Huzzah! Mega Q&A
Ever wonder how you can stop being such a social media mooch? Or why gatekeepers still have their jobs? Do you know what my weird Twitter handle @be3d stands for? I've got answers.
I've been doing a lot of Q&As about the book, and today I'm going to share three of the questions that got me thinking (and my answers). Before you dive in, I have a request for those of you who have read the book (and those of you reading it right now): Please consider leaving an honest Amazon review right here. Each review really helps the book's visibility. Now, on with the show...
From Successful Blog:
How can people find and open their own side doors in social media?
Realize that side doors often open gradually. For example, every time you leave a comment on a CEO’s blog, or tweet a piece of intelligent feedback to an influencer, you’re opening that side door up an inch or two more.
Think about the goals of the person whom you’re trying to reach, and reflect on how you can help them get there faster. You can do things like introduce them to other influential people via Twitter, interview them on your blog about a project they’re promoting, or help them find information they’re after.
Relationships are still the basis for almost all of the value created in social media. Social media makes it really easy to answer the question, “what has this person done for me lately?” As such, you’ll hear “yes” far more often when you’ve provided value before an ask, or in conjunction with it.
Who are the gatekeepers?
Anyone or anything that regulates access to people or power is a gatekeeper. Human gatekeepers come in all forms, but are commonly executive assistants, recruiters and HR professionals, publicists and agents, and anyone else tasked with reducing access to someone else. I made sure to point out in my book that gatekeepers aren't trying to ruin your day. They have an important job to do, and it's probably pretty thankless. But ultimately we need gatekeepers, or else important things won't get done. When I first got into the corporate world, someone told me that the second most powerful person in any given company doesn't have a fancy title or a corner office. It's the CEO's executive assistant, so make sure to be kind to him or her. That's still true, and social media can help you get to know — and sometimes win over — the gatekeepers.
People sometimes feel they need to play a part when using social media, and I totally understand the impulse. I also agree it makes sense to tailor your use of a network to its particular "culture," like engaging more professionally on LinkedIn because it's "the business network." But I think these lines are extremely fluid and flexible. Ultimately, people like doing business with and hiring people they genuinely like. And if your social media presence doesn't convey a true sense of who you are, you're really just cheating yourself out of meaningful relationships. So "three-dimensional" means the complete package, not a cardboard cutout of who you want others to think you are.
From Vocus Blog:
Why not an email followed up by a phone call?
If that’s working for you, there’s no reason to stop. But it’s easier to stand out where you have the least competition, and where reporters aren’t as used to getting pitched.
Credibility and name recognition are transferable. I think phone calls and emails are great for long-form and later-stage communication, but every time you bring value to a journalist through social channels, the chances increase that he or she will open that email or take that follow up call.
That’s what being three-dimensional is all about. Starting out, this person is completely unaware of you—a blank canvas where his or her mental image of you should be. Then you engage via one medium, and this person forms a kind of mental outline of who you are, but it’s still easy to ignore. Every additional engagement, especially those that happen on new channels, fills in detail to that sketch.
Keep it up, and this person will have a 3-D model of you in his or her head. You’re not just that person that tweeted at them once; you’re that person that gave them the interesting angle on the story over Twitter, then sent additional information over email, and invited you to connect on LinkedIn a week later. Every additional dimension makes you harder to ignore.
Have any questions of your own? Ask them in the comments, and I'll answer.