Branding and Social Media Interview

Interview SeriesCommon Sense Branding and Social Media Management:

An Interview with Lucy Morgan of 10MinuteMedia.com and Chantelle Marie of VIPwithChantelleMarie.com

Listen to article or read below

Lucy: Well good day, everyone. This is Lucy Morgan with 10 Minute Media, and I’m here today with Chantelle Marie. Chantelle is with VIP with Chantelle Marie, and we will put a link to her site so that you can click on and go see her site. She is an authority on social media. She works with branding, particularly personal branding, and I thought that she would be a great person for us to start with as we talk about both branding and social media.

So, welcome Chantelle.

Chantelle: Thank you, Lucy. Glad to be here.

Getting Started with Social Media

Lucy: Good. We’re working with a lot of startup businesses and people who have been in business for a little while, and I think it can be a little overwhelming for some of those businesses. So I wondered if you’d like to talk a little bit about how to deal with the overwhelm of all the social media that you know you’re supposed to be doing, and just some advice that you might give starting business people about that.

Chantelle: Great! Yes, I’d be happy to talk about that. Social media can be very overwhelming. It seems like it’s a big time-sucker if you’re online, and you get caught in these conversations and really not being productive in your business. But it can be very effective in relationship-building, so just knowing what your intention is going into social media is a huge bonus. I feel that there are a lot of sites out there, and so once tip I always give somebody new in business or struggling with social media, is just pick a site that you hear that your customers, or your people, are on already and just find yourself navigating that kind of a site.

Typically, it will be Facebook. That’s usually where people are very relational and conversational. If you just learn that one tool, you’ll get the concepts with social media, and you can really take those concepts into other tools if you decide, “You know what? My people are really talking about Pinterest,” or, “They’re talking about Twitter; that’s where they seem to be.”

So depending on your market, just go in that avenue that you feel your people are at, and then start navigating around that avenue. I feel like it’s just too easy to get overwhelmed if you’re trying to go in three different sites in one sitting, so that’s just one of the tips that I like to bring out in the very beginning when someone is taking social media into consideration.

Observe and Engage with Social Media

Again, going into your personal brand with social media, you definitely want to honor yourself in that. If you’re not really social, you just want to see what people are up to, it’s kind of another way of navigating social media. You’re just touching little people at little times, I guess. It’s hard to explain how that is, but you’re not being the one always doing the sharing. Maybe you’re just commenting.

Lucy: It does sound like I hear you talking about, really, two purposes here…

Chantelle: Mm-hmm.

Lucy: One of them is being involved in social media to – I won’t call it “spy” on what people are doing, but just observe in an observational role in what people are talking about. And then, there’s a separate role, which is where you’re actually using social media to engage with potential customers.

Chantelle: Definitely. And that’s the difference: knowing your intention. Are you planning to be the one that is constantly engaging your customers by what you’re wanting to go out and say around yourself, and your business, and the experiences you have on a daily or weekly basis, or do you want to just go out and find that people are talking in a thread that you really have a passion or an interest in, and comment and engage with those people. Both of those are different avenues of how you work social media, and you can do one or the other or both.

Have a Plan and Time Limit

Lucy: Do you see people spending a lot of time on social media without a clear purpose of why they’re engaging on social media?

Chantelle: Oh, completely, and that’s exactly why the feeling of overwhelm is there; it’s like a bright, shiny object. “Oh, look. Someone posted a picture of their vacation,” or it could be that there’s a nice quote and you get off the thought pattern that you had when you went on there, and so it really is something that is common. Definitely don’t beat yourself up, but if you notice you’re doing it, just step back, maybe have a list of two or three things that you had planned on doing when you got online, and that will get you back on track.

Lucy: And how much time do you see people spending on social media each day, versus how much they really need to spend for their business. You talked about it being a time-suck.

Chantelle: Yeah. A time-suck is mainly because if you start your day pulling up Facebook and seeing what people have said about something maybe you wrote the day before – whatever your intention is when you get on there, if you’re really engaged in social media, it could start that you’re doing some time in the morning, and then maybe you’re getting it pop up on your phone, so those are all social conversations. But really, when you’re looking at it in a business perspective, you could be very effective in 20 minutes a day if you knew that you had an intention of posting something around an event you have coming up, engaging in a current event.

Don’t Just Talk About Business…

I use “a third, a third, a third” rule. One third of it is posting around your personal, one part around your business, and one third around current events. That way you stay engaging without talking all the time around what you do or what you offer. I feel like, with people and their social media, if you have an intention or a plan – and this is something I work with people on as a strategy – you can actually auto-post some of what you would like to say on your behalf, and just sit down for one hour, auto-post for that whole week, and it’s already taken care of for you. And then as you are inspired to do another post throughout the week, that just adds to the amount that you have going out to your fans and followers.

Lucy: That’s great advice, and I’d always like to revisit that concept of “a third, a third, a third,” because I think it’s really valuable. People sometimes are intimidated by the whole concept of writing on both websites and social media, and they sit down, and their mind goes blank… “What do I talk about?” So why don’t we just revisit that one more time about the “a third, a third, a third” rule.

