When you were last on stage, how engaged was your audience? Were they sitting on the edge of their seats, just waiting to hear what you had to say next?
But when you stepped off the stage, how engaged was your audience then? And a week later, were they reaching out with follow up questions and speaking opportunities?
Chances are, your audience engagement drops substantially when you step out of the limelight. And while that seems like a no-brainer, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can maintain the excitement level and triple your chances of repeat or even new business, simply by using a tool you’re probably already familiar with: social media.
What You’re Missing
Everyone knows they “need” social media, but as a professional speaker, it is essential. Non-negotiable. If you’re not active on social media, your business is either floundering or headed towards a cliff. It won’t take long for those social savvy and highly-influential, up-and-comers to take your spot.
But don’t worry, we can fix this.
Pro Tips for Never Ending Social Influence
In light of that, here are a few basics and pro tips on how to maximize your use of social media to maintain your influence with audiences over time. To help, I reached out to Mike Allton, Phil Gerbyshak, and Hank Hoffmeier for their input as well. All of whom are social media pros in their own right.
While Facebook isn’t the content powerhouse it once was, it’s still the king of flexibility. Just about any type of content performs well on Facebook. Long form blogs, videos, images…it’s all fair game. In fact, the flexibility and word-of-mouth reach, it’s debatably the best place for new-to-social users to start building their following.
Plus, Facebook is investing heavily in video. Which, as a speaker, is where you should be spending most of your time. Between the live videos and captioning, the video tools are astounding.
With that in mind, here’s where you should 100% spend your time.
- Create a business page with a profile photo, cover photo, linked website, and call to action.
- Invite your network to like and rate and review your page.
- Use native content as much as possible. E.g. don’t share a link to Youtube, upload it directly to Facebook.
- Collaborate with your upcoming event Facebook page. Share what they’re sharing. Post some original content about the conference and ask them to share.
Hoffmeier: “Promote your book! I normally offer it for free (download) when I speak. It helps with reviews and awareness. If you do not have a book, why not? Get to it!”
Allton: “Consider creating videos first as a Facebook Live, then repurpose those into natively uploaded videos to LinkedIn and YouTube. A live video to a Facebook Page gets killer reach and engagement. You can then use retargeting to run Facebook ads to people who viewed those videos. And when you have a speaking event, you can either tease the event in advance, or share a portion of what you talked about after the fact.”
Gerbyshak: “Pin a video with a post and some links to welcome new visitors to your page, and an opt in.”
It’s easy to see Twitter as a “news feed”, but in reality, it’s more like a busy airport. People are chatting all around you, some loudly, some quietly. Most are going their own way, but when you reach your gate, you suddenly have something in common with everyone around you. You’re listening for relevant information, both from the person behind the microphone and those around you.
Treat Twitter as such. When you’re speaking an event, you better be listening to what others are saying around you. About you. And about the things relevant at that time.
Here’s how you can ensure you’re ready to hear…
- Update your profile and cover photo.
- Find the hashtag for every event or relevant topic and use it.
- Follow said hashtag.
- Respond to every single mention.
Hoffmeier: “Create a unique hashtag that is always used and shared during presentations. Also, keep posting using the conference hashtag after the show. Some people look at residual posts/tweets”
Gerbyshak: “Pin a tweet to your profile with the goodies you mentioned in your presentation. Make sure you use the conference hashtag. Share it a few other times but keep it pinned for at least a week after the event for maximum relevance.”
Allton: Put the conference hashtag in your username, like, “Mike Allton #MDMC18” so that you’ll be found in conference hashtag search results as a user! h/t to Stephanie Liu for showing me how effective this is.”
We’re seeing a resurgence in LinkedIn. With it’s recent influx of video content, your audience is more engaged than ever. As a speaker, LinkedIn is where you can really show off. The whole point of LinkedIn is to gain education about industries and individuals. Get in there. Now. Don’t walk, run.
As for the basics…
- Update your profile. I’m talking new profile and header photo.
- Craft a compelling summary, it’s the first thing visitors will look at. Make it succinct with flare.
- Start chatting. Think about it like the lobby at a conference. Lots of people all wanting to connect, but manners, small talk, and courtesy are still expected. Don’t go in for the sales pitch. If you wouldn’t talk that way face-to-face, don’t communicate that way on LinkedIn.
- Post videos and images from your gig, bonus points if you involve/mention some of the attendees!
Hoffmeier: “Work the crowds after and connect with attendees on LinkedIn and IRL. I always go to the receptions, dinners, and networking events.”
Allton: “Be a connector. It’s a great feeling as a speaker to have people coming up to you and talk to you, but one of the best thing you can do long-term is help people connect with other people. LinkedIn is particularly effective for this technique.”
Gerbyshak: “Follow up any accepted connection requests with some relevant articles that go deeper into your topic and that mention your book or an opt in. Do not go right for an opt in from your LinkedIn message because that’s what your competitors are doing.”
These pro-tips are just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many opportunities to keep your audience excited and ready to sing your praises. You just have to be ready to hear them. Check out your social profiles, get them up-to-date, and put together a plan for your next speaking gig. Turn one hour of stage time into a lifetime of influence.