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?
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.
- It’s not a quick fix – it’s going to take time and effort
- It’s not digital marketing – it requires different skills
- 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.
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?