In my last few columns, I’ve written about incorporating social media into your institution’s way of doing business. Today’s post offers advice for how you, individually, might benefit from what’s being created and shared online.
What a year we have in front of us. A number of social media technologies and platforms are maturing simultaneously, creating a wonderful shift in online social and consumer activity. Just as a number of banks turned to social media last year as a way to become more transparent to their customers, getting online allows you to build an element of trust with your customers, employees and shareholders. For example, consider the investments made by Green Bay’s Nicolet National Bank. With posts like “All I Really Need to Know About Economics I Learned From my Grandparents” and authors including their CEO and COO, this represents a nice example of social media being put to great use.
So if you’re still new to the trend, here are three recommendations to get you up and running:
- Think about writing a blog like the guys at Nicolet do. Regardless of industry, more and more CEOs are using their own blogs to communicate with shareholders, employees, customers and the general community. Two that I follow that might inspire you are KellBlog and Ben’s Blog. And yes, I practice what I preach, with my own site, DCSpring21, posting my own ideas since March of 2008.
- Get a Twitter account. Even if you don’t want to tweet, following the conversations of your favorite information resources (@bankdirector, hint hint) provides for easy crowd sourcing and keeps you up-to-date with the most breaking news.
- Update your LinkedIn profile and manage what people see about you. Step one: upload a current picture. Step two: start connecting with former colleagues and your current business partners. Step three: see that line of text under your name? It’s the first thing people see in your profile. It’s your brand, use it wisely!
Let me also suggest two behavioral changes for 2011:
- Start commenting on blogs. Sure, it might feel intimidating to be the first to add a comment (the equivalent of being the first to raise your hand in class), but sharing your ideas and experiences contributes to the overall experience when reading stories like this one.
- Encourage picture sharing by your employees… and start contributing to the fun. Over the weekend, I read 6 Predictions for Social Networks in 2011. What stood out? The observation that mobile photography is just beginning to blossom — and what that means to all of us smartphone wielding multi-taskers.
I hope this advice helps. If you’re coming to our 17th annual Acquire or Be Acquired conference in Scottsdale, Arizona later this month, be sure to bring your iPad to our Tuesday morning session on using social media. Our VP of Digital Strategy will be leading one of a number of great discussions that will take place at our growth-focused conference out in the desert.