun’ content. For example, a day of posts for me typically includes some business-related advice (either my own or sharing someone else’s), some self-promotion and something fun like a picture of my pet lizard.
‘Me me me’ is not good pub talk
If you were chatting to someone over a beer, you wouldn’t just talk about yourself. If you did, you’d soon find the conversation running dry. Social media works in the same way. If you bombard your followers with line after line about what you’re doing, it becomes too one sided and they may get bored. It’s great to talk about your work, but mix it in with other content, to keep everyone interested. Share other people’s work, congratulate them on their successes and ask relevant questions – just like you would in the pub.
You’ll learn more by listening
Forget talking for a moment – how much do you learn when you listen? Whether it’s catching up on gossip or eavesdropping over the next table, it’s amazing what you’ll gain just by keeping quiet. One of the best pieces of advice I recently had on social media, was to sit back and watch. See what your competitors are posting and who is responding. Look at your future clients and learn what their interests are. After a little bit of observation you’ll have an understanding of which conversations are capturing people’s attention and you’ll be in a better place to begin your own.
(Crisps and peanuts optional…)