Words and pictures by Marie-Clare Byard. Social Media Photographer – available to cover your event.

Last Friday, Leading Social presented a Masterclass in “Building and Capitalising on Relationships through Social Media” with social marketing strategist and Brand Evangelist Ted Rubin.

Ted Rubin first came to Ireland earlier this year to speak at the Social Media Summit in March. Ted must have a soft spot for the Irish and our wonderful culture, as he returned to Dublin to deliver his gospel on building relationships.

What I thought….. Only three and a half months since Ted delivered his excellent keynote talk at the Social Media Summit, a voice in the back of my head was asking, will this just be more of the same….but Ted didn’t disappoint. He shook it up, engaged and captivated the audience with his infectious enthusiasm, quick fire rounds of quality content, tips and advice again bringing it all back to the phrase he coined: three letters with a simple message: ROR ­ Return on Relationship.

ROR - Return on Relationship

What happened…

Ted was a live wire with a constant flow of ideas, he describes his mind as being like a twitter feed, stuff just keeps popping up in there! When he can’t sleep because the ideas just keep coming, rather then jot them down in a bedside notepad like he would have in the past, Ted now tweets them. By the time he wakes up he has feedback; if he has no feedback, he knows this content is not of interest. On this basis he is constantly creating content. Ted favourites the tweets that get good feedback so they can be easily pulled up and re­purposed over and over.

Stop being precious about your content or ideas, there is no privacy any more, just put your ideas out there and share!

Age of Influence

We are living in the age of influence. The world is changing, the pace of change is faster than it has ever, ever been, don’t get left behind! Relationships are the new currency This is true whether you are looking for a job, planning an event or selling a product/service. Connection, not network Networks connect, but communities care. Connect with people to build your community. When you get the feeling of connectedness with others, it is a small but powerful action that will boost your ability to influence others.

Reputation trumps brand

A brand is what you do ­ a REPUTATION is what people remember and more importantly share! People don’t share your logo, your slogan or your culture, they share your reputation. If you do good by them, they will share, they will recommend, so stop, think and build your reputation.

Think reputation ­ NOT ranking. Stop worrying about ranking, it does not matter!

Build a reputation for being responsive. Be consistent and let people know you respond to every tweet, you will see value from it.

Be consistent

Being consistent with people builds up “Social Insurance” for your brand!

Be Authentic

Say it every day, be authentic, be authentic, be authentic! So many brands are not being authentic. It is time to be authentic with your brand, with your employees ­ being authentic is not just for customers ­ empower your employees.

What are your brand’s fans talking about? 100% of people who come to your Facebook page see the shit you post! Give them something of value, a reason to be there, stop worrying about the algorithm! Start visiting the pages of your fans.

Did you ever wish you could be a fly on that wall ?

Go to the pages of the people who are following your brand (not your friends).  What they are talking about, tweeting about?  All those conversations are happening and you are ignoring them!  Stop worrying about the data you are getting from your listening software.  You want to know what people are saying, not data points!

Understand the trends that are happening.

Have conversations! Remember when you used to talk to people? It is the most remarkable and informative thing you can do!

14 Top Tips to takeaway

1. Relationships are the new currency.

2. Spend time with people.

3. Get to know them, address them by their name.

4. Know their needs.

5. Just listen.

6. Be useful & interesting ­ one size does not fit all.

7. You can’t build a community by just clicking buttons.

8. Be authentic, brands are not being authentic.

9. Communicate with your customers wherever they are ­ Twitter, Facebook et.

10. Adopt a “give­without­expecting” mindset ­ it can open so many doors for you.

11. Don’t focus on the money, or you’ll completely overlook the people ­ just be nice, smile!

12. Put positive out, positive comes back.

13. Think loyalty not celebrity, know who people are; they are like me, I could be like them.

14. Amplify Customer Experience

Connect with people on a meaningful level and the possibilities are endless !

In a world of carefully scrubbed corporate tweets, simply showing your creative human side (check out #tedsockie) has serious value. After that, building relationships and growing your brand comes naturally.


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