Social Media is a tumultuousness place. You hear so much about the drama and bad that comes from it. What you rarely hear is how awesome it is. The real benefit from engaging on social platforms.
Hidden beneath the political banter and this is right and you are wrong lies a beauty of connecting with people. Understand that you get what you want out of your social media use, you want to talk sports, technology or even the dreaded politics discussions, there is a social platform or community for it. Social media platforms are there from the mainstream ones like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Every person uses each platform differently.
With all these platforms, how can you use social media to help drive new career opportunities?
Start by putting yourself out there. – If you are only talking about change and doing nothing, then nothing will change. Find one platform and start from there.
For me I chose Twitter. Back in 2009 I was working as a contractor for EMC and had just heard about this conference called EMC World being held in Orlando. Knowing I was a contractor and the department I was in wouldn’t be sending anyone and needing a way to see what the show was about. I saw on an internal forum people talking about how you can follow along on Twitter. So in March of 2009, I signed up and started connecting with people around the show. Then from there, I saw these social media meetups that Stu Miniman was hosting internally, being new and curious about social media I started to attend these meetings. Only years later and after I was working for HP did I realize that those meetings were for events and corporate social media activities.
What you want to do is find the platform that is most comfortable for you and start engaging with folks around the topics where you would like to grow your career.
LinkedIn – Join groups and lurk for a little bit to see how the conversation is being driven, once you feel comfortable, start commenting on posts then connecting with people. My personal LinkedIn strategy is to connect with anyone as it grows my professional network.
Facebook – I belong to a few communities here but I kee this more about personal passions like food and booze as well as gaming. What you want to do is up to you but there are a ton of great groups and communities on Facebook
Twitter – This is still my favorite social media platform. I search and engage with users by hashtags. This allows for you to start to build a rapport with fellow users around a topic. The VMware or vCommunity is a great example.
Meetup.org – Finding local user groups is key to building your next career move. By engaging with local users it provides that face time that solidifies the online connections. It is also great exposure in building your personal brand.
Now comes the best part, engaging with other users on social media platforms. Just be yourself, respectful and courteous to others and you can’t go wrong. It may take a little bit to get established within certain groups but as long as are providing good insights into the conversation you will be on a path to success.
The other day while I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, a nice quote popped up from Social Media Examiner by Sue B Zimmerman “Social Media is not for selling, it’s for building trust.”
A small exchange then ensued (Screen capture 1) in the comments and one that I couldn’t Agree to disagree on.
As you can see (Screen capture 2) user scottayres says “Selling is part of, if not all of social media. It’s marketing after all. I came back and responded that “social media isn’t marketing…”
I then responded (Screen capture 3) ” while we broadcast on the social platforms our wares to where users are gathering, social media is not marketing.”
Scottayres responded ” Yes it is! Everything your business publishes is marketing. Everything.”
Now this is where the discussion can be had that everything a business publishes is in fact as scottayres says marketing. However, this is where I disagree in the terms of social media being marketing.
Social media is exactly what it states, social the “media” aspect can be anything from; user groups, online forums, usenets, twitter, facebook, linkedin, xing, the yet to be developed medium where we interact.
As marketers we bring the discussion of our wares to where the users are, tv commercials, billboards, banner adds, spread in paper, creating video on youtube. That is us bringing the message of our business to the users.
Let’s look at this a little bit, if as an organization all you do is broadcast your message, you aren’t really being social you are being noisy. It is a personal belief of mine that you have to be genuine, and by being genuine you will gain trust. The trust you have built up will lead to more visibility and ultimately more sales.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below