My business communication adventure has veered onto an exciting new HighWay with my introduction and initiation into BNI, the largest business networking organization in the world.
It all started when I read a LinkedIn request for a SOCIAL MEDIA TRAINER to join the 1st Advantage chapter of BNI in Marin County, California. And the rest, as they say, is history . . .
The culture of BNI and other networking/referral organizations resonates with the supportive, personal, collaborative spirit so important to the community-building value of social media activities — it’s a natural complement. BNI founder Ivan Misner recognized the importance of “my category” in a recent podcast, which you can hear in its entirety at the end of this post.
Below are highlights from his program, to which I have added bits of commentary [° in green italic]
Social Media Do’s and Don’ts: Podcast Highlights
by Ivan Misner
Here are some suggestions on how to use social media effectively.
- Find the right social media for you. Facebook is not the only network.
- In addition to Facebook, you should have familiarity with blogging, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
- Schedule your time with social media and make it part of a strategy.
- This is difficult, but a crucial plan if you really want to make social media work for you.
- Respond to comments. Retweet. Social media is a dialog.
- Listen first. Then respond and provide appropriate feedback.
- Use non-productive time (when you don’t usually work) for online networking.
- Ivan suggests TV “down-time” works for lots of folks.
- Use tools like Ping.fm, HootSuite, and Seesmic to save time.
- While a good number of people use special sites to automate tweets and updates, my personal philosophy is not to automate my online participation. Frankly, if everyone is automating, then who is there to read and respond?
- Remember that V/C/P still applies. Building relationships on social media takes time.
- This is about creating visibility and credibility before you start to get profitability.
- If you have a social media expert in your chapter, talk to them.
- I know whom my fellow 1st Advantage colleagues can talk to 🙂
Here are five common mistakes businesses make on social media:
- Spending too much time on sites you enjoy without evaluating their value to you.
- Visiting a site for work and getting distracted by interesting posts.
- Not recognizing when it’s time to delegate certain social media responsibilities.
- Not providing consistent fresh content on your blog.
- Forgetting that social media is about engaging in a conversation, not about selling.
Brought to you by Ask Ivan Misner.