ELYSIUMMAGAZINE

Social Media Kings

Having a social media presence – why it’s essential & how to do it successfully

 

Social media is important and it is influential. For instance, Twitter is credited with having enabled a minor protest in an obscure town in Tunisia cascade into revolutions across the Middle East.  It was also used by UK rioters to out-flank the police with flash riots in the summer 2012.

 

But it’s not just for rioters.  The ridicule heaped on BlackBerry by the celebrity Twitterati when it’s network crashed last year is also credited (at least by some) with severely damaging the brands reputation in much of the consumer market. Elysium Magazine thought it was time it started to explore how you could build some presence without devoting your life to Twitter. We sought the expertise of Tim Prizeman from Kelso Consulting who has provided some handy tips which you can use straight away!

 

 

 

Social media is now a part of everyday life for most working adults – whether it is part of their business life (perhaps LinkedIn, Twitter or some of the less well known ones such as Quora) or part of their social life (whether Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and blogging).

 

Important people are influential (or maybe it’s the other way around – influential people are important) and if you can wield social media influence then that is a very valuable asset to you.

 

In business it has always been “who you know, not what you know”, and the correct social media has the power to extend your influence if used well.

 

 

The key reasons why you need to be at least familiar with social media and have a competent presence include:

 

1. For people building a career, being unfamiliar makes you look like a dinosaur.  While there are some people who dine out on not being able to work mobile phones or other common technologies, social media is now so mainstream that not being familiar with it can amount to saying you cannot work a TV or drive a car.  Ultimately no one wants to be in business with a passenger.  For some sectors (for instance PR, journalism and other creative areas) being familiar with social media is now de rigour.

 

2. For business owners, what does not having a social media presence say about your organisation.  Does it say you are switched on, modern and offering great career opportunities.  In the current job market most people can’t be choosy, but given a choice would you willing join an organisation that is obviously behind the times?

 

3. For entrepreneurs social media is a major business opportunity – both for existing businesses and entrepreneurs.  It is a great channel for cleverly marketing your product and is particularly suited for small firms with low budgets and strong creativity.  It is also creating many new business opportunities (for instance, I’ve just helped one young entrepreneur launch a Facebook app and within a few weeks he has already gained his second round of funding from a venture capitalist and numerous purchase and investment offers).

 

Social media creates new opportunities that the internet does not have elsewhere – particularly from the huge amount of personal data that people enter onto sites.  This, for example, allows a level of personalisation and insight into customers and target groups that has never been available before.  This is where the smart money from venture capitalists who are interested in technology companies is currently going.

 

 

 

So what sort of media presence should I have?

 

Social media is going to involve a large investment of time.  Not so much in setting things up as in terms of creating and curating content, and responding to messages, so it is worth approaching it like a business proposition and ask: what are the objectives I want to achieve through having a social media presence.

 

Who are the people I want to influence and why.  For instance, is there something you want to sell?  Do you want people to read articles or witticisms your write? Do you want to position yourself as an expert in a particular area? Do you want to change people’s minds on an important political issue?.

 

Once you know who you are looking to reach and why, you can focus on which social media is the right platform as there are many (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn are the best known – but there are plenty of niche ones too).

 

For instance, LinkedIn is a business-focused site.  It is great for helping people find you and for staying in contact with people you meet.  It is also great for identifying who’s who in organisations you may want to meet (and who in your network know important people).  However, it is intrinsically boring and offers little of the viral opportunity you get from consumer sites such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

 

 

 

The “content strategy is king”

 

If you are not clear which is one best, invest the time and play around with them to get to know them a bit better. There are lots of books available too.

 

Once you’ve decided your objectives and the social media that is most appropriate, the next step (and the one people often omit and run out of steam after a few days) is the “content” strategy.

 

Social media is intrinsically about posting content and commenting on other people’s.  This content can be videos (eg YouTube), holiday pictures and games (Facebook), witty comments and links to websites (Twitter) or power points and white papers (LinkedIn).

 

So the key question is what content are you able to create, and you have the time available to do so?

 

If you have not much time and are short of ideas for great things, LinkedIn is the perfect platform – once you optimise it (and there are lots of books and online tutorials available on how to do this) it doesn’t need intensive cultivation.  However, Google likes it and you will appear prominently in Google search rankings.

 

 

 

Social media for the time-scarce

 

 

I often hear people with big social media presences saying you need to tweet several times per day, spend time interacting with people, and other great advice if you have the time.

 

However, many people don’t have the time or inclination to spend several hours a day on social media – but you can still have a very competent presence if you focus your time achieving the maximum impact (ie achieving the social media presence given your goals).

 

After this you are going to have to invest time and creativity.  For instance, if you want a big follower base on Twitter, you are going to have to work hard.  What are you going to tweet about?  What time do have to follow other people and comment on their tweets?  Will you have the time to engage in banter with other users? How will doing this fit into your daily routine?  Will you enjoy it?

 

The key to a really successful social media presence is answering these important questions so you can build a great reputation and a strong band of influential followers that help you achieve your goals in the real world.

 

We are big tweeters at Elysium Magazine – contact us and tell us what you think of the article. Do you have any experience in building your profile online and seen the results? We would love to hear your results!

 

Tim Prizeman is a Director from the Public Relations specialists Kelso Consulting. Visit the website for further information about Tim and Kelso Consulting.

Sam Uppal

Sam Uppal

Sam loves all things style and grooming. He’s passionate about showcasing new technology, helping to tell the story of new businesses and entertainment for the discerning gent.