Tweak Your Biz » Marketing » Interview With Bill McCartney: 5 Steps To Getting Noticed Using Social Media

Interview With Bill McCartney: 5 Steps To Getting Noticed Using Social Media



It’s no secret. If you want to attract more customers, you need to invest time and effort into visibility (online and offline) – both for you and your business. And while social media marketing is playing an increasingly large role in whether you get seen online:

  • Are you clear on what your social media strategies should be?
  • Have you tried it and been underwhelmed by your results?

Yes? Maybe?

I had a chance to interview one of Northern Ireland’s most celebrated social media strategists, Bill McCartney; and here are his top tips on what it really takes to get noticed online:

Bill, what are the most essential things SMEs need to do to get more out of social media?

Good question. But before you start or do anything – it’s important to establish what social media is ‘not’ about.

  1. It’s not a quick fix – it’s going to take time and effort
  2. It’s not digital marketing – it requires different skills
  3. It’s not about selling – it’s about influencing

Makes sense, but why do you believe social media is about ‘influencing’?

It’s like a phrase we use all the time in a business-networking group I chair – “Givers gain”.

Social media offers a plethora of online networking forums. And the people who do best from these tend to have 2 traits:

  • They engage through conversations
  • They display and share their expertise, helping others in the process

And the ‘being helpful’ bit is absolutely vital.

If you take the tack of making what you do all about yourself, you’ll get nowhere. But if you give freely of yourself, others will respond in kind.

Related: How To Build A Social Media Business Strategy That Delivers Traditional Business Returns

In addition to focusing more on giving than taking, what else makes a difference in social media?

Speak in your own voice instead of corporate speak. Show your personality and be enthusiastic.

Just like when you meet people at a function, social media users enjoy spending time with people who have ‘something about them’.

Someone with opinions is always more interesting than the guy who just agrees with everyone but doesn’t add to the conversation.

So don’t be afraid to speak up. And get involved.

How much time does it take to get involved and make an impact through social media?

This is a common question and it’s important people don’t think they can do social media in 5 minutes a day – that doesn’t work, any more than a fitness product that promises you a flat tummy in just 5 easy minutes a day won’t work.

If you’re going to get involved in social media, you need about an hour a day to make things happen.

But when people ask me where they’ll find that time – I tell them to look at what else they do to drum up business.

See if you can’t substitute time spent on things that aren’t doing much for you – like cold calling – and spend that time on social media instead. You shouldn’t feel you have to find extra hours in the day.

Related: Why Social Media Are Not a Strategy

One more thing – in addition to online actions, how important is it to work on offline presence as well?

Vital. You don’t live online.

You do business with people and there’s nothing like meeting people face to face to strengthen relationships.

And if you get the chance to speak to your target audience – using the kinds of skills you teach at The Reluctant Speakers Club – you really have the chance to build Advocacy.

In fact, that’s really what it’s about online and offline – you’re building a network of people who advocate each other and generate word of mouth.

Over to you

What tips would you share about what it takes to succeed in social media circles? What has worked for you and what would recommend SMEs avoid?

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The Author:

Eamonn is the CEO of The Reluctant Speakers Club, a leading provider of public speaking courses in Ireland. Contact him to learn how he can help you gain more trust and inspire others with your ideas http://www.thereluctantspeakersclub.com

Add Your Comment

  • http://twitter.com/denisefay Denise Fay

    Eamonn – love the interview. I couldn’t help smile at Bill’s comparison of social media to the fitness product promising a flat tummy in 5 minutes.

    What an accurate comparison. You really need to put the work in to get the results out. And I just read recently that the average person spends 3.5 hours watching TV a night. That’s time that could be spent working/planning/scheduling social media posts and then the interaction on the following day won’t be as time consuming.

    Really enjoyed the interview.

    Take care,
    Denise

  • Epobrien

     Thanks Denise, delighted you enjoyed the interview and I couldn’t agree more with your thoughts on substituting even a fraction of the time we spend in front of the goggle box.

  • Peter Gillies1

    Good solid advice Bill, the only problem is making the commitment to find 1 hour a day and keep it up!!

  • http://twitter.com/ElishBulGodley Elish Bul-Godley

    I love this post especially the Karmic Nature of Social Media :  “Givers gain”. I like that it talks about relationship building as opposed to hard selling too. Thanks for that – interesting to see the comment that it is NOT digital marketing as well.

  • Debi Harper

    Absolutely brilliant Eamonn,great interview,will share everywhere

  • Epobrien

    Thanks Debi – Please do share the article everywhere, it’s packed with good advice.

  • Epobrien

    Thanks Elish – You’re absolutely right, there is a Karmic element involved in public speaking. By giving more we make the pie bigger for everyone – it’s the win win glue that makes social media so valuable.

  • Epobrien

    Hi Peter – I take your point, it can be a challenge to make the commitment to give social media an hour a day. But the upside for any trade off in time you may have to make (more visibility and credibility) is immense.

    However the good news is – like any skill – it does get easier with practice.

  • http://www.sianphillips.ie/ Sian Phillips

    I love this interview Eamonn and I’m really pleased that my idea of using Social Media is the same as the expert Bill McCartney. I always believe in sharing rather than selling. And it does take time and effort – I’m always surprised at people who think it happens overnight.

  • Epobrien

     Thanks so much Sian and yes, isn’t it nice to hear it ?  You clearly share all the time and I’m sure you find people repay what you over and over again?

  • http://TheMarketingShop.ie/ Debbie McDonnell

    Nice interview Eamonn, wish more people would realise that social media is not about “selling” – bound to lead to disappointment for the business and frustration for those following their activities.

  • Paula

    Excellent interview, and I agree, I’m asked all the time about social media and when I say it takes time and effort I’m always told “I don’t have that kind of time” 

  • http://www.theexecutivesuite.com/blog/ Warren Rutherford

    Eamonn – very timely interview that reinforces sound network relationship building practices. Thanks for the share.

  • http://about.me/Lindeskog lyceum1776

    Eamonn O’Brien: Great post! I have been a blogger and social media evangelist since 2002. Are you a member of a BNI team (giver’s gain)?

  • Hunter

    Thanks, Maegan for the great comment. Some great advice and hopefully businesses using your hiring and management advice have to deal with staffing problems much less often.