I am absolutely passionate about public speaking. I love the energy and feedback from the audience when I get to present. As I mentioned in a previous post, improv is a big reason why I love the stage — it's my happy place. The challenge for speakers is to find the next event. I struggle with this, too, but I have found social media to help in a great way.
I have noticed that while many keynote speakers excel on stage in front of an audience, they miss opportunities to use social media to market themselves. Speakers often don't have the time, resources or know-how to use social media and inbound marketing to promote their speaking.
Professional speakers need a solid online platform to point their audiences to, to promote their products and services and to share and find future speaking engagements. Social media and email marketing connects savvy speakers directly with their audiences long after their presentation has closed.
I recently sent a brief, unscientific survey to members of the National Speakers Association for their collective thoughts on how they use social media. The results revealed 78% use Facebook, 76% use Twitter, and 72% use YouTube. Interestingly, most feel unsatisfied with the results. I was also surprised to learn that only 72% use email marketing. In my opinion, email is the most important method because you own the list, unlike social networks that can flick a switch and suddenly lock you out.
The respondents from my survey shared their frustrations with using social media. The following are their main concerns and a few solutions that will help.
"It takes too much time."
Use Bufferapp.com to add a button in your browser, so you can quickly schedule any interesting articles online (including your own). You can also share your latest blog posts this way.
Use Twitter Advanced Search to search for terms like "call for speakers," and save the results. You can add a column with these results in Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to refer to frequently.
"Facebook ads don't work."
Creating a Facebook ad? Use your email newsletter subscriber list to create a Custom Audience. You can target your ad directly to the people you want to reach.
Instead of just Boosting a post on Facebook, target it specifically to a segment of people you want to reach. Be sure to include Facebook's tracking pixel on your site, so you can measure conversions.
"Too much noise and clutter."
Create Twitter and Facebook lists of people you want to stay in touch with. This helps you cut through the clutter. Use LinkedIn and Facebook Groups to keep in touch with peers.
"Things change too often."
Dealing with the pace of change is never easy. Social networks and related tools and services seem to change all the time. To stay on top of change, I recommend subscribing to sites like SocialMediaExaminer.com and Forbes.com/social-media.
Futureforth has recently started working with public speakers to help them with social media and inbound marketing. You can learn more at inboundspeakers.com.
Thank you to the following speakers for providing their insight: Linda Murray Bullard, John Morgan, Jason Luntz, John Haydon, Nicky Adinor, Richard Stiennon, Tod Maffin, Christopher Byrne, Jacqueline Wolven, Bill Cates, Brian Walter, Shep Hyken, Mark Davis, Monica Wofford, Scott Schwertly, Jan Freitag, Hugh Culver, and Dorie Clark.
This article originally appeared in The Tennessean newspaper.