I had the pleasure of speaking at The Institute of Actuaries Pensions conference in June 2014 on the topic of social media in the pensions industry. It’s a fascinating topic in which I’m far from an expert, but I have learnt a few interesting things since first dipping my toe in the professional social media waters around 2 years ago.
In the talk I talked through my experiences in getting involved in social media from a business professional perspective, and if I had to distill the talk down to three things, they would be:
1. Twitter isn’t just for selfies and photos of cats, its gone mainstream. Take a look at the screenshot below, Blackrock, PIMCO and State Street are all putting serious material out on twitter as well as the IMF and the Bank of England. With a bit of effort its easy to set yourself up to filter the signal from the noise.
2. When it comes to blogs, you won’t get things right first time, but its easy to learn.
My first blog has to date received 19 views in about 2 years. It was too long, too dry, too technical and lacked a catchy title or picture. About a year later I wrote the blog below which has to date received around 2,000 views (not exactly viral I grant you but in the context of the pensions industry a reasonable achievement). The piece below wasn’t the most insightful thing I’ve ever written or even particularly original (I felt), but a neat analogy, catchy title and a clear, focused storyline differentiated it. And whats interesting is the scale, the difference in views between an average blog and a good one isn’t a factor of 2 or 3, its a hundred times (in my case 19 views vs 2,000).
3. Once you get going, there are big leverage and multiplier effects to make use of.
Getting mentioned, retweeted, shared is a great way for your content to reach further. Interacting with people, especially industry press helps raise profile.
If you are still skeptical about social media from a professional perspective I’d encourage you to allocate just a very small about of time to giving it a go. Set up a twitter account. Follow a few interesting industry commentators or firms. Share good content when you see it, and if you feel urge, start creating your own content.