A Personal Social Media Strategy

Today, leaders don't just innovate and communicate. Today they must tweet, connect, blog and join the virtual conversation. The social media world is here to stay, it's no longer the latest fad for Gen Y. And business leaders must have a presence in the virtual world. No ifs ands or buts. It is a business imperative!

Many leaders bemoan the fact that they don't have time to get engaged in all the virtual chatter. Here are a few strategies I've seen successful business leaders use to survive and thrive in the brave new 2.0 world.

1. Manage Your Tweet Time. Many busy execs bemoan the fact that time just flies along and they can't find a few extra minutes for social media. But it's relatively easy to make time.

What's your morning routine? Java or tea, of course. Then perhaps reading an online news source, answering emails and voice mails etc. etc. Why not program 5 minutes for tweet strategy and 15 minutes for your blog? If you plot out your social media time as a "must do" along with other morning requirements, it soon becomes part of your daily execute, and move on.

2. What to write about? Take your blog cues for material from news sources you read everyday. Timely topics featured on CNN or in The Wall St. Journal or Financial Times can open up op ed ideas for your blog. One of the best sources for material is your customer base. What was the latest conversation you had with a big prospect? Or look to your own team. What are they talking about at the water cooler this week? What challenges do they face or what solutions are working?

3. Prioritize Ideas. What is critical and timely to post or tweet about now? Some ideas as time-sensitive, like a current stimulus package or a highly publicized merger. If you want to rant on a timely topic, you can't waste a second. But some ideas are what journalists call "evergreens." they last indefinitely. Why not keep a list of evergreen ideas that you can pull out and turn into blog material? Relevant business ideas that will fly in any time or season. I know some execs who write a half dozen posts while traveling, then file them away until needed.

Bottom-line. It's about having a vision for your online presence and then putting a personal social media strategy in place.