Social Media = Business Skills

On LinkedIn, Josh Blank asked the question in the Social Media Success Summit 2010 group:

How important is previous experience when hiring someone to head up Social Media?

There were a few comments, but the one that really stood out to me was Tia Dobi’s [highlighted parts are mine]:

Hmmmm…I would definitely hire someone with the ability/mindset to bring in new business – is there a head position where we would not want experience and results from the new hire?

…Getting someone with business sense to create profits for your company (and to not understand that relationships create profits would be amateur/immature thinking it seems to me).

…I would never suggest entrusting the future profits and growth of a business to someone without a mature business mind and the hands-on knowledge of connecting the dots.

In my social media research I rarely come across social media = business.  Yes, there is alot of discussion about what is the ROI of Social Media.  My favs:

The perception of Social Media is that it is Social and thus not a true business driver.  Social media is a young field.  The internet is young.  I’m 36 and my university days did not include the World Wide Web.  I graduated in 1995 when the web was born.  There was NOT ONE laptop at my lectures…  that was 15 yrs ago!!

But lets look at the core of what a business is.  According to dictionary.com, its “the purchase and sale of goods in an attempt to make a profit.” In order for that transaction to happen you need 2 people.  The seller and the buyer.  Business is that fancy dance of letting you know what I got to buy and finding what you need to buy.  Yes… to use the cliche, it takes 2 to tango (and to make money).

Social Media = Relationships

So… Laurinda where are you going with this?  Its about the relationship.  I need to find you.  You need to find me.  We meet and have a transaction that is mutually beneficial (for the most part).  Without you or without me.. there is no transaction.  No business.  Therefore the relationship is ESSENTIAL.

What makes a good relationship?

  • Understanding
  • Communication
  • Credibility
  • Respect
  • Trust

How do you build relationships in social media that lead to business?

  • Understanding:  Listen to your marketplace.  Understand who they are and what are their needs.
  • Communication:  Talk to your marketplace.  Be part of the community.  Be helpful.  Don’t just PUSH your message out.  Imagine if you did that with your friends, they would look at you as if your nuts.  Instead, put to use all those good manners that your mom taught you.
  • Credibility and Respect:  If you listen to understand and communicate to be a good community citizen, you build trust and credibility.  And when someone wants something that you offer, they will go to the place that they know and trust over someone else.
  • Trust:  If you hang out long enough and proven your worth, people will trust you.  Its a slow build, but in a time where people value other people’s opinions, you will have business “ambassadors” doing the pre-relationships for you.

In answering Josh’s question.  One key element is truly understanding how social media will drive your business.

Do you agree?

.

Social Media (non) habits

In my avid twitter reading, I came across this new twitter follow list site:  TweepML, Share Groups of Twitter Users.  (I wish I could remember who tweeted it…sorry I can’t credit you)

I was interested in the list Top 250 Technology Influencers on Twitter.

So, I signed up, entered my twitter account and within minutes, I had effortlessly added many tech gurus to my list.

Easy right?

Well.. not so much.  You see, I’m a creature of habit.  (yes, human.. although there are days my friends who argue against it).  And when I go through my daily, habitual reading and responding on twitter I had all these new faces and tweets.  Normally I would follow a person here, or there.  Like, someone I met at #blogchat or someone who was recommended by another.  But, when there was tons of new people, it felt like an entirely new feed.

My response to all these new faces?

I swore.  Yet another new thing I have to get used to.  Do I really need all these new faces?  Grumble, grumble, grumble.

Within minutes (should have been seconds).. but within minutes,  I caught myself.  What the hell am I complaining about?  In the last 2 years I have moved from being  TV person only to a social media sponge.  I have tried 3 million new things, learned so much, and met so many great people.  All from constantly trying new things.

So, why am I complaining?

Because trying new things all the time takes a lot of effort.  Humans recognize patterns and fall into habits, because it requires alot less energy from us.  By venturing into something different, an unknown, we need to be conscious, aware and learning.  What a thrill and a pain all at the same time.

