Build a new you on social network sites

Xplore DMS in Milton Keynes hosted a social media seminar for editorial and commercial staff of Premier Newspapers
Xplore DMS in Milton Keynes hosted a social media seminar for editorial and commercial staff of Premier Newspapers

ALL human beings have multiple personalities, dependent on the situation they are in – and social network sites are no different.

Some people have posh telephone voices while others may seek to present a particular image of themselves on dating sites and on Facebook and Twitter.

Digital marketing strategist Lawrence Lartey said: “People present themselves differently depending on the media they use.

“On a dating site it is possible to present yourself as 18 years old, single and with no kids while the reality is that you are 40, married, with two children.”

Mr Lartey, of Xplore DMS, in Silbury Boulevard, Central Milton Keynes, gave Premier Newspapers’ employees a two-hour introduction to the world of social media at a bespoke seminar.

He explained that companies should decide what they wanted social networking to achieve, and then develop the online personalities of employees to achieve that.

From a newspaper’s point of view that corporate personality might be as a community champion.

Then the people within the organisation would adopt the personalities of trusted friends or people readers can turn to for help or gurus on topics like sport and business.

The task then for newspapers or any other business is to engage with people. Complaints, he said, should be welcomed because they come from people who are motivated and engaged. They offer the opportunity for companies to turn complainers into champions for brands.

Mr Lartey added: “Digital personal engagement is about knowing the personalities of your audience and tailoring updates relevant to them.” It is not, he said, about collecting as many followers as possible but about having followers who can then become people who become champions for the business. And that means knowing who followers are and what they want.

“It is about connecting to people in their life stream,” said Mr Lartey. “It is about what can I say to make them act. It’s about adding value to their life.”

Many companies, he said, make the mistake of trying to use social network sites for direct selling. He said: “It is not about that. People follow because of the story you are telling, not for what you can sell them.”

Instead, it’s about building trust with people who then go on to become champions for you and your brand. With the huge reach of social media, word of mouth soon becomes world of mouth, Mr Lartey said.