Holy Kaw! Guy Kawasaki’s Visit to SD MIT Enterprise Forum


Image Source: Hellbound Bloggers

Social Media juggernaut, Guy Kawasaki, joined a packed house at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) to present his recommendations for social media curation. Admittedly, some of Guy’s perspectives on social media counter “best practices from social media experts.” The first, and probably most controversial tip, was to focus on quantity of social followers over the quality. But with over one million Twitter followers and four million Google Plus (G+) followers; the crowd at UCSD had good reason to take note of how he built his personal brand in social media. With a prior career as Chief Evangelist for Apple, Inc., it’s no surprise that Guy started off his talk with a few Windows jokes, and sprinkled a few references to Steve Jobs throughout his presentation. More recently, Guy has published his 12th book, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur—How to Publish Your Book, which he made sure to give a quick plug for. With that, he jumped right into educating the audience about how he built a social media empire. In true social media fashion, he presented a “top ten” list. Please note that what follows is the opinion of Guy Kawasaki and not necessarily that of Red Door Interactive.
 1) Start yesterday – Building a reasonably-sized audience in social is a 9-12 month process.
 2) Segment the services – Make sure your messages match the purpose of each platform, which Guy has defined as the “Five P’s of social paltforms.”
  • People -  Facebook
  • Perceptions - Twitter
  • Passions – Google Plus
  • Pinning Picture - Pinterest
  • Pimping - LinkedIn

3) Make a great profile – Choose an image that makes you look credible and trustworthy. Usually, this means investing in a professional headshot. But don’t choose a shot where you are looking squarely at the camera. Ideally, the image should be cropped, so that most of the image is taken up by your face and your face is a bit off center (ask a photographer friend about the “rule of thirds”). If you leave the hero image (large background image at the top of your profile) as the default, you’ll risk looking clueless to social media norms. So, once you’ve got the headshot nailed down, use the hero image to convey your interests and passions. You have roughly one second to convince people that you are worth following, so first impressions are key here.
 4) Curate and link - Find content that is relevant to your industry and share it with your audience. If you focus on sharing quality content, your existing audience will share it, and extend your audience to their friends/followers. Guy has created an entire site based on this concept, www.alltop.com, which aggregates and categorizes text-only RSS feeds/headlines from thousands of blogs.
 5) Cheat – Find what is hot in social by looking at “Google + Explore.” Don’t be afraid to post things that you find, instead of just sharing the original post. Don’t forget to credit any photos that you use though.
 6) Restrain yourself - Social is a means to an end. Posting good third-party content 95% of the time allows you to use the remaining 5% of your posts for self-promotion. You have to earn the right to promote yourself overtly, but you can easily promote your product/service indirectly too. So, for example, if Virgin Air wanted to sell more flights to Las Vegas, they could spend time curating content about great events/destinations in Las Vegas. Not only does this make Virgin Air look like an authority on Vegas, but it may also make more people want to fly there. So indirectly, Virgin would be curating and selling at the same time.
 7) Add bling - Add pictures or video to every post. This will add to the engagement with your posts, as well as increase shares.
 8) Respond- This is your biggest responsibility in social, and ultimately how you win hearts and minds. There is no easy, or automated, way to do it. It’s like "hand to hand combat.”
 9) Stay positive or stay silent – While you may eventually prove your point by fighting with somebody in social, lurkers (those who just casually observe or jump in later) will be left with a bad impression of you. So use the “Amateur boxing rule” – Don’t go more than 3 rounds of comments back and forth with people in social.
10) Repeat - Not everyone will see your first post or scroll through your history, so don’t be afraid to repost your best stuff. CNN, ESPN, and NPR do it in traditional media, and you can do this in social too. Guy’s tweets are repeated four times every eight hours, and he doesn’t see much degradation in the clicks the second, third, and fourth time he posts. Twitter doesn’t let you repeat the exact same tweet more than once, but changing the link (i.e. using a different url shortener each time) allows you to repost without any problems. Of course, you can expect to get complaints from a vocal minority. But if you aren’t getting a few complaints, you aren't pushing social hard enough. Don't let trolls influence how you use social.

Guy also recommended several tools during his presentation:
  • Jumpcut (OS X only) -  Copy/Paste tool that allows you to store several items on your clipboard and choose from the list when you want to paste (convenient for copying/pasting photo credit, link, and snippet of text efficiently)
  • Sharaholic (Chrome plugin) - Share a webpage/link across a variety of social networks at once
  • Snapsz Pro X (OS X only) - Screenshot software
  • Buffer (Chrome plugin) - schedule social updates for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
  • Do share (Chrome plugin) - Write and schedule G+ posts
  • Nuke Comments (Chrome plugin) - Delete, report, and block someone (and their comment) in a single action on G+
Guy wrapped up his talk at the MIT Enterprise Forum with a demo of how he curates content and posts to G+. He also graciously took time to answer several questions. Overall, the event was entertaining and insightful. But while these tactics have worked well for Guy Kawasaki, we wouldn’t recommend that brands adopt all of his recommendations. What do you think about Guy’s tips? Which tactics have worked (or haven’t worked) for you and/or your brand? We’d love to hear your comments!

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