LinkedIn 201 Basics: How To Share Thought Leadership [Infographic]

Four easy steps to building your online subject matter reputation by sharing informative articles on LinkedIn

Four easy steps to building your online subject matter reputation by sharing informative articles on LinkedIn

No Time For Social Media? Why You Should Make Some

Pocket watch, savonette-type. Italiano: Orolog...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I came across this article, How to Make Space for Social Media,  published on Harvard Business Review by Alexandra Samuel, Vice-President of Social Media at Vision Critical, a market research technology provider (@awsamuel). She had me from the first sentence:

Few professionals were sitting at their desks in 2004, eyeing the empty slots in their calendars and wishing that somebody would just invent a new way of communicating to fill those long and lonely minutes.

Nice. And, something I wanted to share in a way more robust than a simple tweet or LinkedIn update, which is why I’ve based this entry on her’s.

In the article she takes an honest look not at not just the reasons why it makes sense for today’s executives to be active on social media, but why it’s worth giving up other activities in order to find the time to participate. It’s powerful stuff. She supported one of my recurring mantras regarding social business for companies — hire a social media professional to lead the way — but goes on to address the individual executive’s reason for doing so.

Here are the four questions she says execs need to ask themselves in order to realize the value spending (more) time on social networks:

  1. What am I learning from social media?
  2. Who am I meeting through social media?
  3. Who am I reaching through social media?
  4. How am I replenished by social media?

Please read the article for the reasoning behind the questions. There’s a lot to learn — and to teach others resistant to the idea of devoting time and energy to social media — that you will be able to use.

After all, the best way to get senior management “buy-in” for your social media initiatives is to first explain the “why” before the “what, how and when”.

Food for Thought: Adding Social Media to the Menu

After taking time off for summer adventures, misadventures and mishaps (fodder for future posts, no doubt) I came across an article written earlier this year by confessed social media neophyte Bruce Buscel on his attempts to secure PR services for his relatively new restaurant, Southfork Kitchen, located in New York’s vaunted Hamptons on Long Island’s east end. While restaurant centric in nature, there are  lessons to learn for all businesses, big and small, about how social media has changed the landscape for both marketing and public relations.

After two failed attempts to engage a PR firm to support his restaurant’s launch, first with  traditional PR firm that appeared to just go through the (unsuccessful) motions and another with a “foodie” led boutique firm which (on paper) would seem to have been a good fit but ultimately wanted to change the client rather than support it, Bruce  realized that:

“The old P.R. model is as useless as the fax machines on which press releases used to arrive.”

He decided to turn to media firms with expertise in social media. Surveying six of them, he came up with a digital dozen strategies for social media. From those, here are my top five social media strategies for all businesses (paraphrased):

  1. It’s a dialogue– listen and respond
    The first word in social media is “social”. It’s a dialogue, not a broadcast. Listen always; respond frequently; curate connections.
  2. Keep your social media activity current.
    The only thing worse than not being involved in social media is to allow your participation to go stale.
  3. Know your audience.
    Engage them where they already are participating online. Keep in mind that if your customer base is comprised of several distinct audiences that participate on different social networks you’ll need to tailor your content for each.
  4. Assess your progress regularly.
    Like any other business discipline, you need to plan strategy, execute tactics, assess results,  and then modify your plan as indicated. To do so you need to track KPI (Key Performance Indicators) relevant to your specific business and goals (likes, follows, time spent; service issues handled, sales/conversions, etc.) .
  5. Engage a social media pro to get you started and then plan long-term
    Bruce is not alone in wondering how to get up to speed on social media. my advice is, as always, hire a social media professional (one who has successfully been performing social media as a profession for a number of years) to get you started. Then, plan on who will take over that role long-term. Consider bringing your contracted pro in-house if it makes sense for you both.

Bruce concludes,

“What is the sound of irony? We are all in the P.R. business now.”

Indeed.

A New Year, But Same Rules for Social Media PR

Image courtesy of the Association of Web Design Professionals2011 was the year in which social media gained wider acceptance as a viable business tool. But in many ways th new year finds the chasm between Marketing and Communications over its use has grown wider.

I’ve written before about the ultimate goal for social media within the enterprise (see “Who Owns Social Media? Ultimate Answer: The Opposites”), but at the start of 2012 it seems (according to the job openings I have observed) that social media marketing is taking command, with calls for professionals experienced in social and viral marketing campaigns ruling the day.

So, when I found this article, The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Social Media in Crisis Communications, I noticed that despite the crisis communications spin of the headline the advice listed makes good sense for any company looking to leverage social media for Communications/PR. Briefly:

Dos
Accept social media as an ongoing tool; create a social media policy; trust and use your staff; plan on who and how to handle crisis communications; keep social media social – participate in the conversation; be honest; always think of your image.

