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Playing at Social Media

Guest blog by Dennis Bridges, MBA

“It’s a process” is the topic for this week’s blog and while I tend to be of the mindset that almost everything is a process.

I want to focus on social media and more specifically LinkedIn. A staggering number of people today are engaged in social media, whether through discussion boards, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn and so on… yes, they all differ slightly and can be a bit overwhelming, but basically they’re all different version of the same thing. They are all simply platforms for exchanging information with a community of people. They aren’t the enemy, games, toys, or a great way to kill time, although some people use them that way.I visit with my nephews on Sundays, who are about 1 and 3 years old. Some days I have to say, I’m not sure who is teaching or learning more from whom.  The other day we were playing with tools, as the older one (Maddox) likes to play with his dad’s tools and his brother (Spencer) will occasionally join in the fun, which mostly consists of him putting anything he can hold in his mouth.  Let’s fast-forward to what I’m trying to point out. It’s not that one of them does it right and one does it wrong, or that although the baby obviously doesn’t know what the tools are for, he is still having fun and learning through the process of trial and error. They showed me that there is more than one way to use a tool (social media) and that some use it like Spencer and some use it like Maddox. I want to challenge you to use social media like Maddox and to do that you need to outline the process.

LinkedIn is a drip-marketing tool, it can help create awareness for you and the brand(s) you represent. It’s primarily people first, which is of course all the rage at the moment. However, it also has a channel for company first messaging (company pages). The following is a process for building your LinkedIn presence the “Maddox” way.

  • Each business day share, like, or comment once per day
  • The content you share, like or comment must be relevant to potential and/or existing clients and business contacts
  • Update your profile every six months. You should include a background, skills and expertise, experience, education, organizations, and awards. Include them in an order that represents you in the strongest way possible.
  • Only connect with people you might be interested in having a coffee with. Your network is valuable so don’t give people you don’t like or trust access to it. I also recommend asking people to meet before connecting with them if they add you.
  • For sales people, LinkedIn is also an incredible tool for identifying decision makers. Search a company and see who can connect you and through whom.
  • Finally if you work with someone who does a great job, write him or her an endorsement or endorse them for a skill. It will also increase your exposure and encourage others to do the same for you. However, don’t keep score!

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