Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Innovation Humber Incubator: Tyrone Warner On Social Media

By: Tamara Arnew

"How do you get just the fact that you exist out there amongst all of the noise?" 

Tyrone Warner, CBC Interactive and Social Media Manager spoke at Humber College through an event hosted by the Innovation Humber Incubator to discuss this question with aspiring entrepreneurs and the media. The IHI supports Humber by being a destination for entrepreneurial innovation. They help Humber students and alumni by taking their ideas and making them into successful business ventures through business advice, resources, industry mentors, networking events, developmental competitions and grants.  Tyrone spoke to ideas that look at social media from a strategic perspective for those involved in creative pursuits. The discussion inspired me to put together a list: "The Ten Things About Social Media That I Learned From Tyrone Warner."

1.   Empower your brand evangelists. These followers might only account for one percent of your audience but they should hardly be overlooked as the little guys. They are the most engaged people in your social media audience, talking about your online content, actively “liking” what you put out there, using sharing functions and having the two way conversation with your brand. The idea that word of mouth is the best form of advertising is far from lost when looking at social media, this small part of your following will spread word. The bigger your one percent, the bigger your overall audience. And who doesn’t want to root for the underdogs? As an entrepreneur building a business or personal brand recognition, we’re still small in the scheme of things.

2.   Be visually inspiring. We look for inspiration online and it’s one of social media’s greatest assets. There is a reason Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram have us obsessed and it’s because of everything we take away from them visually. In the fashion industry, product and ideas are predominantly visual and the people you want to connect with are looking similar places for personal points of inspiration. These social media networks are just as, if not more, important then Facebook.

3.   Don’t connect. This seems like a contradictory message to everything that we know about social media but do not connect Facebook to Twitter to this and to that. You want to create a cohesive message for your brand but for your “superfans”, who love what you do, the second time they see the same message they’re turned off. If they follow you on one, two, three, four and more media platforms seeing double is not a good thing. A great tweet or a great status update should not be interchangeable.

4.   Be almost all about your business. Almost. 90% of what you do can focus on just that. But no one wants to follow a robot and you need some personality. Your personal style should permeate your social media. Your followers value people. They’re not interested in interacting with a corporate account. They want to follow you and the aspects of you that are a part of your business. Social media begs the question “how do you get people to do things for you without paying for it?” and the answer is by having social capital. That social capital keeps you from having to start from scratch when you have to take a real-world hiatus, it keeps people involved and invested beyond just following your pages. You can give your followers some credit: they are on the same level as you, understand where you are coming from and likely have aligned interests.

5.   Do not post more then once a day on Facebook. It is counter-productive to you reaching the most amount of people through that one post.

6.   If you have customers, be live. Believe too, but if people are interacting with your brand in any capacity in the initial stages you want to have active social media. They might only search for you once then forever assume you’re not there.

7.   Social Media Search. Within a year, instead of Google people will be able to internally search social media for recommendations, personal accounts and feedback on brands and topics of discussion: valuable and endless search results. Word of mouth will always exist, but social media is now.

8.   Use your social media handles offline.

9.   You are your brands official voice.

10. Tweet often but reply frequently. Follow everyone back.

Further information regarding becoming involved with the Innovation Humber Incubator will be posted to the Humber Fashion Arts Student Blog for interested students or can be found online at http://www.humber.ca/research/innovation-humber-incubator-0.

Sources: Innovation Humber Incubator

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