Detective Work: Using Social Media to Grow Your Business IRL (notes) | SoCon13
Detective Work: Using Social Media To Grow Your Business IRLWHY SOCIAL MEDIAWhen I was about 12 I learned my first real meaningful life lesson, its not what you know, butwho you know and thats something thats always stuck with me.You never know who youre going to meet, how you can help or influence them, or how theycould do the same for you.Social media is a great way to see what your friends just ate or what cat photos they like, but itsalso much more! It can also be a very powerful tool if you want it to be.As we are all in this world thats constantly becoming smaller and more competitive, its vital thatyou are engaged in social media as a selling toolFacebook is currently and has been the #1 most visited social media site with nearly 1 billionactive users, Twitter is the second most used social media platform and is rank as the #4 mostvisited website in the US, and LinkedIn is the most influential B2B social site to connect withother professionals and businesses.I’m going to discuss how I personally use social media in order to meet new people, buildrelationships, and find new business with my main focus on my top three social media platformsI use: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.The purpose of social media for me is not to be the most popular with 1000s of followers, but tostay connected with friends and family, keep current with my industry, and most importantlybuild new relationships with people that can help me and that I can help.I like to take a very in-person approach and use social media to find people I can connect with inreal life to build an even stronger relationship with them. This helps me to become memorable.So what can social media do for you?
How about get a jobHow about get a better jobMake career advancements.Build a network of connections all over the worldGet help with somethingInfluence youHow about help others?The possibilities are truly endlessGOALS, STRATEGIES, & TACTICS - Creating A To-Do ListSet Obtainable Goals - What are you trying to accomplish & why?For me, my goal is to build strong relationships to get more jobs.Example - One goal I have is to get new clients through In-Person networking. I make it a goal tomeet at least 10 new people per year from social media in-person. This seems like a smallnumber for a whole year, but it’s a realistic goal. Also, just by meeting one person typically turnsinto meeting at least one other person expanding my reach.What are your strategies, how are you going to achieve your goals?My main strategy is simple, to get my name in front of as many people as possible; social mediaplays a huge part in that.Example - I already use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as a part of my strategy to reach mygoal of gaining new clients, but I also recent rejoined MySpace. My main reason for wanting tobe on MySpace is additional SEO, but more importantly because a lot of musicians and artist useMySpace which are potential new clients for me.Make A To-Do ListWho: Who are you trying to connect with? (Industry professionals, new clients, job prospects)What: What do you want them to know about or do?When: When and how often are you going to work on your goals?Where: What social media platforms are you going to use?How: Exactly how are you going to use social media to implicate your strategies to reach yourgoals.CHOOSE YOUR WEAPONSo what platforms work the best? Well….that depends.
Things you should consider.Who and where are the people you want to connect with? • you must have a plan and know who you want to connect with and why. (this can potential clients, job prospects, people in your industry, or anyone else you want to meet) • find out what platforms the people you want to connect with use (if no one you want to connect with use the platforms you do, then how do they know you exist?)Example: • I use Facebook more to connect with potential clients on the retail side (weddings & portraits) of my business. Facebook is where newly engaged couples, families, high school seniors spend most of their time social media time. • I use twitter and LinkedIn to connect with business professionals, people in my industry, other related industries, and potential clients on the commercial side (editorial and advertising) of my business. This is where these people are. They might be on Facebook too, but they are conducting business on Twitter and LinkedIn. • I use other platforms such Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr more for personal and SEO purposes, but also to cast a huge net of people seeing my name and work on a constant basis. The larger the net, the better chance I have of people contacting me. • As awesome as social media is…..its 100% worthless as a tool unless you commit to using in on a frequent basis. Im not talking once a month, frequent meaning daily or at least once every couple days. The more you use, the better off you will be. • Find platforms that you find easy to use, easy to access, and easy to keep up with. • Find platforms that are fun and you enjoy! The more you like something, the more often you will use it.FROM VIRTUAL TO PERSONALJust like in real life, social media is a 2-way street. You must make an effort to socialize withothers, in return, they will socialize with you. Hints the reason its called SOCIAL media and notJust ME media.
