Social Media: It’s Never Too Late
By Force 3
By Tasha Klares
Force 3’s resident marketing guru on the role of social media in today’s IT channel
When technology companies have news, whether it’s a product launch, acquisition, release, system update, accolades, crisis, emerging trend, or other big event, we tend to want to be the first to weigh in. We want to be the first to bring this news to our channel colleagues and get their take.
While traditional trade media and PR teams have to keep up with consuming this news, creating content around it, publishing and then pushing it out over the airwaves, someone in the social media sphere has discovered the pre-release and is already down the path of uncovering its flaws or generating buzz around what’s next with a simple tweet or Facebook post. For the IT channel professional who needs to be in several places at once, connecting dots, and cannot wait because if you are not talking about, someone else is—that’s where social media can help you.
Building a Personal Brand
If you haven’t gotten involved in social media yet, it is truly never too late to start. I used to say, “I don’t have time,” or “I don’t tweet,” or “I’m not really into social media” with no real reason for saying those things, other than the fact that I hadn’t take the time to understand why others were using the platform and how it could help me. Once I took the time to understand, I was able to identify that for me, it wasn’t about being a “me-too,” just so that I could say that I was on social media like everyone else.
My goal for using social media was to build a personal brand, and to use that personal brand to help promote Force 3 and build relationships. My personal platform of choice has been Twitter (@tashaklares), and I’ve found it to be pretty amazing what can be done to cultivate meaningful professional relationships in merely 144 characters versus months or years. It’s kind of a crazy concept that is changing societal norms when you really think about it—but from my own experience, I highly recommend giving it a try. You don’t even need to be a channel marketer like me to take advantage of social media’s impact.
Getting Started on Social
Some of Force 3’s engineers and other thought leaders have also recently gotten in on the social media game. To help them get started, I walk them through the account set-up (it only takes seconds, for those of you who say you don’t have enough time), a few simple rules of the road, and why it is important for them to be heard both personally and professionally. We work closely together for the first few weeks, uncovering interesting topics to retweet or influencers they should be following, as well as promoting professional events and activities they’re involved in. After just a few weeks, even the most inexperienced social media user is able to take it from there, with minimal input and guidance from me or any other members of the marketing team.
Who Knows What You Know?
My new favorite quote is “It’s not about what you know, it’s about who knows what you know.” It’s so true, and directly tied to the increasingly social world we in the IT channel (and everywhere, for that matter) are living and working in right now.
When I established a goal to achieve with social media—to build a personal brand—it changed everything for me. I found that I was missing out on an incredible opportunity to let the world know my thoughts, and communicate with others who are thinking the same way. Do you ever feel like you have no one who gets it, no one to relate to, no one who sees eye-to-eye with you? Try putting a tweet out there. I can pretty much guarantee that the Twittersphere will provide you with a boost of confidence and morale, because there are people out there whom you doubt exist and just one tweet allows you to make a connection with them, potentially develop a relationship, and entice you just enough to come back and tweet again the next day.
If you’re thinking about dipping your toe into the social media pool this summer, start small. Pick just one social media platform to start (or end) with. You don’t have to be everywhere. Identify where the influencers you want to connect with are sharing their thoughts—that might be the best place to start. The most important thing is to identify your goals for using social media—what you want to get from it and what you hope to accomplish by using the tool. I look forward to seeing you out there!