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Bake your own authentic goods with social media

I recently asked Christopher Penn (not the actor but “social media thought leader in my book”) what he thought about businesses that offer to run your social media networks.

Here’s what he said:  

“I'm of a split mind on the topic. On the one hand, you want someone to bake their own authentic goods. After all, why go to the bakery if they don't make anything themselves?

On the other hand, if they suck horribly at baking and you keep finding dead rat bits in their pastries, then outsourcing would be a palatable alternative.

Some people flat out can't bake. Some people flat out do poorly at social media. For those people, there should be valid alternatives.”

It got me thinking.

When we met, my beautiful partner Jo couldn’t bake. But my father was a chef, and my mother was a great cook, so I grew up surrounded by recipes and great food and I learnt how to bake and love it. Over the years, Jo has learnt from me and can now bake - and an amazing carrot cake she does too!

You see, I think everyone can bake- it’s just that some people are naturally gifted and others need teaching. And, ultimately, that’s how I see social media.

Most of the naturally gifted “social media lovers” will probably be part of the younger generation, after all they’ve grown up with Facebook and Twitter they find it completely natural to build a relationship online. Then there are the rest of us that might struggle with social networks, normally because we either don’t get it or think we don’t have the time for it.

For those that just don’t get it, buy a book, talk to someone that knows, and find some training. Whatever you do, learn how to bake. For those of you that just don’t have the time - make it. The results are worth it.  I’ve found new clients and have recruited numerous people through Twitter alone.

Still confused? Not convinced?

Let’s look at twitter in this way; it’s no more than going to a networking event, no more than standing in the pub with your friends and chatting and no more than sitting with your clients and understanding what they do. Except, you can do it all from one place and all at the same time.

Now ask yourself, would you want someone else to do that for you? And if your answer is “yes” then leave this blog and banish yourself to the world of non believers and watch your community ever decrease. 

We could talk about social networks all day and each has its own set of rules but let’s look at some key pointers in Twitter.

  • Create an account that’s yours - an account you’ll use to spread news; with your face not a logo - you wouldn’t sit down with your clients with a paper bag on your head, so don’t do it on twitter.
  • If you’re a recruiter, create a separate account for your job promotions - your clients and friends are going to get pretty fed up if you keep ramming jobs down their throat so keep it separate from your news.
  • Don’t just connect to your peers - big mistake. Network with thought leaders and people that are new to your industry too.
  • Follow people that follow you. Just as life is a two way conversation so is twitter, but let’s clarify this a bit. If after reading their bio or looking at their tweets you think you have a connection then by all means follow. But if their name is spanky sue who just wants to spank you, then that’s a non follow, and a block for good measure, unless sue ticks your box?! The next non follow is the “robot”. If it looks like a robot then it probably is... we laugh in your face Mr auto RSS feed, Mr auto reply and Mr auto retweet. 
  • Create twitter lists on your account. You have the choice to make them public or private, for example one of my public lists is called “consultancy businesses”. Other people can look at this list and choose to follow people that may be of help to them. Some are private and I look at them as groups of people but with all the tweets in one place. As your community grows these lists will prove invaluable to keep track of tweets.
  • Stay hard and fast- and this is not a reference to “spanky sue”! What I mean is stay focused. Just as you wouldn’t start rambling on to your clients about your private life or continually talking shop with your friends, the same applies to twitter.  Set some objectives otherwise the world of twitter will just suck you into a deep black hole.
  • Don’t continually self-promote. Every now and then is fine, but stick to sharing. We all like a bit of love. 
  • It’s about quality and not quantity. Gone are the days of tweeting every single thing, every minute of the day, no matter how trivial. 
  • Above all - give it time. It’s the longest marathon you will ever run, but be assured there will be lots of nice refreshments along the way. 

And if you want to know more drop me a line, ask me a question. If I don’t know the answer I’m sure to know someone else that bakes.

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