Creatively harnessing … your connections


How do you harness the connections that you make in the social media space? There is often a drive by people who are playing in this space to maximise the number of connections they have. There are still some organisations that I speak to who are focussing on how many friends they have, the likes they get or how many shares they can encourage and using that as the only measurement of success in their efforts.

When I deal with clients about creatively harnessing their connections, I’m not just talking about making more or collecting friends as if this was some high school lunchtime exercise. When it comes to creatively harnessing connections, there are four things that you need to think about:

  • Getting people involved with your organisation.

This is a no-brainer as it’s where many people start and often stop thinking about social media. What I’m talking about is not just how you get people involved with your post, but how do you get them involved in your organisation? In my book ‘501 Great Social Media Ideas for Schools’, we talk about a range of ideas that use social media posting not just to get a like but to get a phone call – to not just get a follow but to get someone turning up at the front door of the school asking if they can help. So when you are thinking about creatively harnessing your connections, are you thinking just about how you connect with other people at a social media level or are you asking if you connect with them at a business level?

  • Getting people involved in social media.

To take the first point further, when I talk with clients about getting their connections involved in social media, I’m not talking about getting them to respond to posts, I’m getting them to think about using their connections to create content. One of the bigger challenges that we all face in the social media space is to find the time to create good quality content. You have people in your social media community who are already predisposed to using these tools (obviously because they connected with you in this way) but have you thought about how you can get them to create social media content for you?

  • Connecting with the connections of your connections

This takes point two even further. Do you have, as part of your social media program, a strategy which encourages your connections to recommend you? Are you asking people to not just share your content with their contacts but to actually get their contacts on board as well? This is a vastly underrated part of social media which many organisations miss.

  • Connecting with the wider community

I do a lot of work with schools and non-profit organisations, both of which have a role to play in the wider community. They are positioning themselves to be good corporate citizens and members of the local community as much as offering a service. So when I work with them to put together their social media programs, part of our thinking is not just how you get more ‘business’ as such but how do you position yourself to be a good corporate citizen in your local community? So when you are creatively harassing your connections, how are you harnessing the connection with the wider community which may not actually lead to a sale in the short term?

Next time … the third in a series of creatively harnessing  social media – this time creatively harnessing resources.

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