Sometimes the on-line world just amazes me. I’m up to my ears in on-line social networks, have followers around the globe, am building significant and lasting relationships and keep in touch with friends on an almost daily basis.
Then there are people who say to me, “I don’t get that whole internet thing”. That’s okay, no worries. Usually these are people who do not need a (strong) on-line presence. They live in an “old school” neighbourhood where they’ve lived all their lives and have all the social interaction and connections they need.
And then you come across a blogpost about CMO’s (Chief Marketing Officers) and their utter lack of presence on Social Media. Now that makes me go, hmmmmm…. Didn’t we get the memo? Don’t we know by now that Social Media is rather huge, and very much expected from some people?
Granted, for some, it’s just not interesting. SoMe is a far away land where people share their lunches. And it might be true. Not that everybody shares what they eat, but that some people really don’t need it.
But, for CMO’s we can agree that you need to work on your personal brand. And, by the way, this goes for a lot of professionals, especially those having to do anything with tech, marketing, content creation, HR, PR, IT… well, you get the idea.
If you have anything more then 5 years to go in your career, then this concerns you.
First, Ask for Help!
Chances are, your company is already active on Social Media (if not, you have bigger fish to fry then your personal presence). But, assuming there are people working on-line, get them in a room and ask them what they’re up to. As a CMO you should know. However, we’re assuming (again), that your focus lies with ‘traditional’ media and any Social Media efforts are delegated (and left alone).
Let’s face it, the situation above is pretty common, so nothing to be ashamed of.
Anyway, get these Tweeple to help you getting set up. I’m sure they’d be very happy to get you going, help you create the necessary accounts and walk you through their basic use. Also, whenever you get stuck, get s/he in your office (or better yet, walk down to their desk), and ask for a helping hand.
Remember, it’s all about Social.
Browse the platforms
Once you have your accounts set up you can look around. Search for the name of the company or co-workers, see what pops up. It will give you a different view of the company and its employees. It could actually be a very fun thing to do. And I’m sure you can make some time to have some fun (it’s OK to have some fun).
It’s the difference between walking a route or travelling it in a hot air balloon, it’s the same route, but a completely different perspective.
And don’t forget to connect with co-workers, as many as you can (i.e. all of them).
Social Media is nothing without us humans actually connecting, talking and sharing with each other. People are the engine.
If you are a CMO of a strong brand, then finding connections should not be a huge problem. In fact, judging from the lack of CMO’s who’re socially settled, it shouldn’t be a big problem at all. If you start now, you’d still be among the first batch.
And last, but certainly not least. Start a conversation.
After connection you start to build relationships. This you do by talking to people, share their content and let them know what you think (especially when it’s good stuff).
Especially concerning employees, you can engage in an informal manner with them, opening up and getting to know your company in a new way, a better way. Employees will appreciate this to no end. Your reputation will grow quickly, simply because of your position.
Connect and talk to peers too, they give you insights and idea’s to work with. Especially when they blog.
You might have noticed I didn’t mention any platforms you should join. That’s in part up to you, and in essence, the connect and converse part is the same for all. But, for sake of completeness, here’s a list in order of importance:
Yes, only three. Facebook is not worth it, not professionally. And you don’t want to many. Time is, of course, precious.
I just have to mention this. Blogging is a great way to build a reputation. You can share knowledge (yes, that’s OK), and help others with whatever issue they might face in your field of expertise.
Getting your network to share your (personal) story and views can be quite satisfying.
Adding your precious content to the corporate blog is also a good idea. Align it with current business and marketing objectives to make sure the content is marketable and worth the effort.
The added value to your brand can be significant. Having a strong personal brand, combined with being a Subject Matter Expert makes you a highly valuable brand ambassador. Somebody who can influence customers with just a Tweet.
Trust me.., it is possible.