The importance of being social


I’m going to tell you a story – tell me, do you think the result was due to the power of social media or great customer service? Perhaps we're just creatures of habit. 

I recently returned from a stag do skiing in the French Alps and while I was there, my friends were tweeting one of the local bars. We tweeted to book a table, to comment on the previous evening and generally had a bit of banter.

There was no shortage of bars or restaurants – in fact, the aforementioned bar wasn’t nearby and wasn’t the cheapest. But we returned every night because we knew we’d have a great time.

The importance of being social

The power of social media has never been more important for branding – for you, your group and your company. It’s about attracting and retaining your audience – and knowing who they are. You can now be found on so many platforms and it’s crucial that you consider who can see you at all times. 

Heard the one about the office worker (let’s call him Joe) who phoned in sick? Joe bragged on Facebook that he was pulling a sickie. Joe forgot that his boss was a "friend" on Facebook. Joe lost his job shortly afterwards and people questioned whether or not this was an invasion of privacy. But the consensus was that, if you make parts of your life public, you should be prepared for any consequences. 

Managing the online ‘you’

So, who is the online ‘you’? Do you retweet? Do you reply to tweets? After all, sharing is caring. Some of the most popular business people on Twitter are forever getting involved and giving opinions on topics outside of work. By commenting on sports, trends and topical conversations, they’re showing that their social voice is just as powerful as their regular one. 

One of the most popular approaches is to have an online Q&A session, such as #askPiersMorgan or #askRobbie. The questions asked range from the perfectly sensible to the frankly uncomfortable – but a willingness to open up to questions is respected by most Twitter communities. 

Meanwhile, back in the Alps...

We left France a day earlier than planned and tweeted our favourite bar to say goodbye. Sadly, we didn’t receive a reply; no message to "have a safe journey home". I think we all felt a little let down – our pen pal had stopped writing to us. It goes to show the importance of both pre- and post-sales communication. It wouldn’t put me off going back but it left a sour taste in our mouths. And now I’m blogging about it. 

Getting more strategically social

As a result, I’ve targeted myself with raising my own personal brand and being a more active tweeter. I specialise in recruiting for roles in the IT Security marketplace and I’ll be offering #cvtips and #interviewtips via Twitter. 

So, get in touch if you need any advice and follow me on Twitter @hickling_thomas.

Thanks for reading and have a safe journey home.

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