Monday, June 4th, 2012
Social Media & Media Training
Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Blogspot, Friendster, LinkedIn, the list of social media sites seems to be multiplying at a rate that would make the proverbial rabbit jealous! Which one do you use and when do you use them to improve your business? I don’t think I can answer that question in this one blog entry, but I can give some tips on what to use before, during and after your next public speaking event.
The biggest thing to remember is that you have to use the social media outlet that is the most appropriate to what you are saying, to whom you are saying it, and the goal you are trying to accomplish. Let’s look at the three basic functions: preview, support, and clean up/emphasis.
Preview: If you’re looking to increase your visibility, generate a buzz or improve attendance you can always get on blogs, Twitter and Facebook.
- Tweet at least 15-20 times per day for a few days leading up to your event. Your followers can retweet and help you get the word out. Be creative, eye catching and try to incorporate one of the #trending topics in your tweet so you come up in more searches.
- You can post a preview message on Facebook to your company’s friends and fans to let them know what’s coming up, when and how they can get involved.
- Blog on your favorite blog site, or even your own, to share a story to generate interest and excitement leading up to your event.
- Hoot Suite and Tweet Deck are two great tools that help you be in two places at once. You can use both to pre-program your tweets, Facebook and LinkedIn posts. I’ve used them to load as many as a month’s worth of tweets at one time, to be “slow released” throughout the month. I tweet tips, quotes, and other information in advance, and supplement with timely messages in the moment when appropriate.
- You can use both to pre-load messages to occur while you’re delivering a presentation. Establish a #hashtag for your presentation, invite your participants to tweet along, and they’ll see your own message highlights at the same time. Reinforce important messages, make sure your quotes are out there to get picked up by the media from your own words.
- Twitter is a great way to make sure your quotes are in cyberspace the way you intend it, not the way a reporter, blogger or other listener interprets it.
- If you’re in retail or service industries you might want to review the Washington Business Journal article from 2011 that talked about the businesses who tweeted during the snow storms last year boasting as much as 75% higher revenue than similar businesses who did not. They let their fans, followers, and patrons know they were open for business, and their hours…and the public listened, responded and spends money.
- Do you have a complicated story that can’t be told in a four second soundbite or quote? What’s holding you back from posting your own how-to or explanation video YouTube? You have a voice, use it to your advantage.
- Let’s say you did an interview and weren’t happy with your performance, or thought the reporter had an agenda that didn’t serve your best interest, you can blog, tweet, or Facebook your position. Think about this: the minute the rumor mill opens up about someone famous, the first thing entertainment reporters do, is hop on Twitter to see what the involved parties have to say about the rumors. Social media gives a little power back to you, to be able to shape your own messages that can be “Googled” by anyone looking for your side of the story.
- Why not put your own informational pieces on YouTube where you get to answer the questions you like?
When I was a reporter 1995-2000 the internet was still relatively new, social media was a group of friends huddling around a television to watch a game or movie. Reporters had the power of the edit button for video and the computer for print stories. We could turn and splice anything we wanted into the story we wanted to put out there. Now, you have the power to create your own stories, early and often. You can preview the story, tell it, and correct the record if someone else gets it wrong. I see clients reluctant to dive right in and make the most of social media because it’s often branded as the “young person’s playground.” If you share this view, it really is a missed opportunity. Of course, stay within the operating guidelines set by your company or organization, but use the web to your advantage. If you don’t, your competitors will, and maybe your current customers will have an easier time finding them, instead of you.
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