Social Media is Like Dating

Peter : On Rad's Radar?
Peter
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

Social Media is Like Dating

Last night was the WITI Tampa meeting with two social media experts - IBM's VP Sandy Carter and Tampa Bay's own Shawna Vercher.  

Sandy walked the audience through some social media lessons, including some homework on your Brand 2.0: Post 2 presentations to SlideShare; join LinkedIn and Facebook and connect with 50 people; and join twitter and tweet. Your brand is about experience, connection, promise and interaction. Social media helps you to give your audience (or marketplace) that. It can't replace face-to-face, but, as Shawna put it, it's a nice placeholder for you until you see them again. It's a way to stay top of mind. It's all about what you want your brand to be - offline and online. 

Other ways to utilize social networks to boost your brand are becoming an expert on LinkedIn Answers; creating how-to videos on YouTube; and increasing your search engine results with tagged video and photos (especially with a Flickr account).

The one thing about social media that many brands haven't gotten is that social media is like dating. It should be treated just like face-to-face networking. People say stuff on Facebook and Twitter that they would never say in person. 

If you met Guy Kawasaki in person and all he did was talk non-stop about his Alltop project, wouldn't you walk away? 

If you met a blogger and all they did was discuss their blog posts, number of readers, famous people who commented, etc., would you want to run into that person again?

Then don't be that way on Twitter or Facebook. 

Shawna talked tactically about ways to use these technology platforms to gain business. It's a way to reach out to your audience and let them get to know you before you do business together.  To do that well, you need to have a social media plan.  What is Your Goal? How much time will you put into it? What will you say? Who are you talking to? Shawna recommends that "You map out your sales cycle."

Ideally, you want to give the preception that you are the best or an expert in your field. To do that well, you would ideally announce (whether on LI, FB, or twitter) about your speaking gigs, industry news, client proposals, worthy works, congratulate people, case studies, etc. It doesn't have to be about what you had for breakfast or what your cat did.

Remember that social media is the virtual date. Shawna says that Facebook is like meeting for a cup of coffee and Twitter is that blind date. Either way: dress appropriately and act accordingly. It's about interesting conversation first and foremost. You can't engage by puking marketing material on them or being all Me-Me-Me. Again would you do that in a face-to-face encounter?

Lastly, this stuff is permanent! It's like herpes, your digital history will last forever.



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