Mike Raftery, SCM solutions architect at SCM Connections, is a consultant and industry expert in SAP’s Supply Chain Management with over ten years of experience at the architect level. He’s also SCM Connections’ expert blogger for all things SAP SCM, and on occasion, gives personal insight into being a consultant, the SAP community, and tips and tricks from 10+ years of working with clients. Today he shares his perspective as a trailblazer into the world of social media for SCM Connections.
As we have started our little venture into social media, it has been a bit of a learning experience around what to do at all. With so much noise, so much content, and so many outlets, how do you get heard? Well we’re no experts; I’m not sure anyone is. But here’s what has worked for us, and it just might work for your organization as well.
Find your voice – You are not a textbook, you are not a wiki page and you are not an instruction manual. People tend to like content that feels like there is someone else on the other end of the line. So make it personal and find your voice. It can be ironic, funny, full of lame jokes, or just conversational. The point is to make sure that it comes across with humanity. This will probably take a few tries. When I look back at my original posts, I cringe. They’re terrible and it’s embarrassing that they’re on the interweb alongside useful websites. However, you get better and more refined with each post. Just like old fashioned writers, you get better by writing, so just keep writing. Maybe write 5 posts or so before posting a single one. Whatever it takes, you will be more successful and come across as a real live human if you spend some time finding your true voice.
Make it personal – Write for yourself. Do not get paralyzed finding the perfect topic each time to change the world. Some content will find a broad audience, and others will have a more limited audience. But the key is to connect with the audience that finds you. It’s not necessarily a popularity contest, but if you write or post about topics that matter to you, odds are that the same topic will matter to someone else as well. It’s also easier to write or post about topics that you care about. Even a decently crafted tweet takes time and thought to put together, so in an age where every minute seems to be packed with some to-do list, the task of posting is a lot easier if you actually care about what you’re writing about.
Focus – If you are writing for a company or an organization, it is helpful to pull in the same direction. The hardest part of posting in social media today is building critical mass to make a difference. If all sides of your group are pulling in a different direction, then you are diffusing the message that your group is trying to put out there. So put some thought into it, make each post count and build on each other’s efforts. The synergy (cringe for using that word) actually does pay off and the final product really will add up to more than the sum of its parts (gag). OK, no more cliché’s but it’s true.
Finally length. People have limited time and even shorter attention spans. So make it quick and make it count. I had a professor who once told me when writing to use the mini-skirt theory. Long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to make it interesting.