Practically any organization, whether it’s a business, non-profit, or even a single freelancer, can benefit from social media. On June 16, Lakeshore Advantage hosted a social media lunch event with Jason Sadler, founder of IWearYourShirt.com. I went and listened to Jason talk about creating and growing I Wear Your Shirt, and how he uses social media to connect with thousands of fans every day. During the Q&A, Jason fielded the audience’s questions about promoting themselves or their businesses with social media.
- Be yourself; be as genuine as possible. People will see right through you if you’re trying to put on a face for social media. The connections you make will be real and lasting only if you’re being yourself.
- Use social media for two-way conversations, never as a broadcast platform. Find out what people are interested in, and help them as much as you can. They’ll reciprocate.
About I Wear Your Shirt
If you’re not familiar with I Wear Your Shirt, the concept is simple:
- An organization buys a calendar day and mails in 2 shirts.
- Jason (in Florida) and his business partner Evan (in California) wear the shirts all day.
- During the day, the guys share their lives using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and Ustream.
Jason’s social media tips
Getting started in social media
- Start with your existing network: family, friends, co-workers.
- Tell them your idea, and ask for their feedback. Don’t be afraid to tell people you’re new.
- Ask them to spread the word to their contacts.
- Discover the interests of those in your community, and share information and relevant links.
Selecting social networks
- Adopt a network only when it reaches a critical mass (find this out by listening to what others are talking about).
- Don’t worry about keeping up with every new social network.
- Use the networks that work for you (where your target community is).
- Use networks for as long as they’re relevant, then ditch them.
Building a community
- Build a community, not just an audience. Make people feel included.
- A small group of passionate people is better than a large number of not-so-interested eyeballs.
Business versus personal accounts
- If your job requires you to maintain a professional appearance, keep your business and personal accounts separate.
- If your business and personal lives are intertwined, and you don’t need a separate professional account, just use one account.
- Want to consider professional but maintain your individuality? Name yourself “You at Biz Name“. For example, I’d be Chad at OptimWise.
- Monitor and respond to comments as much as possible.
- Feel free to delete inappropriate or negative comments.
Jason’s tips for specific social media
- Run Twitter searches for keywords related to your niche, and join those conversations.
- Don’t be one-sided; become a conversant member of the community.
- Best Buy’s Twelpforce is a great example. They’re constantly monitoring tweets and helping potential customers.
Ustream (and other live video streaming sites)
- Use live video to interact with your community.
- Build the audience first, then start streaming.
Use Flickr and other photo sharing sites. Pictures have a higher click-through rate than text.
Use YouTube and other video hosting sites. Videos have a higher click-through rate than text or pictures.
Equipment Jason uses
- iPhone for snapping photos and staying connected while mobile
- Flip Video camcorder for recording video
- Apple Macbookfor editing video and staying connected at home
Please share your thoughts by commenting below! As always, contact OptimWise for more information or assistance!