The first question is never which social media tools to use

The initial round of talks with new clients usually means for me to make them hold off to their wish to immediately decide on the social media tools they want to use.

Proper project outreach obviously first looks into the basics of your strategy — your actual goals, who you want to target, where do they hang out, how can you reach them. Many of my previous articles touch on this subject in one way or the other.

But recently it dawned on me, there is at least one aspect that is as important as strategy, and that is your turnaround time to questions and requests, or basically your responsiveness and engagement level, all in a time frame people do expect of you on these media nowadays.

If you cannot ensure a proper turnaround time or even willingness to respond in a certain fashion — and time is one of the factors – then really you might be better off buying ad-space in magazines. Though even then you should include social media links and be willing to respond adequately.

What am I saying?  If you see the social part of your social media outreach as simply one bullet point on your sheet with technical project activity to run through, then you’re outreach is doomed to underperform — not fail maybe, but underperform dismally.

In other words, if you want to embrace via social media then you need to allow being embraced as well and present yourself adequately.

What do I mean by adequate response and engagement?

  • The time factor
    Respond basically immediately. Social media is a form of social interaction — let this sink in deep for once. Maybe you don’t like the implications of but it is what it is and at a cocktail function you’d also not delay your answer to next week.
  • Engagement factor
    This means, make the response part of a broader interaction. There are personal factors, sympathy, acknowledgments and longer time frames at play here. Don’t just drop a one-off, all-encompassing response. In fact, you want to deal with the situation as a form of conversation between equals, not one side asking for a favor for information from those in the know. You’re in for a long haul here, building up a relationship.
  • Relatability factor
    Meeting people on the same level: As in many personal interactions, the way you handle the situation talking to others, is more important than the factual content of your words. Being relatable, showing interest in others and demonstratinbg the human side of your project, your staff, your faults and ambitions are key factor as well.

In essence, to your success

Make adequate turnaround, including the factors mentioned, indispensable requirement of your strategy.