I would, somewhat vainly perhaps, consider myself a social media savant.
I was on Facebook before it was cool. Way before.
Twitter has finally grown on me and I’m up to about 200 Tweets since last fall.
Skype has been a great way to keep up via video chat with friends that no longer live in the Greater Jackson area.
Finally, I think LinkedIn has amazing business and market potential and is a great way to network professionally.
So I was happy to help a fellow LinkedIn profile friend yesterday when she sent me a random message asking about one of the other profiles I’m connected with.
We will call her Jane. Jane wanted me to “intro” her to this other profile.
We will call him John. It seems John and Jane have a few educational and professional things in common and she was wanting to network.
This is the social media equivalent of an introduction. “John, I would like you to meet Jane. Jane, this is John.” Handshakes follow.
The problem was I didn’t know how to get this “intro” thingy set up. After several messages and emails with Jane, I finally decided to reach for the nearest solution.
Sure, I could have spent some time checking the Google to see how to “intro” John to Jane.
I could have e-mailed my cousin. She works in human resources and is a LinkedIn genius.
I decided the only way to go the extra mile for Jane was to cut a corner.
What did I get out of it? Well, I got John and Jane fixed up in a low-tech but efficient way. Telephones still work. People still answer them. Sometimes a friendly call will get you across the goal line in a much better way than an impersonal or random text, message or e-mail.
I still don’t know how to “intro” on LinkedIn (please help). But I did get to catch up with my real friend John and tell him that another professional in the city was wanting to network with him. I left it up to John to reach out to Jane and figure how they could align their interests. We swapped a few stories and got back to work.
Social media works. It’s an excellent tool and I’d encourage anyone to check out the above links and discover some fresh and free (yes, free) tools to help grow their business or brand.
But don’t forget to call. It’s always thoughtful and sometimes more expedient.
If you’re dabbling in social media and ready to take the plunge also remember a few pointers:
- Never post anything about yourself or your company that you wouldn’t want your grandmother, boss or competitor to know.
- Always vet your contacts. Facebook has had trouble in the past with “fake profiles” not just of celebrities but of regular folks. Keep an eye on your private messages and don’t connect or help anyone that seems sketchy. The Internet is a mine field full of social engineering and other con games.
- Be picky. Not every social media utility will work in your marketing scheme. Pick a few that you can easily and consistently manage. If it’s not getting any play move on to something else. TweetDeck is an excellent “dashboard” program that can streamline many of the big social media sites.