Its not about the numbers, its about making real life connections.Step 1 - Becoming A Detective.Social media not only allows you to stay in conversations and keep up with the world, but alsoprovides a great tool that many people overlook. It allows you to be youre own detective. • LinkedIn is a great starting resource for finding people and businesses you want to meet. It typically offers all their personal information and company info. • Interviews & meetings- research the company, employees, and key players using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, ect to better prepare for interviews and meetings. Find something interesting about the person or company that really shows them you did your research. • Tip: When preparing for interviews and meetings, you can use a recent tweet or comment they posted to break the ice or jump start the conversation in the direction you want to go.Use Social Media For Marketing • Find out important contact information to use for marketing projects through social media, snail mail, phone, email, and other non-social media avenuesExample • During the wedding engagement seasons, I take out paid ads on Facebook to reach more potential clients. The end goal is to get people to contact me, so I can meet them in- person. • I recently started setting up a snail mail campaign focusing on editors of magazines. The goal is to find the magazines I want to connect with and send them mailers on a constant basis, not every week, but once ever couple of months. I started with LinkedIn finding a list of people and all their contact info. I started connecting with them on social media and will start sending them out mailers in a few weeks.Use Social Media To Get Help and Start New Relationships • You can search for users by categories such as profession to find potential people you want to meet. • Example 1: Im working on building the commercial side of my business and wanted to start reaching out to magazine editors and art directors. After doing some research I found a few people I was interested in meeting. One of them was an art director from Partners and Napier. I simply told him I was interested in meeting with him and asked if he would
be interested in grabbing lunch or something, so I could pick his brain. I didn’t say I’m looking for a job or anything, I just wanted to talk about the industry he was in. He was excited to do so. The next day he asked if Id prefer something better. Of course I was interested. He then offered to have me come down to the Atlanta office where he worked to meet with not only him, but 5 other creatives to review my portfolio and get all the help I wanted. • Example 2: A number of years ago, I used Twitter to connect with Clay Duda. I first came across one of Clays photos on Flickr and sent him an email. From there, I connected with him on Twitter and we tweeted back and forth. After a few months I reached out to him to see if he wanted to meet for coffee. Since meeting with him, we keep in touch, we have a much stronger connection, have worked together, and is also the reason I’m here today.Get Jobs: Social media can also be a great way to get jobs.Example • Ive been working on getting more jobs in editorial work. On of the hardest parts of this is getting noticed by photo editors. They get bombard with photographers all the time. My first assignment was for Jezebel Modern Luxury and was a completely by luck. One of their photo editors actually found me through Flickr and contacted me about using one of my photos for an issue. Of course we worked it out for that issue, but while I had her attention, I simply explained I was interested in doing more editorial work and would love the opportunity to show her my portfolio. She invited me to the office to meet with the Editor in chief and from there I’ve been shooting assignments almost monthly for them.Step 2 - Get Noticed.You also need to stand out, but dont shove yourself in front of people. Remember: Its not whatthey can do for you, but what you can do for them thats more important.1. Be yourself!2. Mix personal with business, but not too personal3. Always remember you are representing yourself, your business, and your brand4. Avoid political, religious, and hot button issues
Example • Start by replying to a comment or retweeting and sharing their comments and posts. This should be easy - if youre interested in them, you must have some type of common interest already for wanting to meet with them. • Then try sending them a private message letting them know youd like to meet. If using twitter and they dont follow you, just ask that they follow you and let them know youd like to be able to send them a private message. • Dont make your messages about you. Make it more personal to them. If they are a higher profile person, they probably get a ton of requests for things, but at the end of the day we are all just people. • Simply invite them to coffee, lunch, a beer whatever and let them know it’s on you. • Complements can go far. Let them know you enjoy their work or find them interesting for whatever reason, but keep it short and professional. No one wants someone complimenting every step they make, it just makes you seem desperate and maybe a little creepy.What if they dont respond? • You really just have to keep at it. Put yourself in their shoes. People are busier then ever these days. Work, family, friends, personal time, ect all fill up our plates. So don’t be pushy, just persistent.Step 3 - NurturingOk, I met, now what? • Once you meet someone in person, your online presence means a lot more to you and them. • Just like in real life, you have to commit to nurturing that relationship. Which is to say, commit to replying to their tweets, leaving comments on Facebook, +1ing their Google+
posts, and leaving thoughtful comments on their blogs. You don’t necessarily have to do all of that, or all the time. Pick and choose what works best for you. Just commit to it.• Repeat - keep working on building and strengthening your relationship