A Guest Post By Wendy Glavin, Founder and CEO of Wendy Glavin Agency
Several years ago, I was hired to market mobile apps and coding for Digital Pomegrante, a software entrepreneur in New York City, and LiveCode, a software platform based in Scotland. We joined the worldwide movement, “Everyone Should Learn to Code” with a community outreach program, #EveryoneCanCreateApps. We taught hundreds of people in a variety of New York City boroughs.
After, we created a crowdfunding campaign for individuals with autism to develop apps, and attended the United Nations, “World Autism Day.” I knew we had a great story, but I had trouble obtaining earned media. Since it wasn’t resonating with editors, I decided to try Twitter.
Determined to get results, I taught myself Twitter in one weekend. I researched top Twitter influencers, read and retweeted their content. Incredibly, we obtained global media coverage, including articles in CNN Tech and CNN Money within one week.
I was hooked. Wanting to learn more about industry trends in marketing, public relations, and social media, I searched for influencers, editors, thought leaders, and publications. I followed them, read everything they wrote, bought some of their books, and watched their videos on YouTube and TED Talks.
For me, using Twitter is synonymous with reading The New York Times on Sundays, except in an hour. As of third quarter 2017, Twitter averaged 330 million monthly active users, which means a lot of content. Since the Presidential election, Trump’s Twitter use has led to negative press about fake news, Russian bots, and a distrust of the media, triggering a loss in earnings.
But, you can decipher what’s fact from fiction by checking different news sources, reading varied opinions, to draw your own conclusions. During a recent panel discussion, “Our Duty is to Guide People to Real News and to Discern What’s Fake” panelist Peter Himler, Founder of Flatiron Communications LLC said, “You need to follow editors on TweetDeck. Journalists are on Twitter and if it’s an important story, I follow, listen, and see what they’re talking about it. If you’re a PR person and not doing this, you’re doing a disservice to your clients.”
Twitter enables you to search colleagues, companies of all sizes, agencies, consultancies, well-known people, research topic keywords or hashtags to find conversations about breaking news, interests, and business topics on just about any subject.
If you choose to use Twitter, or any social media platform, you need to be consistent, authentic, and use it to build a community, rather than trying to achieve vanity metrics, such as likes, impressions, or buying followers.
Using Twitter makes me smarter. When I obtain a new client, I research and read everything about the company, including news stories, twitter feeds, and industry-specific communication. When I retweet a story, I use current (from the same day, or within the last month) to stay abreast of trends. Sometimes, I come across posts that are a year old. With technology impacting most industries, it’s likely things have changed since then. It’s important to share current, newsworthy, and educational, and inspiring material.
As we get older we make excuses about not being able to learn new things. We’re intimidated by technology, and are convinced that younger people are the only ones who can use social media. We convince ourselves that our past work experience is not needed. If you possess this mindset, you’ll stay in the same place.
I can’t tell you how many times people have said, “How do you continuously reinvent yourself?” My answer: Research. I started my career at General Electric. After being surrounded by engineers, and developers, I wanted to work alongside my peers. It took a year, but I joined a full-service advertising and public relations agency. After moving to New York City, I worked for Burson-Marsteller. Then, while raising three boys, spending summers in the south of France, I founded and ran a jewelry business importing jewelry from France to the U.S.
After my divorce, I worked in retail as a salesperson for Barney’s New York, became a business consultant, worked full-time for a publisher, an agency, and clients across a wide variety of industry sectors. Last year, I founded a marketing, public relations, and social media agency, in New York City.
With every change, I had to learn a new topic, including, technical government contracts, candy, roofing, economic development, IBM small business marketing, French jewelry, import/export, sales, merchandising, buying, accounting, publishing, mobile apps, software-as-a-service (SaaS), financial technology (FinTech) retail, artificial intelligence, and much more.
Ever one of us has this capability. It’s not a unique skill or a gift, it’s believing that you can acquire knowledge on almost any subject if you have the drive. And, living in the digital era makes it so much easier because we have Google.
Your background, education, interests, relationships, and experience are unique to you. If you want to work in an organization, an agency, an industry vertical, consultancy, or other field, you already have the skills to succeed.
“Mindset,” by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist explains, “In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like intelligence or talent are fixed traits. They believe talent alone creates success. They’re wrong. In a growth mindset, people believe their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work – brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and resilience that’s essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have these qualities.”
That’s how I learned to use Twitter. I decided I had to get press coverage, so I went online and went through the process of learning how to use it. I’ve done the same with other social media sites, and have navigated my career through many huge transitions.
I’m not ashamed to tell you, I’m a boomer and know more about Twitter then my, “millennial sons.” It feels good to take risks, learn new things, and create different branches in your career. Never stop being relevant.
About the Author: Wendy Glavin is Founder and CEO of Wendy Glavin Agency, based in New York City, offering marketing, public relations, and social media management. Wendy is a 30-year veteran of corporate, agency, consulting, and small business ownership. Wendy has worked across a wide variety of B2B2C industry sectors, and is a published writer and guest speaker. Email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: https://wendyglavin.com/