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MARKETING
How To Market Yourself With
Social Media: Start With A Snack


By Dave Courvoisier
Voice Actor & TV News Anchor

A constant parade of social media "expertsĒ write long and convincingly about how to use social media to promote ourselves and our brands online.

Iím skeptical of people who call themselves social media "experts,Ē as the realm is so constantly changing that I believe the highest attainable status is "student.Ē

But the many blogs, forums, webinars, seminars, e-books, and videos you can absorb on this subject start to reveal a sameness, and Iím going to distill it down to the answers of the two questions Iím most often asked about Social Media.

QUESTION #1:
When and how often during the day should
I engage my social media channels?


My best answer is an analogy. Remember when dieticians discovered that your digestive system is more attuned to snacking lightly all through the day rather than seeking three squares? Get it? 

Sure, you can sit there for hours on end, pounding the keys. But I prefer checking in for short spans, several times a day. That way you can sort of  "hit Ďní run.Ē 

When you come back, you can see reaction to your posts and pick up the thread. Or, if nothing suits your fancy on THAT network, visit a different one each time. 

This method also has the added benefit of keeping your presence high on your preferred sites.

THE PLAYING FIELD


Remember, there are 5 huge platforms for social media, and each have their strengths, drawbacks, and unique offerings. 

In order of importance (my take):
  • FaceBook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
Honorable Mention for voice actors: SoundCloud, Vimeo, and maybe AudioBoo.

SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS

Everybody has a desktop, laptop and a tablet computer, or some combination thereof, so it becomes a matter of apps, programs, and innovative streaming technology that dictates this category. 

They seem to come and go, or get bought out, but an absolute MUST for successful social media students is a Smartphone.

As far as software tools and apps, my current favorites (other than the native Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube apps) are: 

Nimble,
Buffer, and
Hootsuite.

TIME SHIFTING

Many people like to automate, or schedule their posts. I do this, but very carefully. 

If you can't be a snacker - coming and going all day to your social media channels - then automating can lend the appearance that youíre present when youíre not. 

It works OK. Just OK. But if you do it a lot without reinforcing with real committed personal time on the social media stream, you will begin to appear false, absent, unengaged, and disingenuous. 

Hootsuite and Buffer allow painless scheduled posting.

QUESTION #2:
How do I successfully convey my brand
or my persona in the online channels?


First of all Ö you ARE your brand Ö not a logo or a catch-phrase. 

Neither of those fetching and concocted constructs will replace the real you. So, the question is how to present you - the REAL you in a virtual medium. 

Hereís is my 3-part answer:

1. BE GENUINE 

You can be genuinely angry, genuinely sarcastic, or genuinely prickly. But for the purposes of Social Media Iím saying you need to be genuinely charming, positive and friendly (98% of the time). 

Unfortunately, wry humor, innuendo, and inside jokes just DO NOT translate well in written word. I donít care how many emoticons you use. 

Keep it upbeat, light-hearted, and unambiguous.  About all you can do beyond that is be thoughtful, pensive, or questioning.

2. BE CONSISTENT

This refers to many things: style, attitude, times of day, direction, approach, knowledge-base. 

Whatever you decide is your priority - the most important thing about you and the image youíd like to project - do it, and do it consistently.

Do it time and time again. Hammer home in every social platform you visit that consistent person, image, thought, and brand. 

Consistency also refers to your choice of online associations and relationships. Play the field far and wide if you want, but give your most productive time to a focused core of relationships you hope to develop.

3. BE HELPFUL 

Another way of saying this is pay-it-forward. Donít expect reward. Ask how you can help. 

Offer factoids, news, videos, and links that play to your consistent brand and interests. 

Share stuff you donít think others have heard or seen that might be helpful your friends, followers, and prospects. In this way, hopefully, prospects become friends, become trusted friends, and that leads to rich results.

Woven through all these points is your chance to be "you.Ē

Use words you like to use. Assume non-controversial positions on topics of interest to you.  Express non-controversial statements about you and your world. Youíd be surprised how much people like to talk about the most unassuming things. (I started a FB thread about shaving preferences once that lasted three days, and over a hundred posts.)

It may pain you to be non-controversial or non-confrontational on some threads, but in the end, the true you shines through anyway. Be controversial if you want on private chats, but not in public forums.

There you go: social media secrets revealed from an admitted "studentĒ of the medium. 
---------------------
ABOUT DAVE
Dave Courvoisier is an Emmy Award-winning broadcaster, writer, producer, voice actor, and the main weeknight news anchor on KLAS-TV, Channel 8, the Las Vegas CBS affiliate. He also writes Voice-Acting in Vegas, a daily blog of adventures and observations in a style thatís true to his friendly Midwestern farm roots.

Email:
CourVO@CourVO.com 
Web:
www.courvo.com 
Blog:
www.courvo.biz

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Comments (6)
Emily @edgestudio
6/4/2013 at 4:53 PM
I have found when posting some of the most effective posts have been of "employee lunch time" where I simply preface the conversation with a pic of a huge, juicy hamburger. My most viral post was simply a picture of fireworks (google search) with an announcement that there was going to be fireworks in Central Park. It got a reach of over 10,000!
Ed Helvey
6/3/2013 at 7:25 AM
Good info, Dave.

I've been using Hootsuite for a while. It's a great tool, but I wasn't aware of Buffer. I'll have to check it out. I appreciate the tips you provided to both questions. I now have some new ideas for expanding my social media utilization.

Thanks for another useful contribution.

Ed
LoveThatRebecca
6/3/2013 at 5:49 AM
Thanks Dave - big kiss and hug! My first fav part is that we are all students and these folks touting 'expert' are suspects! Second, all very good and sound advice - Corvo Classic. 3rd is that the kiss is for the tip on the 3 tools you mentioned as my tweetdeck fluttered it's last gasp and I'm slow to transition once I got my ride. (
JAY LLOYD
6/3/2013 at 2:17 AM
As always, Dave...thoughtful and learned advice. Kudos to you for sharing your knowledge of these valuable tools and the serious advice to "just be your CAUTIOUS self.". Be consistent, present yourself in a way that reveals YOU...and don't be controversial. Just be CONSTANT. It's a very changing world and those who embrace all the modern tools in a cursory way without "making waves" will reap the benefits thereof.
Thanks for sharing, Dave!
john grove
6/3/2013 at 1:58 AM
I have several years as a professional National voice actor in this VO business and I don't understand you are you an expert on VO?








Pearl Hewitt
6/3/2013 at 1:17 AM
Great article Dave! Everything you said makes total sense! Thank you for your expertise.....no, wait..... Studentise!!
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