IABC Victoria Board member, Julie Weldon, looks back at the recent Guy Kawasaki breakfast and the ten ways to perfect the art of social media.
It came as no surprise that the recent IABC Victoria breakfast with Guy Kawasaki sold out and had a waiting list. After all, it isn’t every day that you get to have breakfast with someone who has 7 million followers on Google Plus, 1.4 million Twitter followers; and nearly 300,000 Facebook followers – and have the chance to ask questions about what he does to keep growing his connections.
And Guy didn’t disappoint, offering practical tips that meant nearly everyone in the room walked away with something they could action. In an entertaining, engaging presentation, he shared 10 tips for perfecting the art of social media.
1. Perfect your perspective. In a somewhat surprising start to the presentation, Guy declared that social media is like Tinder … people make a very quick decision on who you are and whether you’re worth spending time on. It is initially all about appearance, so …
2. Perfect your avatar. The picture that you have on your profile should portray you as likeable, trustworthy and competent. His recommendation is that it should be your face, be front lit and be asymmetric. And Guy says that it should be consistent across all of your social profiles. For those managing brands, he urged us to revisit the avatar to make sure that it is recognisable and legible. And if that means challenging brand guidelines that may have been written before there was social media, we should do it.
3. Perfect your cover. Don’t waste the space in the background. It’s really the first thing people see, so it should be part of your narrative – an interesting and relevant story that makes people want to get to know you better. Not surprisingly, as Chief Evangelist of Canva, a free online graphic design site that has templates for all platforms, he is a big advocate of ensuring photos are optimised for the platform. And he is also a strong advocate of original and not stock photography – unless it’s from stocksy.com.
4. Perfect your business cards. It seemed a little left of field to talk about perfecting business cards in a presentation about social media … but it soon made sense. Given he presents regularly, Guy gets hundreds of business cards – and as soon as he gets them, he uses a tool like Evernote to scan them and add them to his contacts. So if yours can’t be read by Evernote, you are missing a trick.
He is also a passionate advocate for meaningful signature blocks in every email, particularly including phone numbers, especially given we have so much virtual contact. Guy also shared another great site, especially if you use Gmail. Evercontact will go through your emails, looking for signature blocks and either add the missing detail to your contacts, or create a new contact in your database.
5. Perfect your presentation. Once again straying from strictly social media, Guy encouraged us to perfect our presentations, especially if we are writing them for others. His tips are: default to 16 x 9 format; recognise that if a picture is worth a thousand words, a demonstration is worth 10,000; use white text on a black background. For me this was counter intuitive, as I’ve always been told black on white is easier to read. However, after experimenting, I’m converted.
6. Perfect your content: I knew he would get around to content eventually… Guy suggested that we should follow the NPR – National Public Radio – model. In a Melbourne context, that is more like RRR – provide such great content – free of charge, without strings – that you earn the right to ask for something – whether that is for people to visit your website, register for a newsletter or make a donation. Another good tip was to check that what you post is share-worthy. Does it add value to your followers? And in an added tip, did you know that tagging people in a tweet doesn’t count in the character count?
7. Perfect your pictures. Guy suggests there should be an image in every post – optimised of course; ideally shot horizontal (because it lets you tell more of the story); lit from the front; and well-cropped. He also reminded us that Twitter now allows up to four photos in any one post, so if you are clever, you can also have the pictures tell a story, making better use of your character count.
He also recommended using video, particularly on Facebook, sharing that he has found that he gets more engagement on videos where he uploads them natively.
8. Perfect your frequency. In stark contrast to most advice, Guy posts about 85 times a day – and frequently tweets the same thing eight hours apart. He’s found that this is what works for him, and encouraged us all to try posting more frequently. People will unfollow you if they don’t think you are adding value – and after all, not everyone is online at the same time.
9. Perfect your Pin. If you are in food, fashion or art, Guy recommends exploring Pinterest as a way to attract a different audience.
10. Perfect your practices. Guy concluded by encouraging everyone to experiment. Should you post it with a link; with one photo, with four, with a video or without; or share link with a comment, or without? There is no one answer and it will depend on your followers and what you are trying to achieve.
IABC Victoria past president, Zora Artis, has been trying to get Guy to speak at an event since he tweeted last year that he was coming to Australia. That didn’t come off, but after hearing him speak at the IABC World Conference, and learning that he was again coming to town, she didn’t let him take no for an answer! I for one am glad Zora was so persistent.
If this whet your appetite, Guy broadcast this presentation live on Facebook. Watch it below.
Julie Weldon is the person on the IABC board who looks after Membership. She is also the principal consultant and managing director of JAW Communications, an integrated agency that helps organisations harness the power of communication to unlock potential and grow.