Millennials may have a hold on social media, and at 51, technology expert Angela Pitter is part of an age group filled with many who don’t understand how to use an online presence to help their career or business as a whole. A computer engineering graduate of Boston University, Pitter has always been the “techy type,” having worked on the first CD-ROM and disc players back in 1985.
Upon leaving the high tech field in 2009, Pitter created LiveWire Collaborative. As principle and owner, she consults senior professionals and organizations filled with an older demographic on how to best leverage social media for their needs.
Scheduled to appear at March’s Women of Power Summit panel, “Mobilizing YOU: Using Social Media to Advance Your Brand,” hosted by AT&T, Pitter shares five tough truths that seasoned professionals need to accept about social media:
1. There is no privacy. “That’s the part people are scared of. They whole privacy thing. I’m like, ‘forget it. There’s no privacy and the internet lives on forever.’ Whatever you put out there is out there forever. It stays out there on a server someplace. You may not know it. Everybody talks about ‘in a cloud.’ You better figure out where that cloud is. Is it India? China? Or is it somebody’s basement? There are things you can do to lock-down, especially on Facebook, which people don’t bother to do. It’s unbelievable.”
2. It’s not just about branding. “The branding thing is not, ‘Set it and forget it.’ You’re always trying to make sure your branding is current and taking you to the next level you need to go. And now you’ve branded yourself. How do you get out there? How do you get people to respond to you? Do you even know what the demographics of your clients are? Do you know where they are? Facebook? Twitter? You got to go where they are. And by the way it takes time, it takes commitment, and it takes discipline. So no matter the starting point, always starts with branding and it kind of goes from there.”
3. Go hard or go home. “You can’t be half pregnant. So if you want to be on it, you need to be on it. Some will say, ‘I’m not comfortable with Facebook. And I say, ‘Fine. Get off it. There’s a million other places to be.’ So that’s the thing, figure out for your business what‘s the best fit. And also what are your competitors doing? So if you’re not on a social site, and you find your competitors are on that site and doing well on that site, that may be the place you need to be.”
4. Fear is not an option. “Don’t be afraid to step out there. It’s not going to hurt you. It’s not going to bite. But you got to be on it. You just cannot ignore it. Some people are like, ‘I’m not going to do it.’ And I’m like, ‘Wrong answer. You definitely have to get into it. ’”
5. Get with the program or get left behind. “My clients are from 40 on up. And I’m surprised actually even some of the ones younger than that aren’t doing anything. One time you didn’t have to have a website and it didn’t matter. But now, every business has to have a website. Everybody gets that now. Social media is the same way, except they haven’t all gotten it. You have to have something. You really have to have a presence. Pick one. You don’t have to try and be in all places at one time. But you have to have presence.”
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