“Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.”
— Cocoa Chanel
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
— Albert Einstein
I’ve publicly spoken several times about the need for today’s entrepreneur to have a social media presence, which I wrote about in my book, The NICE Reboot, and in this post on LinkedIn. It also led me to write about content curation tools in last week’s post here on WordPress, which led people to then ask me if I am a social media marketing expert.
The answer is no, but I will let Chris Brogan explain why, in this succinct post he just wrote. It echoes my sentiments exactly! Like him, I consider myself an educator, a social media activist, and a blogger. Why?
Because I am a collaborator, and have “walked the walk” and “talked the talk” for years. That’s why I advocate for entrepreneurs to engage with each other on social media and create a meaningful and impactful digital footprint. That’s why I seek out strategic alliances which foster communication and concrete innovation.
Consider how I currently describe myself on my LinkedIn Profile:
Communications Specialist & Consultant: Autism, Ed-Tech/iPad, and Personal Digital Branding
Consider what I wrote in my latest Tumblr post:
A collaborative mindset is a mental model which a person purposefully constructs for the sake of problem solving. We often forget that collaboration is a dual process requiring both listening and taking action; sometimes simultaneously!
Consider what Dr. Juris Ulmanis wrote in this informative LinkedIn post:
The reality is that entrepreneurship is a skill that can and must be developed by doing.
One can say the same thing about social media. Especially because of the role of social technology in marketing’s new golden age. Especially because the changing business landscape demands that we devise a strategy to build a digital footprint blueprint from the ground up, so that we can keep pace with the blurring lines between businesses.
So how can we more effectively leverage our social media presence as entrepreneurs? By incorporating it into our War Room and using it in conjunction with our overall mission, strategy, trajectory, and networking needs. By assembling specific digital tools which can help us craft a timely social media plan. One that’s part elevator pitch and part visual commentary about the humanizing journey. One that’s based on our pursuit of global opportunity, and our understanding of the psychology of marketing. One which creates greater inclusive growth for all by increasing momentum and collectively transforming Me > We.
Here are 4 digital tools I personally use and recommend, to help me in my endeavors to:
• Wield social media as a catalyst for authentic and innovative collaboration
• Balance humanity and technology; my NICE Initiative raison d’être and own entrepreneurial credo
1. Pocket. Pocket allows a busy entrepreneur to stay current (I pair it with Zite) and continue his/her education. Especially in the new economy, where a steep learning curve is a fact of life. It’s also a lifesaver for bloggers who cite others; strategically or stylistically, as I try to do. I tag categories, people, clippings related to specific projects, and even tweets I like for future reference. Best of all, I can access it without a WiFi connection; something I learned a while back while enduring a long plane ride!
2. Bitly. Bitly is a URL shortening tool that’s free, tracks when and how many people clicked the link, and even keeps a history of links for you despite not having or being signed in to an account. It has literally saved me time and frustration when reading online posts, posting my own, and citing the work of others in both my already published business book and my soon to be published (ETA April 2015) textbook about Autism intervention; toys and tech (iPad Apps) for social skills development.
3. Hubspot Blog. I’m a huge fan of Hubspot’s blogposts, because of their relevant, useful, and interesting content such as this one about where to find non-cheesy stock photos, or this one about the history of Apple and Microsoft’s Ad-War. This is my go-to site for tips on inbound marketing, and its relationship to social media; something I mentioned in previous blogposts.
4. Automation Tools. I’m someone who believes in being and doing social things on social media like building ties, commenting, “liking” posts, reaching out and networking across platforms, and thanking others etc. So I’m not big on across-the-board automation, but I do gladly recommend Buffer and Hootsuite. I’ve been hearing lots of chatter about Tweepi, so it’s worth a look. But honestly, you need to have your own set of rules re: the do’s and don’ts of automation. There are only so many hours in the day and paradoxically so many opportunities for real and reciprocal social sharing. You decide!
Social media is a tool that allows today’s entrepreneur to grow, share, mentor others, educate, entertain, simplify the answers to tough questions, and make a difference. Let me end with something I wrote in my book, The NICE Reboot:
There’s a story of an Amish farmer who gives his new son-in-law a gift, a toolbox filled with various tools. As the young man lugs the extremely heavy and valuable gift away, his father-in-law calls out, “Don’t forget!” The young man responds, “I’ll always remember you gave me this wonderful gift.” The Amish farmer chidingly replies, “Remember which tool to use when.
To be continued….