On Tuesday night I attended Social Media for the CEO Manchester (#SM4CEOMAN), a presentation by Eve Mayer Orsburn who is known by her 43,000+ followers on twitter as @LinkedinQueen.
I must admit that after the first 5 minutes, where Eve gave some top-level social media information and quotes from the Nielsen report highlighting that 90% of online consumers trusted recommendations from people they know, I was worried that this was going to be pretty much the same content that has been spouted or written about social media hundreds of times before.
However, it quickly became apparent that there was much more to the self-proclaimed LinkedIn Queen than generic social media advice. This was introduced when business context was given to the presentation, initially with a quote from 7 habits author Stephen Covey related to writing any strategy: “to begin with the end in mind”.
This is a pretty simple concept, but one that is so obviously simple that people often forget to apply it. I’m guilty of that myself. I set up my @OnlineAStevens Twitter account without first setting my end goal. Same with my LinkedIn account and to a degree this blog. The thing to take away is that whether you’re creating a personal brand or just trying to do your job more effectively; like you would with any marketing or business strategy you need to set your end goals as well as clear intermittent goals to help you get there.
Another change in perspective that I took away was in my content strategy for Twitter posts. I have always said that you need a rich mix of content to keep people interested. Like having a conversation with a friend, you wouldn’t constantly keep asking them to read your blog or buy a product. You’d engage in proper conversation, sharing interesting information and funny stories. I always pushed the following mix:
25% – General content: What you’re up to and such
25% – Retweets and @mentions: Share the love
25% – Relevant info: Links to content specific to your industry
25% – Irrelevant info: Links to content from anywhere except your industry
However Eve gave a much more focused approach that has your ultimate goal in mind (taken from the presentation):
Provide general information and facts about your industry. An example of this type of content came from a member of the audience, from a law firm: “20% of compensation claims are successful if made within 2 months of accident”, simultaneously informing and promoting your offering.
It’s still people that you’re communicating with and people like to be entertained (just ask keyboard cat). Share humorous videos, odd/amusing laws (law firm example again), stir controversy and tug on people’s emotions. Say things that will inspire debate.
Ask people what they want. Listen. Respond. Act. Simple!
Eve said that many people from the social media industry advise to steer clear of trying to convert business via Twitter. However the fact is that people expect to be sold to and respond very well to offers delivered via Twitter. Conversions are ultimately the reason you’re engaging with Twitter, so don’t be afraid to try to convert business or traffic. Eve herself drives 40% of her business through Twitter and LinkedIn. Your followers won’t mind, because 80% of your tweets include useful and engaging information!
So, give it a try. Apply the above strategy to your corporate, university or personal Twitter accounts and see if it works for you. Comments and experiences below please, thanks!