A few months ago Douglas Karr (@douglaskarr) wrote a good post about Social Media Equity, summarizing his thoughts pertaining to an interview with social media celebrity Gary Vanerchuck (@garyvee). The gist of the article was that you should view everything you do via social media as an investment - a contribution not only to the wealth of information online, but also to your bank of brand awareness. As Douglas put it, "every tweet, every blog post, every Facebook response… and the subsequent following you receive… is a small investment into the future of your business..." Now let's talk a bit about managing your social media equity account.
Like any good investment, its value in the long run has everything to do with how you manage it and how consistently you invest.
There's no reason to act like a robot - remember you're communicating with real people out there, but like any other relationship, you can nurture your social media "touches" in several important ways:
You wouldn't give away your bank account password, would you? You wouldn't invite people to hack into your systems and steal your identity, would you? Similarly, you must protect your social media equity. Every day you read about some otherwise intelligent person tweeting something incredibly damaging to themselves and others. Today it was CNN reporter Roland Martin being suspended for "making a joke" tweet about gays during the Super Bowl. If you treat your social accounts with the same care you give to your finances, this sort of thing can be avoided.
Over time, you will find that your social media presence takes on a life of its own. People will seek you out and engage with you. Those conversations may very well develop into business relationships, but even if they don't, people have heard of you and many have become loyal followers. You never know how these things can serve both business and personal goals. I'm constantly amazed at how many people I meet through sales activities or social networking who tell me that they "know me" from my shared content and ideas that I have contributed over time. I treat this social equity as one of my most valuable commodities, and I recommend that strategy to anyone.
Image: Benjamin Chun
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