I had the pleasure of being invited to speak on a panel for Social Media Week Chicago and decided to attend their official opening night party at Rockit Bar & Grill. This is my first time attending Social Media Week and I must say that the excitement was beyond measure. Just from the opening night party alone I was able to meet some amazing people, including Mr. Billy Dec himself.
After making my way around the room, I stopped and checked out Groupon’s Pride table and had a pleasant conversation with their representative, Peter, who shared with me how excited they were to be there, representing Groupon for SMW. He asked what I do, which I told him, and also mentioned that I was speaking on a panel Thursday, which really intrigued him. He asked what the panel was on, which I stated “Mastering Social Media”, then he asked if I could tell him just a few things he should do to master social media.
This isn’t the first time I was put on the spot. Something similar happened a couple of days ago when an event attendee who was familiar with my work began speaking highly of me amongst those who were sitting at her table. I came over to greet everyone and someone at the table asked me a very general marketing question, which I answered in a way that sparked a stimulating 20-minute conversation.
Now, back to the Peter at Groupon. After discovering the name of the panel I was speaking on, he asked me what he should do to master social media. I gave him 3 things that he could begin doing now. And now I’d like to share those 3 things with you all:
Nowadays, people can spot a fake or con-artist a mile away. Authenticity is one of the reasons why I’m not a fan of Queen Latifah’s new talk show. I’m referencing her because she was referenced in my conversation with the group of ladies at the table a couple of days ago. No one wants to do business with someone who is not honest and authentic. If you notice, people love Oprah because she’s the same woman in every single situation. Steve Harvey is doing well because you know that he’s going to be the same silly Steve on anything that he touches, and the same with Ellen Degeneres. People love authenticity. Don’t pretend to be anyone else online or anywhere for that matter, but yourself.
Would you do business with a store who opened and closed their shop at any given time of day, month, or year? The same can be applied to those on social media. After a while, people will become dependent on you and the material that you share across your networks. Consistency in anything that you’re trying to accomplish will produce positive results. The same goes for social media and all forms of marketing.
Social media is literally a 24/7 endeavor. You have people all over the world and in different time zones who are active online. Social media is always on and there is always someone looking to engage and be social. I could never understand how can someone open up a social media account and fail to be social. Constantly posting your own material and sales ads is not being social. Social media should be like any other social interaction; a 2-way conversation. If someone comments on your posts, be sure to respond, and don’t be afraid to comment and share other people’s posts.
Being social on a media outlet that operates non-stop is extremely time-consuming, yet extremely imperative to your business. There are businesses who handle customer service inquiries through social media, and there are also social media accounts who have large and influential followings. Being prompt, consistent, and authentic in your response and interaction is a strong piece of your brand. If it’s too time-consuming for you, then you should invest in hiring someone to handle it for you, while you focus on other aspects of your business.
Don’t complicate it. Social media is simple. It’s the managing and analytical side of social media that can be quite difficult and time-consuming.