If you can remember the early days of Facebook and Twitter in the mid-aughties, you might recall the initial ‘take it or leave it’ response. Many people dismissed social media as an indulgence, a lark, entertaining but ultimately time wasted.
Fifteen years on and things have taken a decidedly professional turn. Not only has social media become indispensable to building business brands, apps such as Instagram and LinkedIn are essential to establishing professional reputations. Below are a few tips to carry you into the next decade, or at least catch you up on this one.
Social Capital = Financial Capital
Let’s face it, social media is advertising nouveau. Gary Vaynerchuk, digital media guru, founder of VaynerMedia, and affectionately known to his Twitter fans as “Gary Vee”, astutely noted that “Word-of-mouth is a currency that affects your bottom line, and social media allows word-of-mouth to scale.”
Plan Your posts; Post Your Plans
Any millennial worth her pink Himalayan salt can tell you about Glossier and its new cosmetic sub-brand, Glossier Play. The latter’s Instagram account opened on February 22nd. A strategically curated series of unbranded, light-hearted and notably un-hashtagged posts were meted out over a series of days. Follower numbers swelled to over 100K leading up to product launch day on March 4th. The parent brand, Glossier, employed a similar launch strategy for its skincare products five years ago. Today Glossier has 1.9M Instagram followers and 29 skincare products pulling in over $100 million in global sales.
The reason why social media works is that it has the veneer of personal communications, and the strongest accounts convey a clear and consistent persona.
TechCrunch shared an interview where Emily Weiss, Glossier founder, explained that “Glossier is also very focused on transparency and “voice”… We like to think that whenever we talk to [our customer] through captions on Instagram or through email or through copy on the site, that we’re writing text messages to a friend… staying true to that voice has created a lot of loyalty and trust with our customers.”
Give More, Get More
In the words of Inc. 500 entrepreneur and best-selling author, Kevin Daum, LinkedIn, “is the best networking tool available today, and it’s absolutely free. Dedicate real time and effort to make the most of your connections, and you’ll establish worthwhile, long-term relationships.”
This means one should avoid sending out those dreaded, generic “Join my network on LinkedIn” messages. Daum advises showing “potential connections that you are thoughtful and worthy by crafting a personal message that starts a relationship.”
Never Forget that Social Media, is Media
Sharing might be caring, but oversharing is… awkward. According to The Muse, three out of four hiring managers and recruiters check the social profiles of job candidates, even if they are not provided. Even more cogent is that one out of three employers rejected candidates on the basis of their social profiles. Google yourself on the regular.
Manage Your Tags
The most carefully crafted personal brand can all go awry with one embarrassing photo tagged by a hilarious high school buddy. Unless you don’t mind your clients and colleagues seeing you in legwarmers during your aerobics years, make sure your settings on Facebook and Instagram allow you to approve or remove photo tags before they show up in your stream.
- The Muse Social Media Stats: https://www.themuse.com/advice/job-seekers-social-media-is-even-more-important-than-you-thought
- Glossier Launch: https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.wsj.com/amp/articles/how-founder-of-beauty-brand-glossier-crafted-the-launch-on-instagram-1412709998
- Gary Vee Quote: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kylewong/2014/05/13/what-is-the-value-of-social-media-engagement/#2f47c99e5951
- Kevin Daum: https://www.inc.com/kevin-daum/20-critical-dos-and-donts-of-linkedin-networking.html