Don’ts 
Try to ban social media use company wide – it won’t work; talk at you audience – engage with them;  try ti spin the message – insincerity is magnified (and readily apparent) online; keep your associates in the dark — keep them apprised and energized; mix corporate social media accounts with associates’ personal ones – accidents do happen.

Of course, the biggest “Do”: engage in social media. It’s a valuable cross-discipline tool for your entire organization.

image credit: association of web design professionals

Related articles

Social Media: An Essential Recruitment Tool

You’ve heard how companies are increasingly utilizing social media to recruit new associates, but what exactly does that mean? Jobvite‘s 2011 survey provides a look at which social networks recruiters and hiring managers use to find and assess prospective employees.

How Many Businesses Use Social Media?
Social Recruiting Plans

The answer is just about every company does, with almost 90% responding that they either already do or plan to use social media as a recruitment tool.

This makes sense, as more job seekers search for positions via digital means. Early in my career I poured over pages of job listings in the Sunday New York Times classifieds section weekly. Today’s digital route is much more efficient in finding opportunities and marketing themselves online.

Which Social Networks Are Most Important?
Social Networks for Recruiting No surprise here, LinkedIn, long known as the social network of professionals and recruiters, gets the most play with 86.6% of respondents utilizing that network. Launched in May 2003 as a business-related social network, LinkedIn’s 120 million members are a prime audience for talent recruiting and vetting.

What’s impressive are the numbers posted by Twitter and Facebook. Dismissed by many businesses, they provide a large, often different recruitment pool, with insight into prospects’ character via status updates, photos and affiliations.

When Do Companies Look at Your Social Footprint?
Use of Candidate ProfilesAnd as you can see, you’ve got an almost three out of four chance that the company you’ve applied to will search out your online presence – even if you do not provide them with their links.

Advice: Do your own social media audit. Perform a Google search on your own name and see what is returned. Check out all of your mentions to see which you should take down, modify or request a correction.

Remember: What happens online, stays online — for all to see or discover. 

Calling the News Corp. Situation a “PR Problem” Is Wrong

Rupert Murdoch - World Economic Forum Annual M...

Image by World Economic Forum via Flickr

I keep seeing the situation with Rupert Murdoch’s (photo right) News Corp. and the circumstances that led to its closing ‘The News of the World‘ (“NotW”) after 168 years referred to as a “PR problem.” That is just wrong.

Certainly, the unethical hacking activity into private citizen’s email and voicemail by NotW journalists is worthy of both scorn and retribution, legal and otherwise, but calling it a PR  problem implies that good PR practices could have mitigated or even prevented the consequences News Corp. continues to face. And that’s not true.

As with any crisis response, News Corp. needs to follow the Five A’s of crisis management (amended to six by me):

  1. Assess
  2. Admit
  3. Address
  4. Atone
  5. Adapt
  6. Abridge

No amount of “good PR” could’ve saved NotW, and it remains to be seen what the ultimate ramifications are for News Corp. It’s not a PR problem— it’s a PR issue.

Let’s not confuse the two. 

Happy 100th IBM – and a One Word Lesson for Social Media

Image representing IBM as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Light the candles (and notify the Fire Marshall) on the cake and sing “Happy Birthday” to IBM as it celebrates its 100th birthday. Despite its many technological accomplishments including the revolutionary punch cards; electric typewriters, mainframes and personal computers, its most significant contribution to social media use may be its iconic company slogan — “THINK”.

On June 16, 1911 four companies merged into the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation in Endicott, NY creating one of the great American corporations, renamed in 1924 as International Business Machines, IBM. Three years later its iconic leader, Thomas J. Watson, instituted the one-word slogan that both encourages and cautions – THINK.

And that’s the social media lesson for brands and individuals today. Before you send that photo… before you post that angry rebuttal… before you denigrate others (no matter how well deserving)… before you tweet that knee-jerk reaction that , at the time, you are sure is justified… THINK.

Think about how what you send may be received. Think about how what you say can be interpreted. Think about whether what you are about to do maintains accuracy, integrity or transparency — or — just lowers you to the same level as the muckrakers and mudslingers.

Too often, brands have been tarnished, careers ended or major revenue lost, due to the failure to employ a “digital count-to-ten” before publishing on the Web.

It’s not enough being right. It’s not enoughbeing technically correct. In social media, as in all marketing and indeed much of life itself, it’s all about how what you do is perceived. So before you post, tweet, like or digg…

%d bloggers like this: