The art of combining ‘social’ and ‘business’ isn’t everyone’s cup of tea
If you’re in marketing, the hard part about ‘social business’ or ‘social marketing’ is if you think it’s a load of cat crap. Many marketers seem to think it’s a great development. This means the smell of cat crap is coming from your own flower bed. Not nice.
On the plus side, if you do decide to give it a try, there’s a motherload of advice hanging out there on the internet waiting for you.
Social media outside the marketing team
But what if you’re in the kind of job that’s usually taken up by people who don’t like the sound of the word “business” or “marketing”? In that case the amount of available information shrinks. That may be an advantage – if you’re able and willing to filter out all the noise the social media marketers are making.
Even if you get over yourself and the marketing stuff, the organization you work in probably never realized that you might be interested, or able to contribute in some way to the company’s online presence.
- Your manager may not agree with your taking on this new role. Or his/her manager may not.
- Your targets don’t mention anything remotely like “representing our company by becoming a valued blogger on subject X” – especially if subject X is unlikely to add visibly to the company’s financial results.
- Your manager thinks it’s a great idea, but you don’t have time during working hours so you end up representing your company on your own time. Right up until you burn out.
Where do you find the feeling that your presence on social media is valued by the company you work for? Or if that’s not going to happen, how will you make social media work for you?
By introducing personal branding on social media. Social branding.
There, I’ve said it. Yukkk. Why should you want that?
Social media is your business
If you’re on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn (or… you name it), social media is already a big or small part of your life. It may not yet feel like being part of a business thing. So how is this your business?
Anything you do tells people who’ve connected with you something about YOU, the brand. Don’t believe me?
Let’s face it, does everybody out there really know you, the person, warts and all, on a Sunday morning after going to bed late and your kids waking you up at 6 in the morning (sometimes you’re lucky if it gets as late as 6 AM), watching the latest politically-correct version of some mind-numbing cartoon series for the under-9-year-olds? Well, some people probably put that photo on Instagram too 🙂 But even if you do, how many people know the “you” that lives behind the pictures you publish?
You’re a brand to someone out there, no matter what you do or don’t do.
- If you’re LinkedIn profile sucks, that’s you to a recruiter. “This guy/gel hasn’t updated her profile in two years – obviously NOT looking for a job”.
In case this made you wonder about YOUR LinkedIn profile, check what information is actually visible to other people while you’re logged on. What seemed fine 4 years ago when you had a steady job may not be enough to attract recruiters or customers, if you’re starting a business. You can waste a lot of time on updating your profile if no-one except you can see it.
Go to Settings – [Profile] – Helpful links – Edit your Public Profile to check and change the visibility of your profile.
- If your tweets have so many typos you need more than 140 characters to fit them all in, that’s you to anyone who follows you, or who finds you through a typo in their search – or through searching for your name after someone mentioned you to them.
- If you blog about your kids, dogs and flower bed (with cat crap), you’re branding yourself. Not according to some major strategy, but still.
With every activity you’re giving people a piece of a puzzle which they use to construct an image of you, your family, your company…
So while you’re branding yourself on social media, you might as well do it right.
Start by revising your main social media profiles. After you’ve done that, if you have a manager, go to him/her and ask for input, especially if you (want to) mention your company in those profiles.
I have yet to run into a manager who wants the company to look bad by letting employees have unprofessional profiles on LinkedIn. Use that knowledge to your advantage 😉
And then? On to the next step… and the next.
If you want to add ideas on the subject of making social media everyone’s business, please leave your comment below – I will reply to any (non-spammy) contribution!