I spoke on a panel for social media trends as part of the NAIOP Northern Virginia Developing Leaders program yesterday. It was a great experience and I was thrilled to be asked.
The other three panelists and I come at social media from very different angles. I, of course, got the privilege of talking about social media from the combined HR and employee communications side. Erin Orr looks at it with a blended communications and marketing eye. Tim Klabunde admitted that he is a pure marketer. And Tim Hughes views social media through the lens of his legal background. And despite the variance, we agreed on a couple of things as we shared our stories:
- It’s all about relationship building. The whole point of getting online is to engage with people. We sounded like broken records with this one.
- Social media platforms are tools to help us with our day to day efforts. And since our efforts are typically dedicated to finding new work or new talent or new media sources, depending on your role, that usually involves building relationships (see #1), so use these tools to help those efforts.
- While there isn’t a one size fits all strategy that applies to social media, social media is something that can greatly impact the way in which we all do business. We’re big fans of applying it to businesses large and small, to companies that are public or private.
- Time is a the enemy up front. It does require the strategic decision to invest in social media up front. Ultimately, the payoff is going to be great – and all of us have seen some of that payoff already.
While we all agree, our different perspectives can guide us in so many directions. Because these are just tools in our toolbox (see #2), they open up different doors that we can choose to walk through at any given time. My focus doesn’t have to match that of my fellow panelists, but I can still sit with them and talk about the advantages that social media will provide for my company. In fact, it’s this holistic approach across disciplines that gives the bigger picture of what social media can do. I think that message started to sink in for some of these folks.
What a win for social media, eh?