Social media course - Theo Zijderveld

Tags: nelenschuurmans

The company I work for (Nelen & Schuurmans) organized a course on social media.

People don’t trust commercials anymore. Social media and people are trusted more. For a company, having people active on social media is very important: they’re the external voice of the company that actually gets listened to.

We did a three-part exercise:

  • Part 1: find your story A story consists of a number of events that get sewn together. It results in some sort of meaning. You’ve got patterns that come back. Heroes or villains.

    So we got several questions to help us write several things down about ourselves and our history and our dreams.

  • Part 2: tell a story We got to sit together with another colleague and got 5 minutes each to tell eachother about our past, our now and our dreams for the future. This was the basis for part 3.

  • Part 3: translate it to social media Watch out: it is no one way street, you need interaction. And it is not lineair. And it is spread out over many different kinds of media.

    He showed some examples of Maersk, a shipping and oil digging company. Shipping containers from A to B might seem dull, but they make it exciting and personal and fun to follow.

    Another example: Rijkswaterstaat makes the work of their employees visible through twitter. Or they at least encourage it and retweet the individual employees’ tweets.

    External work-related social media visibility at the very least means you need to have a proper linkedin account. So this was the exercise: creating a linkedin summary for the colleague you just interviewed :-)

Some generic tips on social media:

  • At least take care of a good photo. Make your face visible and recognizable. No weird unclear holiday pictures. This helps you when people google your name.

  • On social media it is fine to show what you’re doing outside of work. In fact, those combinations are great. Don’t show yourself drunk at a weird party, but dead tired after some sport event is fine. Show your interests like music or cycling. Showing what you’re interested in gives others openings to connect to you when they meet you (also professionally).

  • Facebook is generally much more private-oriented. You can have work-related contacts there, though, especially for international contacts. So… perhaps take the opportunity.

  • Why blog? Good content-rich specialized articles help a lot and attract readers. By blogging you also sharpen your own understanding: the teacher learns the most. You get visibility and slowly take on an expert’s aura.

    Theo also blogs: niet voor communicatie. (I also have a blog, which is what you’re reading here… :-) )

    Things that help: humor, a look behind the scenes, positivism, nostalgia, authenticity.

Your own story is worth gold!

  • Don’t give up.

  • Ask for feedback and don’t be afraid of it.

  • At least create a proper linkedin account. logo

About me

My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.

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