Social media connects us on a global level with one click. I met Otoabasi Umonting, a social media trainer and consultant, at an event about public speaking and I had the chance to interview him recently on my Digital Leadership Insights Interview talk show.
We are both Londoners, but with different backgrounds. Otoabasi grew up in Nigeria and I in Sweden. Being able to use social media to keep in touch with people all over the world makes life easier as an expat and when you want to stay in touch with all the friends and people you meet in business.
The internet and the World Wide Web are here to help us to share our knowledge, insights and skills, and to help us to connect with each other. I am sure that we are just at the beginning of what will come, and I encourage you to explore new ways to connect and collaborate online
Digital Leadership Insights Interviews.
Fly higher. Reach further.
Listen to the full interview here: https://soundcloud.com/sofiesandell/digital-leadership-insight
In this post I will share some of the insights from the interview.
1) How to stay on top and keep learning
We started the interview by talking about change and speed. The speed at which social media platforms evolve is very quick, they are improving and changing all the time and it’s hard to keep up-to-date.
‘It’s the human rules of interaction that you need to learn to master social media tools’, says Otoabasi. We love to stay connected and our ability to connect has driven humanity forward to where we are today.
Otoabasi added that when you have basic fundamental knowledge about how social media works you will find it much easier to use all platforms; even new platforms and those that tend to continually change.
2) Don’t procrastinate when it comes to your social media presence
In many cases brands avoid social media because they are afraid of being judged by their audience. They remain quiet and prefer to keep a low profile.
This strategy is not very productive; you better get over your shyness and define who you are and what your core values are.
Otoabasi and I discussed the importance of you as a brand creating content that tells the world who you are. If you don’t do this there’s a risk that other people’s views and comments will be featured online and will be more visible than your own message.
3) Your promise to your customers
‘Your projection to the public defines your brand’, says Otoabasi. How you deliver your content will determine how people perceive you as well as how they connect with you. This insight led me to think about how you must help people to connect with your brand and that everyone is different. Some like to call you on their phone, others prefer Twitter.
4) How to build rapport online
The number one tip from Otoabasi was to keep sharing information that your audience is interested in. It may seem like a no-brainer, but there are so many brands out there that share completely irrelevant information.
We learn constantly over the course of our lives and people are curious. Even experts are still learning and they tap into other people’s knowledge. Social media provides a good opportunity to share information with people interested in your favourite subjects.
‘Consistency is key as well. If you are sharing a new blog post every day and then suddenly stop, your audience will be confused and ask themselves why’, says Otoabasi. You lose the connection if you break your communication rhythm.
What you can do is to find new ways of sharing information, try out new channels and methods. This will help you to expand your knowledge base as well.
Also, if you change the topic of your blog or social media profile your followers will wonder what’s up. It’s like a TV show that suddenly changes its theme or swaps characters. We wouldn’t be interested in the next episode anymore.
5) We must all have mentors and great teachers
Social media is an extension of what your organisation is doing – it’s everywhere, in marketing, PR, sales, operations, product development, security, IT and so on. To stay on top of what’s going on in social media you must learn from others.
Otoabasi said that he has learned a lot from one mentor in London and that he has also been learning a lot of new skills from online mentors as well. My comment on this is that when you reach a certain level of expertise it’s easier to tap into more complex knowledge to enhance your skills.
Good mentors and teachers will help you to think critically about problems and to think in new ways. One social media personality that Otoabasi has learned from is social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk. Gary Vaynerchuk started a video blog in 2006 where he spoke about wine and interviewed lots of people about wine. He had a huge number of followers and his online show was very popular.
6) Online storytelling
We then moved on and spoke about storytelling. ‘We started the interview talking about where we were from and sharing part of our journey’, says Otoabasi. Social media is all about telling a story. We can share our story in different ways using social media so that people get a clearer picture of what we are about and what our brand stands for. People connect with the story of a brand.
In our interview Otoabasi spoke about Tim Ferris, author of The 4-hour Workweek. He has been sharing his story and knowledge using social media for years and he has thousands of followers. His fans love his story and the way he is sharing his philosophy.
7) What makes a brand an authority online?
‘The more emotional equity you have and the more you know about how human relationships work the better you will be at connecting online’, says Otoabasi. The more we learn about human psychology the better we are at responding online.
In the interview we both agreed that we should listen more to what people feel they would enjoy learning about.
If you are good at listening then social media is great, if you are not interesting in listening then don’t bother with social media – or have low expectations, the outcome may not be great if you are not responsive to feedback.
8) How to measure KPIs and how to agree on what to measure
Otoabasi and I also discussed the importance of KPIs, key performance indicators. I’ve always found the term ‘KPI’ very unsexy and if you are not defining what matters when measuring KPIs then you are opening yourself up to problems.
Otoabasi says, ‘You are looking for a better end-result, that is what key performance indicators are helping you with. Maybe new leads? More email addresses to add to your lists? Do you want people to come to your events?’ KPIs can be measured in many different ways. One rule always applies though, bad calls to action will make people leave your website or page before you have been able to connect with them.
Knowing what your demographic looks like may help you to better understand your KPIs, including the regions and the age ranges you are reaching out to most. Who is your information reaching?
Another gem that Otoabasi shared with me was, ‘When you are measuring what is happening online you are tracking what is moving your business forward.’
9) Final tip and conclusion
If your brand is focused on value-based content then you are more likely to make the most of your social media campaigns. Don’t focus on trying to get something to go viral. That is not likely to happen.
Digital Leadership Insights Interviews.
Fly higher. Reach further.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge, Otoabasi Umonting.