Last week, I talked about the role of social media, how it has changed the world of networking, and how sponsorship has transitioned as well. I got thinking about some key things I have learned (can’t say I practice them all, but I know I should) about successful social media and networking. So here are the Fantastic Five tips.
1. Understand that email is truly still a strong communication medium. Many think it is “old fashioned,” but when you look at open rates and engagement rates, for most organizations in the sponsorship game, that interaction is way higher when you send an email than post a Tweet or a Facebook comment. Email is not dead… it is alive and kicking, and a very strong medium of choice.
2. When we look at B2B communication, LinkedIn is king. But use it right. It is not for sharing your engagement announcement. It is not for asking if anyone has ever been to Istanbul as you are thinking of going there on a holiday. It is not for telling everyone you have a used bike for sale. Those things belong on other platforms. This is about talking about business and opportunities.
3. You need to have your picture on LinkedIn. People want to know whom they are communicating with. That means your photograph-not a blank and not a logo. A picture of you (sorry, a professional picture of you). You and the Stanley Cup, you and your partner, you and your kid… great-use those pics on Facebook or elsewhere. On LinkedIn, it is a professional picture of you (or good Avatar). People want to know who they are talking with, who they are communicating with. If you were networking with this person at a reception, would you have a bag over your head? No! So don’t do it on LinkedIn. Furthermore, if someone invites you to connect who has no picture or a logo in that space, say goodbye!
4. Social media is a relationship platform. It is for getting to know others, just like at a gala, reception, or conference. But it is virtual, so use the same rules. If you just met someone at a conference for the first time, perhaps you were sharing a cab back from a session, or waiting for service at the bar, or maybe someone linked the two of you-no matter what- none of us (I hope) would meet a new friend and then, in the next breath, pitch them a proposal. The same goes for social media. If I accept your invitation on LinkedIn or wherever, then don’t respond within a minute with a “Great to meet you… by the way, I need your advice” or “Wonderful to connect. I think you would be the perfect sponsor for our event.” STOP IT! Connect and build the relationship. Don’t “meet and then pitch” as soon as you get connected.
5. Be on only as many platforms as you can manage. Do those platforms well and then grow or maintain. Most of us cannot manage six platforms personally. Heck, most of us cannot manage two platforms responsibly. You need to be up-to-date, to interact daily, and to be present! If you think you are doing a great job on multiple platforms, you are probably wrong. If you truly are doing great job on many platforms, then something else in your job is suffering. We all know a person who had six functions to attend in one night. They went to all six. People noted how “Sally got to all six events,” but Sally never had a real conversation with anyone at any of them. She “made an appearance.” She was not networking or building relationships. She just wanted to be seen. We all know that we never got a chance to really talk with her. Social media platforms are the same. Be there. Communicate. Build relationships and make a difference. Don’t spread yourself all over the place!
If you have some additional tips, please share them via Twitter, LinkedIn, or on our blog. The more help we get, the better we will do!
These are just one person’s thoughts. Yours are welcomed as well. Please add your thoughts or comments below. Thank you for reading and your feedback.
©2015. All rights reserved.