Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How Social Networking Can Create Speaking Opportunities

Dr. Stephen Jones

Over the past few years I’ve spent a significant amount of time using all types of social media. There are several that seem to stand out among all of them. It took time to navigate them and to uncover where I should devote most of my time. The three social networks using most of my current time are Facebook, Linkedin and twitter. Each social network plays its own role in promoting communication about your speaking activities.

So where should a speaker begin. Bloggers will tell you to invest time in a certain social network because it will create a lot of buzz about you. You should look for opportunities to share your expertise by answering questions. I’ve spent a lot of time on Facebook sharing and communicating with present and past friends. I’ve updated them regarding my speaking engagements and workshop presentations. I created a Facebook Fan Page to provide more focused information about my brand. My fan page is focused on education and career information so it is easy to share my expertise with parents and students of all ages. I suggest a fan page for people who want to grow a group of followers over time. You can also post information from other websites on your fan page.

Linkedin is a great network for professionals. You can find your professional co-workers and friends from the past just by searching for them. Your contacts will send you messages and you can reply with useful information. One of the most powerful aspects of Linkedin is the groups that you can join. You can search for groups to determine which one you want to join. You can respond to questions and also share your questions. You can also start a group. I received the best results by responding to people right away.

Twitter provides short bursts of information about events, information and resources on the internet. You are able to respond with 140 letters or less. Each comment is called a tweet. On twitter you want to follow others and encourage them to follow you. You can search for people and businesses to follow. Then you can check out their tweets to read what they are doing or saying. You can also respond to a posting that you see. People all over the world have used twitter to help people to stay in touch with events that are happening in their country. Twitter allows you to have a whole conversation with groups of people.

My blogtalkradio is also a social network that I use to convey a message on education and careers. People follow me each week and they call into the program. Some of my internet radio followers have sent me messages and invited me to be a guest on their program. You can invite guest from Linkedin and Facebook. People who are all over the world can listen to the program. You can also post an announcement about your blogtalkradio program on several social media.

Here are some tips to stay active in your quest to generate speaking opportunities:
1. Post a message or information two or three times a day
2. Follow people to read what they are doing and make comments
3. Make sure that your comments are relevant to the discussion
4. Send messages to people that you meet
5. Let people in your social networks know about the events where you are presenting
6. Call people in your social network when possible to let them know that you care
about their response.
7. Include your website on all of the social networks.

Social networks are here to stay. They are some of the best resources for speakers who want to expand their outreach and brand. There are tremendous opportunities to establish who you are and to create a need for your services. You can share you expertise on a blog while also submitting articles to websites that allow you to broadcast the article to your social network (Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook). Speakers who commit themselves to social networking each day are able to create a following over time. Use social networking as the next stepping stone to an exciting speaking career.

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