One of the biggest misconceptions I come across on a daily basis is the idea that being social on a professional level means always talking about the company or selling the product to further the business.
Being a social business doesn’t mean just talking about the business. In fact, in most cases it means rarely talking about your product or service using the 80/20 guidance: that is, 80% of the time, talk about other things, highlighting other people and content, while talking about your content and business only 20% of the time. This balance of topics will help keep you from becoming that company shill we’ve all seen on the social channels, you know, the one who only talks about themselves or their business.
Now, I can hear you as: “but how does NOT talking about your business bring business results?”
Simple, actually. Regardless of your role in any organization, being active socially around your expertise helps others see you and recognize you as knowledgeable in your field. This is what I have been referring to as digital eminence previously. This digital eminence not only reflects on you as an individual, but also on your employer and others with whom you associate. It is that digital eminence which helps build trust within your network as well as in your extended networks. It is that trust based on identification of expertise which has a long-term business impact and brings real value to any organization.
So, when you hear me talk about being a social business, it doesn’t mean that the business is posting on social networks. No, it means that the employees are engaged in social conversation around their particular areas of expertise and helping to solve problems or share knowledge using social tools. It doesn’t matter if that area of expertise is directly related to the product or service provided by the business, as the digital eminence of the individual still works to improve the eminence of the business as a leader in its space.
Don’t just broadcast company lines; have conversations around your specific expertise and see what being a social business is really all about.