The Harvard Business Review published an interesting article recently on Personal Social Media Strategies. Even though the content is more focused on CEOs, it is useful to just about anyone.
The article, 'What's your personal social media strategy?', is extensive, deep and highly-recommended. Here I mention only a few of the ideas that interested me and I wanted to share them with you.
It is no secret that social media is changing consumer behaviour. Given this, many companies are starting to implement proper social strategies, some with better results than others. However, CEOs of companies within these organisations seem to be lagging.
Out of the 50 the top CEOs globally, only 19 have Facebook, only 6 use LinkedIn and only 2 tweeted or blogged. The same was also true of leaders below the level of CEO, who also did not make strategic use of social media.
Today, CEOs must embrace social media for 3 reasons: It is a low-cost strategy to create a strong personal brand; Secondly, it can be used to establish strong relationships between other leaders and also with their employees, customers and the general public; Finally, it is a fantastic tool to learn and receive feedback.
From the above we can summarise that Social Media can be used as a great opportunity for branding, engagement and learning. Likewise, social media can be used proactively or reactively.
Finally, we should define what we want to use social media for. Know that there are two spheres - the personal and professional - and you have to know if they are compatible. In this context, there are four different uses of social media according to our objectives and behaviour:
1) For family and friends, where social media is used to maintain contact. Tools like Facebook work very well for this.
2) For work colleagues, in which social media is uses to show yourself as a team collaborator. Tools such as Yammer are usually effective at this.
3) For society, in which it social media is used to try and express your own ideas and to spread them. Here, blogs, YouTube and Twitter are excellent tools.
4) For professionals, who look for opportunities, to grow in a competitive way, and to recognise the work of their peers. LinkedIn, Twitter and private/sector networks are essential for this purpose.
With this framework in mind, what are your personal and professional goals? What is your audience? How big do you want it to be? What resources do you have? Does your communication strategy have an effective social structure? The answer to these questions can be key clues as to where you should focus more social media attention.
The creation of communities is not a matter to be rushed. Many make the mistake of wanting to grow their personal fans or followers extremely quickly, regardless of the quality of that audience. But, what is that good for? It is better to build your community step by step in smaller, incremental, steps, according to the objectives set. Remember that what is said on social networks is very important to your personal branding... because it lasts forever. If your audience is not quality, the risks of negative commentary are very high. So, how do you control these social interactions, responses, and criticisms?
Success in social media depends on the authenticity of the message, the goals you have, and the care we have over our community.
The HBR article is far more extensive compared to this post that just neatly collects some of its ideas. I highly recommend your reading it and, above all, implementing what you learn.