It seems one of the biggest fears that experienced CEO’s and senior managers have about participating on social networks is a fear of looking stupid or saying something wrong. The irony is that it’s the people that they think look foolish that are getting all the attention.
You are getting nothing out of not participating. In the void left by you and other qualified people, the ‘fools’ are winning clients and establishing reputation. I challenge you to read this blog post and leave a comment today!
No One Is Talking About You – And It’s All Your Fault
Let me share how this conversation typically pans out at the start of training sessions with hesitant CEO’s, senior managers and experienced professionals:
CEO: I think what people post on social media channels is rubbish and that they look foolish for doing so. I don’t want people thinking about me like that so that’s why I never reply and post anything myself.
ME: So, are you good at your job?
ME: Would you write a load of rubbish and put it on LinkedIn?
ME: With your experience I figured you would say that. And yet we are talking about those other people because they are there. No one is talking about you right now.
Failure to Comment Adds Value To Others
Like any vacuum the space will always be filled by the first thing that appears. It doesn’t matter who is the best when there is no competition. All the time fear stops experienced professionals from participating then opportunities will be lost to those that do not have that fear.
The experience that these people gain along the way will soon mean that they will learn how to be as good as you think you are. Irrespective of that happening, enough people will believe they are good at what they do and your subjective view will become valuable to a community of 1 i.e. You.
Let me make it quite simple. By not participating and sharing your experience you will have no influence in the conversation and your reputation in your industry will not increase.
You Read the Content Now Comment
The final moment of effort to comment is where all the value is. Whether it be Google noticing your name across the internet or other people reading the content after you, your comment will place your name, picture, social network link and other information as part of that post for evermore.
For these managers, directors and CEO’s to have this concern about commenting means they have had to have found and read the content. Just a small amount of additional effort is where all the value is. DO NOT leave a blog post or discussion without leaving a comment!
5 Steps To Increasing Your Reputation Through Social Networking
- Decide what you are going to talk about. Make it relevant to your target audience and customers. Make it something that you are experienced in and enjoy talking about.
- Find people talking about those subjects. Join LinkedIn Groups, Google+ Communities and Facebook Groups that those topics are relevant to. Follow #hashtags about those topics in Hootsuite or other social media monitoring tool. Subscribe to RSS feeds (e.g. in Feedly) of blogs that talk about those subjects.
- Participate in conversations. Agreeing and acknowledging others can be enough. But don’t be afraid to disagree with others. You don’t have to say they are wrong. Bringing your perspective can position one side of the conversation around you will and will naturally draw attention and comment to you.
- Create content that responds to other peoples content. It can make deciding what to write about pretty easy. If you link to that content in the other persons comments or discussion you have an instant audience that will read it.
- Engage and bring others into your conversations. Once you have made a comment invite others into the conversation by sharing it with them. If that person gets value out of the conversation they will relate to you as a key person of influence on that subject.
I’m not saying you have to spend everyday trawling for content to comment on. What I am saying though is that if you are not in the conversation then no-one will ever be talking you. Instead they will be talking about the people you thought looked foolish. Who’s laughing now?
If you are one of those people who never leaves comments then I challenge you to leave one here now telling me why you don’t.
photo credit: Silence à gogo via photopin cc