I was probably the greatest skeptic on our team with regards to the usefulness of social media. Most workplaces banned it for a reason… time wasters… reading texts about someone doing up their shoes, twittering together about a sexual innuendo or passing on a meme. I was not a believer.
Then Jaemin, my business partner, used Facebook to put an advertisement out to coaches about a placement we were trying to make, and he had four applicants. Since then we’ve hired six people this way – very directly targeting the right community and wasting no time or money. Facebook has 1 billion+ members – making it the third largest “nation” on earth. Hmmm, OK keep talking.
Then a co-worker directed me to a book: “Mastering Story, Community and Influence,” by Jay Oatway (which underscored the importance of using social media to build business). In it Jay tells the story of winelibrary.com owner Gary Vaynerchuck, who used Youtube and Twitter to quickly and directly answer wine buyers questions. $4m sales in 1999 to $60 million in 2009.(1)
Then a friend of mine sent me a request to join Linked in – a place I had already joined two years ago and never used. Between then and now, it has grown. There are now 100 million active users. Watch the demographics though, three quarters of them are 35+ and 40% of them make $100k+. (2) If that’s your market, then you’d better take a good hard look at your profile. For a great work-over, check out www.linkedin.com/in/coachjanemorrison?
Think carefully about the fact that your online presence as a whole presents a personal brand. There’s no such thing as private anymore. Your conduct on the weekend is facebooked and meta tagged instantly, and 80% of employers do a Google search of FB, twitter and YouTube. Think about merging your professional and private persona. Think about being more professional.
The connectivity from Youtube to Twitter, Facebook and my blog site seemed really convenient, and I was able to do something once, and cross promote it to thousands of people. But then they started reposting, retweeting and re-blogging it, and my reach became many times greater than before. It also make our Google ranking rise, which would only work if we had our Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) sorted out properly.
The online world is here to stay, and your friends are with you for a life time.