CIO & IT Strategy
Peter B. Giblett
Peter B. Giblett (C-Suite Strategist) posted 5/8/2009
Having leveraged social media as a part of my job search over the past few months I thought I would pass on to others some of the things that I have found successful in building a personal social media presence.
1 - Become a Resource to Others
Alongside this blog on IT Toolbox I have also setup my own website, called CIO Perspectives which is focused on writing professional articles to help the IT Leader. Companies that I have previously worked for have charged large amounts of money for views I have proffered freely on CIO Perspectives, or even here.
2 - Have a Unique Personality
People worry that in writing they must lose themselves and become stiff and formal. Actually personality is important, that is what had made blogging a worldwide sensation. But also give powerful information as part of your value proposition.
3 - Invest Time in Social Media
I have heard it said so many time you get out of social media sites in proportion to what you put in to them. For example it is no good simply setting up a LinkedIn account, setting up your profile as a copy of your resume then that is the last time you use it. Make connections, get involved in the community, answer people's questions, offer your opinion. I have made a personal transition in this area and expect to continue to improve.
4 - Be Controversial (a Bit Anyway)
It is important to stand out from the crowd a little. Offer an alternative viewpoint that may not have been considered by other contributors. I find it helps not to be the first person to answer a question, then you can see what else has been said and identify something that has not been said.
5 - Give, Give, Give
Social Media is about giving. Whenever I make a new connection I always say "I am happy to be a part of your network" not "I am happy to have you in my network".
6- Try to Make One New Connection Every Day
In addition to making a new connection it is important to try to humanise that connection. Too many people leave the connection as a set of bits and bytes. This is one reason why I like to download their details into Outlook, then I send out an irregular update on what I am doing (OH! that reminds me it is time to do just that).
7 - You are There to Make Relationships (Please Don't Sell)
Social Media is about building trust and building relationships. Any selling that comes as a result comes after building that relationship.
8 - Be Consistent Across Platforms
You use LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter, IT Toolbox, My Space, etc, etc. It is important to be consistent across all social media platforms. Now I have heard some people say that they use Facebook to communicate with friends. The irony is that friends can help you to connect to business prospects so it can be difficult to separate the friend relationship from the business one.
This also extends to the use of pictures, they are expected and need to be reasonably professional. I hated having my picture on the web, not I use it everywhere.
9 - Listen to the Community
In order to be successful in the business world it is important to listen. The same is true in Social Media, but it can be a little more public. I have always found this to be my biggest personal challenge and I pinch myself every time I make a mistake.
10 - Help Others Unconditionally
When you respond to others give advice even if you would normally charge $150 an hour for it. People will see the value in the advice that you give. The majority of my Social Media connections have come from the advice that I have given.
11 - Be Yourself and Have Fun
I hope this shows in the things that I write - I also try not to be too serious. I usually look out for the Sunday Question on LinkedIn from Mary Lascelles as it is normally a fun way to spend the relaxing day of the week.