Have you ever run across this?  What do you do to stretch yourself everyday?

.

Networking Observations

Tonight I attended the WIFT Alumni Reception where current, past participants and faculty of any WIFT-T program was in  attendance.

I had the pleasure of taking WIFT’s Career Transition program.  It is designed to help persons, like myself, who are looking to transition from one industry to another.  I have moved from Television to Online Media.

Some interesting observations about networking.

  • I received a “network card” instead of a business card.  What a great idea!  This card not only has basic contact info, but had a tag line that positions this person clearly in your mind.  “Over 20 years in Broadcasting and Television Production”.  It goes on to list 10 positions that this person has held.
  • The attendees I spoke with didn’t have updated LinkedIn accounts.  One person had 2 accounts.  I think that would be confusing for anyone searching for her.  I suggested that she pick one and invite the outstanding connections to move over.   Make that one profile as best as it can be to promote yourself effectively.
  • Some attendees were using other people’s successes as benchmarks of their success.  I find this odd, as the only true evaluation of success is the end goal of what you want and the small steps you take to get you there.  Don’t use others to measure yourself against.
  • A fellow classmate who has gotten a videoBIO has received amazing feedback.  So happy to hear that.
  • Twitter is not widely used by the group.  It reminds me how the TV/Film group and the online media group are two very separate industries.
  • The Spoke Club has an awesome patio. Too bad it was a wee bit cold.  I’m still shivering!

What was the most impactful observations from your last networking event?  I’d love to hear them.

What are you really bringing to the party?

A friend told me a story about introducing two friends. Guy#1 was at the beginning of his career and Guy #2 wants to be in the same field.  So picture the scene…  3 guys sitting at a pub, having a drink.

My friend to guy#1: “So..  Guy #2 is interesting in pursuing a career in your field.”

Guy #1: “Really…  are you nuts?… stupid hours, no reward and killing unknown trees in paperwork.” [they chuckle]

Guy #2:  “I have a few questions.  What school did you go to? What degree do you have? How exactly did you get your first job?  How do you sleep at night?  How many trees exactly?  Can you introduce me to your boss?  Any hot chicks at your office?  What do you get paid?  Can I get off early on Fridays…………”

As he continues to talk non-stop, without a breath, guy #1 turns to my friend and gives that look: “Who the hell is this guy?  Does he ever shut up?  and most importantly, why did you invite him?”

Bad SOCIAL media.

Do you know anyone like this?  [insert virtual nod].  In particular, have you found this guy/gal online?  I mean, just because the social part of social media is easy doesn’t give you the right to be annoying and frankly, disrespectful.  Its the person who jumps online and asks for info / help / advice, but never stops to think to return the favour.

But… here is the hard question.  Are you this guy/gal?

Ok… maybe not as annoying, but when you go online are you just there to get something or are you actually giving too?  Remember, this is SOCIAL media.  Basic, polite manners are required here too.

When was the last time you answered someone’s question on twitter or LinkedIn?

  • Question from Mark Evan’s @MarkEvans tweet tonight “Aside from RIM and the carriers, who are Canada’s the most interesting wireless companies, particularly start-ups?”
  • Answer from Mark MacLeod’s @startupcfo tweet “@markevans Metranome (http://metranome.net) – led by ex RIM guys. Doing amazing things with mobile video (full disclosure: client)”

When did you reach out randomly and offer to help?

When did you offer a sold piece of advice?

  • Mari Smith’s @MariSmith tweet tonight “For your new Facebook Page, try changing your calls to action to, “Join us on Facebook” or “Write on our Facebook Wall.”

When did you simply say thank you?

  • Jason Fall’s @JasonFalls tweet today “I don’t say this enough: I’m honored people come to hear me talk at events. If you have before, or will soon, thank you. Means a lot.”

When did you pass along some link love?

Ask yourself, what value do you bring to the party?

.