Five Top Tips for Social Media Chicks

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Last week I was invited by Creative Barnsley to speak at the Girl Geek South Yorkshire dinner. As you might expect from a geek audience, there was instant feedback on social media!

Here are the tips those lovely ladies (and one brave gentleman) rated top for social media newbies:

#1 Don’t delegate social media to junior members of staff – if you wouldn’t send them to a corporate drinks reception in real life don’t send them to the virtual one.

#2 Find out where your contacts hang out online to determine which platforms to invest in – speak where your clients and prospects want to listen.

#3 Use social media to research clients and prospects. Time can be saved and conversations made more relevant when you already know areas of interest and mutual connections.

#4 Be aware of the dress code – consider how others will view your profiles. If your ideal client was looking for your product/service, would you profiles encourage them to approach you?

#5 Make the most of LinkedIn by providing links to your website, blog, Twitter, etc. and claim your public profile as your own by customising the URL to http://linkedin.com/in/yourfullname 

Explaining How Jonathan Ross helped me see the business value of Twitter also generated a flurry of #ggdsoyo tweets (and the birth of new Twitter game #snaptweets @stellamedia @lornableach) and I was asked to share my 5 must-dos to get started with Twitter during and after the evening.  image

Special mention @Cr8tveBarnsley (pictured) for being such a wonderful host, @JoelFryer for “sneaking in unnoticed(ish)!” and @louisewilkie9 who was inspired to open a Twitter account and in turn inspired the title of this blog Smile

Leave your phones on – How social media is changing business etiquette

imageAs a software start-up building on the Azure cloud, we’re part of the Microsoft BizSpark community. At their last event, there was live video streaming and Twitter interaction throughout. You didn’t need to be in the room to be part of the event and its conversations.

A fitting example of how insights could be shared in real time was given by Loic Le Meur who wrote and posted a blog inspired by his morning keynote during an afternoon panel discussion (if you look closely at Loic’s photos you can see Mark and I on the front row).

Compare this with a recent IoD event, where a glowing introduction to the event’s guest speaker was preceded by an instruction for attendees to switch off their phones. Ironically the central message of the event was that businesses need to be more open about sharing insights and make them more accessible. It was an excellent interactive workshop, but it completely missed that there are new tools for these (old) rules!

It frustrated me that I’d been asked to switch my phone off. I like to share real time insights and appreciate when Twitter friends (those I follow) do the same, especially when there’s an event of interest that I can’t physically join. Tweets widen the reach of conversations and add depth and perspective – real time responses add to my experience of events and it’s not unusual for me to ask a question to the room that has been put to me by someone outside of it.

When I raised these points to the guest speaker he was quick to see the irony and the benefits – especially when I mentioned that my tweets had caught the eye of a committee member at another IoD branch and might result in an additional speaking engagement.

Being a relatively new committee member of the IoD’s Young Directors Forum (YDF) I wasn’t sure how this comparison/feedback would be taken… I’m pleased to report there is now a commitment to request mobiles are left on (switched to silent) before future speaker introductions and the hashtag #YDF will be used for any related tweets.

I think good manners are very important and I’m not suggesting that it’s acceptable to text during dinner or use a laptop while driving (thanks Ajeet). Equally though, be aware that those tapping away on their phones may actually be listening more intently than those who aren’t, and increasing the reach of your meeting.

(Photo Credit: Laughing Squid)