Recently, I had the pleasure of reconnecting with a colleague who is building a very relevant business with services centered on how to use social media to better communicate with customers and partners, as well within our own businesses or organizations. Needless to say, her market potential is ripe – as everyone is trying to figure this out with the continually evolving suite of solutions and competitiveness in the market.
From a individualized perspective, I work with many clients who are struggling on how often to tweet, post to Facebook, or even what to include on their LinkedIn profile. Many wonder how to ‘align’ their public persona on the Internet with who they are, what they want, and how they wish to be perceived; especially those senior executives in large Fortune 500 companies who are unsure if they even need to have an online social presence, and if so, what should they include and how should they move forward?
As leaders, we have the opportunity to set the tone for our own personal brand through our social presence. What are a few tips which may be helpful as we embark on this new platform together?
- Start by making your LinkedIn profile memorable. This applies to everyone – not just the budding entrepreneur or corporate junkie in transition. So, what are a few baby steps? Update your photo – yes, a mug shot will not work if you want to truly stand out! Your tagline, which is adjacent to your name and beneath your name, is your ‘elevator pitch’ – NOT just a title or a role description of your current job. What do you want folks to remember about YOU? That is what you want to place here. Take advantage of attaching the maximum number of three websites within your profile – yours/your company’s, your blog (if you have one), and another blog link which you like and/or to which you ‘align’. Make your summary real and authentic. If it reads just like a resume, re-think this approach. What makes YOU different and about what are you passionate? That is what folks want to learn. These are just a few baby steps to get you on your way.
- Be consistent in your message – on all platforms. Whether this is Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. we need to stay on-message. As with our brand for ourselves and our companies, consistency is king. Let’s face it: a social media presence is just an extension of ourselves. Whatever we want them to think, say, or do – each and every time they interact with us – is what we need to offer. Frankly, this can be tough; I struggle with this all the time – as I have a very diverse set of interests. I have my book, my business, my family, my charitable interests, etc. Yet, what I am learning is that this is all great, as long as it is real, authentic, and is not confusing or ‘out of alignment’ with who I am, what I want, and what I am wanting to share. Michael Hyatt has written an incredibly worthwhile book entitled: Platform: How to Get Noticed in a Very Busy World. My copy is dog-eared, highlighted, well-used AND I continue to be a neophyte in this world! Buy that book…it is well worth having as a reference!
- Don’t wait to engage. Many of my clients still don’t have a LinkedIn profile, as they believe as long as they are employed by a large Fortune company, they don’t need one. Wrong! Just like when I speak on building relationships and a professional network of support, why wait until you need them to try to build them? Build your presence NOW. Engage NOW. Interact with other bloggers. Give early and often…it is not a one-way street. Post comments on LinkedIn groups. Tweet daily. Sure, it can become a time-sink, so be smart about when and how you engage. “Keep it real” by making sure your approach and level of engagement is in alignment with what you want, how you want to contribute, and who you are.
Over the past several years, my colleague Peggy and my discussions have centered on alignment on many levels. Alignment certainly applies to our online presence, as well. She has taken this concept to the social media platform and how to make this integration compelling for individuals, as well as companies. For those continuing to explore how to make these new tools relevant for their entrepreneurial ventures or budding businesses, refer to her website and blog which cites many observations on the evolving digital communities as well as how we can align our businesses with social media with minimal effort and for the highest return.
We cannot ignore the vitality and importance of having a real, authentic, and well-aligned presence on the various social media platforms. It does not matter if you are in the technology business, a real estate agent, or a Fortune 500 middle-manager. We need to build our platform presence – as the new currency of our world is being current.
What are your tips on how to make your social presence meaningful and relevant? What has NOT worked for you? Please share…let’s refine our approach together!