In addition to having 20-plus years of experience in marketing B2B firms, Margaret Molloy (@MargaretMolloy) has also become a leading influencer of CMOs on Twitter, landing in the #6 spot of all top influencers on Twitter. Below are her thoughts on how she’s been particularly effective at developing a strong social media presence.
This piece is excerpted from an article that originally appeared in Forbes.
Having impact in social media
1. The right mindset is key
Today, marketers are more transient than ever, moving between geographies and industries and dealing with new, emerging platforms. We will all find ourselves in unfamiliar territory—connecting is essential to building credibility, trust and a firm foundation wherever you are. Social media is a powerful way to connect at scale. When done well, it can be meaningful too.
2. It begins with having an appreciation for social media
Great connections and strong networks are the difference between success and failure in my role as CMO. Very early on, I knew that I needed to invest the time to become adept at the different platforms.
3. Then, you have to be strategic
You have to really understand the strengths of each individual platform, and then combine this with your unique point of view to realize where the intersection of your voice and the platform lives. For example, I look at LinkedIn and Twitter and understand, in a native way, how each platform mechanically works. I see a lot of CMOs who approach the platforms as tourists. They apply the same strategies across all platforms, and it looks foreign. Being native requires homework. It’s important from a credibility standpoint. As a CMO I need to be able to use the tools to demonstrate credibility. I recognize the time it takes to have a Twitter presence and to become competent, but as a CMO it’s an important investment.
4. Being an influencer is an exercise in strategy and empathy and not an exercise in personal vanity
The goal is engaging with people in an empathetic way. When you do this well, you understand it’s important to get the balance between the volume of others’ content you share and the volume of your own posts. You have to be mindful of the math and the proportions.
5. Social media is a contact sport
You can’t delegate your social media presence. You must do it yourself in order to become fluent in the mechanics and authentic in the content.
6. Social media doesn’t act in a vacuum
The trick is to integrate social media with real life. For example, if I met you at a conference, I would connect via all social media immediately. Or better yet, I would find out beforehand that you were going to be at the conference, and use social media to connect and then meet face-to-face at the event. This provides an exponential benefit. You combine social media channels with real-life connections to strengthen relationships.
7. Leaders who ignore social media are missing an important opportunity
Social media channels are valuable listening and learning tools. You can learn a lot about someone from his or her last 10 tweets and by looking at their LinkedIn profile. I may establish what their point of view is, or what matters to somebody, and this accelerates my knowledge and ability to have an advanced level of conversation when we meet. Influence comes from listening as much as from talking.
Margaret Molloy is global CMO and head of business development at Siegel+Gale. Follow her on Twitter: @MargaretMolloy