Here’s Some Tips…

Chantelle: Sure. So if you’re looking at, say a week at a glance, and you see Monday, Tuesday Wednesday, Thursday, Friday in front of you, and you know that you want to touch base with your fans or followers in a way that connects them to you, out of your personal brand, one of the things that I recommend is writing down maybe a little fun fact about what you’re doing this week. That would go in the personal column: something that you’ve got, maybe traveling, you’re excited about seeing an old friend, whatever those things are that really make you a real person. That goes in your personal column, and you can decide what days those are going to post on. Obviously the personal column can be the one that’s spontaneous and inspired as well, because that’s your main device.

The business column is a lot easier to do, and that’s the third about your business. Maybe u have an event coming up, and you want to touch base on that event two times that week, so it’s not over promotion, but very engaging questions, like, “Who do you know that could use a service like this?” or “Do you know anyone who would attend an event to learn this?” That kind of thing would allow an engaging questions and have people think of referrals for you around the event you might have. And maybe those are posting on Tuesday and Friday, and your event is going to be the next Tuesday. Those are the kinds of things that you would put in your business column.

Another tip around business is maybe you’re dealing with a client who has a problem that is very common. Well, maybe in the business column, you would address that tip, and how you’re supporting people with that problem.

In the column around current events, I guess you could pre-post on that. I don’t teach on that too much, because everyone has their own take on current events, but the same concept applies. If there’s an election going on, maybe you just want to post a couple of times around that. If there’s a tournament in sports, anything around those things allows you to engage with all kinds of people. So those are the tips.

Interested People Ask Interesting Questions

Lucy: And I love your tips about asking engaging questions, because that really covers not just social media and branding, but goes to the heart of how you engage potential customers in that whole “know I can trust you” continuum of you’re not just there to say, “It’s me, it’s my stuff, and it’s all good.” It’s really trying to connect with potential customers and engage them in that conversation.

Give us an example of a few more of those engaging questions?

Chantelle: Sure. An engaging question is, “Have you ever…?” Then you put them into the scenario. “Have you ever felt like this…?” and then giving an example. “Tell me about that.” It’s not a question as much as it’s engaging them to answer or comment. It’s not going to solicit more of a “like” button, which on Facebook, or something like that, is an easy way to just say “I saw you.” When you’re talking about relationships, you want to ask a question; ask for an answer back.

Share Ideas

Lucy: Maybe we’re talking about someone who’s interested in branding and personal branding, and how you would get that conversation rolling with them.

Chantelle: Right. If you’re talking around personal branding, and you’ve got a couple of ideas that have come to you that is really representative of what’s unique about you, maybe you say, “These are the ideas that I came up with that is unique around me,” and then you list a couple. “What would you consider is unique about you?” Something like that.

Lucy: Sure.

Chantelle: It’s just allowing them to come back in. It’s not so all-about-me, and it brings them into the conversation, because in a social media post, you’ll notice the ones that are getting any kind of comments have such engagement going on, and if it’s just a statement that “this is unique about me,” period, well then, that’s just information. It goes in one ear and out the other, so those questions are really key when you want to engage with comments in those relationships.

Let Social Media Conversations Flow Back-and-Forth

Lucy: I sometimes think of social media as being that kitchen door in the restaurant that goes both ways. You know, when it’s really effective, people are going both in and out of the kitchen, they’re not just all flowing one way, say loading onto a subway, or a bus, or whatever – you know, trying to get that door flipping both ways, not just in one way.

Chantelle: And here’s the importance going around that too, is when people comment, it might be that you have engagement on that comment, even from other people. It’s not always just the original post, and so it’s a conversation in the kitchen, and people are talking back and forth and bringing in their voice, or they’re experience, or whatever it is, it’s just really – it’s a kitchen party. You’re right.

Lucy: One of the reasons that I start with social media, even though in our course, we don’t tackle that until later on, is that listening to those conversations is where you start to see those themes that you can brand around. It really is a good, both an observational tool as well. Start to identify what people are looking for, and how that relates to what you specifically may have to offer.

Personal Branding Really Is About You!

Chantelle: Right. And even so, with personal branding, is how you’re already able to fulfill that, just with your own gifts and your own talents, and how you’re able to fulfill that need. I’m finding that there are people who reveal so much more in just conversation than they would even reveal in an interview with a prospective person that they would hire. It just allows you to find out a little bit more about somebody, and really you’re able to see where you could help them. When the conversation does go around business, you know more about that person than you normally would, which is great.

Lucy: Well, I think we’re going to wrap up this topic for today. It sounds like a great segue into talking about personal branding, which will be in our next segment, and so I just wondered if you had any last piece of advice that you’d like to offer our listeners, as they’re getting started in trying to navigate in social media, and the whole concept of “what do they do,” and “how do they tackle it,” and, what would you say would be one take-away for them?

Choose Wisely

Chantelle: One takeaway in navigation social media and really tackling it is picking the platform that you would like to perform on, or that you would like to bring your awareness of what you offer and who you are on, and then, also, sitting down and being very intentional about what you would say, to be able to engage in multiple ways – in personal and in business – because social media is not all around just what you offer. It’s who you are, and how you do what you do. I really want people to know that that is more important than how to say it – just being authentic in leading with your value is the number one thing I would give a new person in social media.

Lucy: That’s great advice. Well, I want to thank Chantelle for visiting with us today. Once again, I’m visiting with Chantelle Marie, and you can find her at vipwithchantellemarie.com, and again, we’ll put a link up to her site so you can connect with her as well.

Thank you very much…

Chantelle: Thank you.

Lucy: We will talk to you very soon.

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