Entrepreneurs are arguably the lifeblood of a thriving economy. They are idea people; innovators; inventors and are driven by results (with a bit of cash thrown in for good measure. What an entrepreneur is not (by and large) is a marketer! The way that the internet has grown and developed has made “socal media” the biggest and greatest buzzword in marketing since the advent of the slice of bread. Entrepreneurs need a little guidance as to how to position themselves online, particularly if they are their brand.
How Do I become an Expert?
The name of the game here is “personal branding”. Simply put this means that the entrepreneur needs to understand what they stand for and ensure that everything they are pushing out via their social media profiles adheres to this philosophy.
A good friend of mine, Douglas Kruger, has crafted a motivational keynote presentation which highlights the basic “rules of engagement” when looking at how to position yourself as an Expert in your industry. Now the theory is simple and Douglas packages it with these 4 bullet points :
- Craft a struggle story
- Gain and maintain high visibility in the key outlets affecting your industry
- Distinguish yourself with a unique voice and philosophy
- Craft messages and outgoing Comms using the “expert positioning” model
LinkedIn is not a “social network” by design; it is quite literally a professional network and therefore should only be used when you are publishing professional content! It is not the place to upload photo’s and asinine comments. LinkedIn is the ultimate place to position yourself as an expert to people who are looking at your with their business hats on, not their clown (read: social) ones.
Facebook – where good friends meet (or people you’ve never met before)
Facebook is the grandfather of the social media networks; but it is not showing its age just yet; unless you have been converted to Google Plus! This is the social network where you are allowed to be as outrageous and obscure in your messages and postings as you want to be. This is traditionally where you connect with people who you know incredibly well; your closest friends and family. They know you well enough not to misinterpret your last update to literally mean that you want to move to Siberia for the rest of your life!
Facebook does however allow you to profile and ring fence (not circle, that’s another network) your “friends” so that you can control to a degree what they have access to on your profile. In other words, you can allow potential clients to be your friends on Facebook, just be sure that you have a specific permission level setup so that they can’t see the stupid stuff you get up to!
Google has recently entered the foray into Social Media Marketing with their Google Plus offering. Google’s social media platform is in direct competition to Facebook and will probably see a lot of unhappy Facebook users migrate to this new platform. At the moment, Google has recommended that businesses don’t claim a profile on Google Plus, so that can only mean that there is something extra special in the works for businesses on Google Plus.
The take out from all of this is that you cannot use your various social media profiles with a spray-and-pray, one-size-fits-all approach. Each network has specific audiences and mechanisms for connecting people. Understanding these and using them to your advantage will ensure that you get the most out of your social media platforms and your networks!