SHARPEN YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKING SKILLS

SOCIAL MEDIA iconsTHOUGHT I’d got the hang of this social media malarkey; worked out where the people I like to connect with hang out, (LinkedIn and Twitter), which platforms were of least business value to me (Facebook) and which ones I should be investing more time in (Google+)

Then a few days ago I joined in a Twitter chat with the folks at Entrepreneur Country, ahead of their Wednesday Workshop on the subject of How Small Businesses Can Win in a Socially Connected World. Ooops, it seems I’m not as social media savvy as I thought.  In fact I’m missing a lot of tricks across all the major platforms, plus some of the newer applications, that could really enhance my use of social media in my job.

For example, I find Twitter useful for spotting interesting posts, comments, and conversations that hint at a potential news story or feature. But I’d never heard of LinkedIn’s Signal, which James Potter aka @The LinkedInMan  during the course of the Twitter chat, suggested I ought to try because it is a ‘great listening and research tool’. So this week, that’s what I plan to do.

I’ve also been guilty of using just the basic LinkedIn people search, and when I can’t find who I’m looking for, calling it a day. I’d never thought of searching LinkedIn Skills to find the expert spokespeople in the specific skills areas that I need.

I Follow a number of companies on LinkedIn, but never realised just how good a source of information that can provide to enhance a piece I’m writing or even catch a business news story as it happens.

As for Google +, it never occurred to me to try video interviewing using Hangouts instead of Skype – the former runs rings round the latter, so I’m told. I’ve struggled to warm to G+, but this could be the start a serious relationship.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one among the Twitter group to see this as a wakeup call, and wonder what I’ve been missing. What I realised was that if you are serious about using social media – whether to find your next scoop, connect with an important new contact, or  attract new customers, you can’t afford to be complacent. You have to work at keeping up. Always.

In the age of high speed digital evolution, it’s not about being social media savvy but becoming social media savvier.


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