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Working with the media part V – Social Media

In my final media blog I’d like to talk about the only media you can create yourself – Social Media…

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Social media has exploded across the world.  Expeditions, breaking news, sports events – all can be broadcast across the globe in a fraction of a second, and for free.  The multitude of sites out there is mind-boggling, so I’ll concentrate more on their uses and rules, rather than different websites…

  • Who are you – When I say this, I also mean, what do you look like..?  It’s alright having a number of social media accounts, but we do need an image of you to see who you are.  If we met in person I’d like to know who I’m looking for..!  People often post comical pictures on sites like Facebook, but if I was using a business site such as LinkedIn, I’d post something more businesslike.  What you’re doing is portraying who you are before you meet, and this is vital to any relationship – business or otherwise.  Your postings will tell people a deal about yourself, but make your header concise and descriptive.
  • Selling yourself – When social media first appeared on the web, the question it asked was ‘what are you doing..?’  The idea was to post that, and tell the world.  However, the question seems to have been changed to ‘what can I sell you..?’  If done well, this can be a successful way to promote an event, goods or services.  Unfortunately I see many people pushing things down your throat again and again (and unfortunately again).  There are a number of people who I used to follow on sites such as Facebook or twitter, who I have cut off because I was tired of their battering strategy.  Are you like this..?  Do you have a strategy when using social media..?
  • Watch your manners – In this modern world of international travel, social media is a fantastic way of telling everyone about your adventures and stories, but it’s also a place where people slag each other off and use foul language.  BEWARE..!!!  Once you press return, the message will go worldwide and stay there.  Just because you don’t like someone, doesn’t mean that you should post it on the internet.  Swearing, abusive language or images will only do you the world of bad in the long run.  Think before you post.  Your family, friends and employers will be watching..!  In fact, all employers will type your name into the internet to see what your character is like before an interview.  You’ve only got to look at the Paris Brown debacle
  • Interesting content – What will make your post stand out from everyone else’s..?  There are literally billions of posts being put up every day, so how do you stand out..?  Become the expert in a certain field, be the source of breaking news or post great images are three good starting points.  Telling everyone what you have for breakfast (unless it was amazing or eat on a ledge 3000ft up a rock face), will bore people senseless.  Post 100 tweets a day about irrelevant material will also bore people out of their minds.  Keep people on the edge by posting how a huge climb or sporting event is going.  The Tour de France twitter account is a great example…
  • Who is your audience – As I work across business and education, I post articles and images relevant to both.  Sounds ok so far, but when you’re working with children, you have to be careful about ‘making friends’.  This is why I have set up a Facebook page for my adventure work separate to my personal page.  It’s a sad reflection on life that we have to be this way, but there could be implications, should a legal case arise.  If you don’t know the difference between the two, on one you can ‘like’ me, and the other I accept your ‘friend request’.

Thats enough from me, as I’m not an expert in the field of Social Media, but I know someone who is.  Kaye Booth is a Social Media Consultant and director of Socialmyna.  We have known each other many years and work together on a number of projects.  Here’s five pointers from Kaye…

  • Treat networking online with the same care and planning that you would attending a physical networking session e.g. make sure you represent your brand in the best possible, positive light.
  • Be honest and transparent online: When people meet you in person they want to meet that same upbeat, interesting individual they met online not find out it was all an act!
  • Remember there is a clue in the name ‘Social’ Media: Don’t just wax lyrical about your brand products and services, engage with your audience by having a conver-social.
  • Don’t think it’s clever to automate everything! People want to speak to ‘real’ people and build rapport so if you’re not really there, don’t pretend to be!
  • Share other people’s good news, retweet and interact if not just about YOU!

Big thanks to Kaye for all her help.

Well, thats the last of my blogs on the media.  I hope you’ve found them useful.  If you need any help or advice, just drop me a line, or abseil by as I’m climbing.  See you in the hills..!

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