Mark Scott: Why you could be missing out on a huge opportunity to make connections

Have any of your employees tried to do a selfie in the office in response to the one Ellen DeGeneres took at the Academy Awards last month?

It was one of those moments that seemingly everyone was talking about and trying to recreate in the days after the Oscars. It served as yet another reminder of the blazing speed with which information can travel in this day and age when it hits the right note.

If only that new product your company has been working on for the past six weeks had the same ability to captivate the masses. Unfortunately, that product would probably get much more famous, much more quickly if it was a total disaster that left you scrambling to explain what happened.

Outside of getting really lucky and stumbling upon the next great innovation that changes the way we all live, work or play, you’ll probably have to work a little harder to build an audience for what you’re selling.

But one thing you can do as the senior leader is take advantage of this ubiquitous communication tool and start using it to sell your brand. Don’t leave it all in the hands of your social media team.


Get involved

This isn’t a call to start micromanaging the efforts your people are making to build a following for your business on Facebook or Twitter. Rather, it’s a suggestion to take part in the conversation and engage your audience on a more personal level.

It’s safe to say that many senior leaders who have a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn account don’t actually manage their own account. They have their IT team post pre-formatted messages at designated times through platforms like HootSuite. The times are selected based on thorough research into the most likely parts of the day for messages to be seen.

It makes sense. You’re busy running a business and you probably don’t have a lot of time to sit around poking at your smartphone to send tweets. But when you’re completely removed from the process, you miss a chance to share the passion you have for what it is your company produces.

I’ve said it in previous columns, but it bears repeating. People like people who are real and genuine. If you use social media to talk about your product and respond to feedback both good and bad, you show yourself to be aware of what’s happening in the world. You’re not just counting up the dollars each month to see if you made a profit. You’re taking an interest in how your product or service is being received by consumers.


Have fun

But it doesn’t always have to be about work. Take a picture of your dog or your son or your granddaughter having a good time. Share a video clip you saw on YouTube that you thought was funny. Round up your leadership team and take your own selfie for all your followers to see. Don’t be afraid to have a little fun. Life is too short not to.


Mark Scott is Senior Associate Editor for Smart Business Los Angeles. Reach him at (440) 250-7016 or [email protected]