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The Big Change: Your Social A-Game

Everybody's doing social. But are we doing it in an updated way or are we simply using social as another channel for yesterday's sales and marketing approaches? So much of social looks and smells like the push marketing of old. That's simply not going to compel our prospects and buyers to engage with us. It's all about them in today's digitally empowered world. It's all about how we engage with them and the experience they have with us. Today's social A-Game has little to do with yesterday's marketing plan. 

I was blessed to meet Britt Michaelian through social media. She's one smart cookie and gets the big changes that social brings to our branding and sales efforts.  Her new book, the Social A-Game is coming this spring, so I asked her about how she creates her Social A-Game, and what we can all do to get our own A-Game going. 

1) What's your definition of a Social A-Game?  

 When you show up each day online or in person, knowing who you are and the value that you bring to the world, you are playing your A-Game.  When you take the time to get in touch with and honor your core values and life mission, you are playing your A-Game.  When you are operating from a place of love and truth, you are playing your A-Game.  

The Social A-Game is a mindset that once harnessed, has the power to make the world a better place (online and off).  It is about sharing your passion, your knowledge and your purpose with others and inspiring them to do the same.   

2)  It seems that so many are using social as an extension of their traditional marketing strategy - as another channel. How do you rate their Game?  

In the past, business marketing tactics have been about broadcasting your message with the intention of flooding your target audience with brand messaging.  As social media has moved to the forefront of marketing strategy for many businesses, the old model of broadcasting your message has become dated and ineffective.  Consumers are turned off by brands that do not engage in conversations with them.  They want to connect and be heard.  They want to know that brands are listening and valuing them as individuals.  

Big brands that are engaging in a way that entertains, informs and engages the audience by playing their A-Game on social media include brands like The Four Seasons, Grey Poupon (The Society of Good Taste), Nike (Make it Count) and Kraft Mac n Chees (Jinx). Smaller businesses that are also doing a great job of building a Social A-Game community are Her FutureSmashfit and College Financial Aid Advisors.     

3) So an A-Game is more than just about traditional marketing as we knew it?  

Yes, playing your Social A-Game is much more than traditional marketing.  If you subscribe to the philosophy that with the popularity of social media, we all must think of ourselves as brands, then naturally playing at your top level is essential to being successful in business and life.  Client attraction and client engagement tactics have basically merged.  No longer is it enough to be visible to your audience, you now must not only attract them but at the same time be actively engaged in building personal and professional relationships that further the goals of all participants.  

As a result of this shift in the ease of connecting with people in an instant from all over the globe, it is even more important for businesses and brands to be organized, thoughtful and collaborative while also being smart. For example, when you are tweeting with someone who works at a major publication and they want to take the connection to the next level and have a phone call with you, this can be a wonderful opportunity to take a huge leap in your business.  However, if you aren't clear about your mission, goals and values and the next steps that you are looking to take, you may not be able to reach the desired outcome.  

Social relationships are essential to our personal and professional growth, but you have to be strategic and come from a place of authenticity for massive results.  Marketing has now become (more than ever) about your relationships and your network. Surrounding yourself with people and organizations online and off who compliment your core values and goals is a sign of a true Social A-Gamer.

4) What do you think are the 3 biggest changes we need to make - in our thinking or our actions - that will put us on track for a Social A-Game? 

Shifting into the Social A-Game mindset starts with making the decision to really go on a journey of discovery and committing to your own personal growth.  It doesn't matter if you are working for someone else or running your own business, if you are operating from a place of learning and expansion, you will show up in a positive way.  Your mindset is the foundation of playing your A-Game.  

The second change comes when you take a day or two to design your ideal life and every aspect of the life that you dream of.  Write down all of the things that you want to experience in your life, personally and professionally.  Start by letting thoughts free-flow onto a piece of paper about everything you want to have, do and be in your life.   Then, visualize what each of these items would look and feel like.  Sometimes we think we want something in our life, but when we begin to experience the reality of the pros and cons of an idea, we realize that it is not truly what we want.  No longer are you going to envy what someone else has because you will have done the work to know exactly what you want and be on your way to making all of these things your reality.   

The third change involves how you view your participation in any social encounter.  Whether you are having a conversation with someone at a cocktail party, on Twitter or in a Google Hangout, get clear about what you can give to those who are listening and what you really want out of that conversation. Have an agenda that benefits all parties.  

These are just three of ten steps that are necessary to play your Social A-Game (the rest are in my book that will be released this spring) but implementing these three steps will definitely have a majorly positive impact on your social experience.

5)  What's the biggest barrier you see in Social - aka the mistake we make?

One of the biggest mistakes people make on social media (and offline as well) is only considering their own needs and motivations while participating in a conversation. If you want others to be interested and listen to what you have to say, you have to learn to be a good listener and to value the time and energy that anyone takes to connect with you.  Show people that you care.  Show them that they matter.   

It is smart to be goal-driven in business and in life, but it is also smart to be aware, thoughtful, kind and appreciative. In the words of Maya Angelou, "people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." 

6) What's the one thing you hope folks will understand, takeaway and use daily from your upcoming book?  

Social media can be a wonderful vehicle for positive change in the world, but it can also destroy a person's reputation in an instant.  Playing your A-Game online and off will ensure that you get what you want in life while helping others get what they want.  In it's simplest form, playing your Social A-Game is the ultimate experience of success.

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Britt Michaelian, M.A. is a new media producer, entrepreneur, artist, author and mom who lives in sunny Southern California.

As the founder and editor of the Work Smart Lifestyle blog, Britt Michaelian was recently listed as one of the top Social Media Bloggers by Kred. Britt is a regular Huffington Post contributor in the areas of Small Business, Impact and Tech. She has spoken about social and new media best practices on radio shows, at universities, in online interviews and at conferences like New Media Expo and LTDLive.  To round out the new media experience, Britt partnered with Maker Studios as a contributor to the Moms View, a Youtube Network with programming for moms.

 

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Rebel Brown guides organizations and individuals to harness the power of their minds to step into their ultimate potential. A masterful agent of change, for over 25 years Rebel Brown has inspired, coached and empowered individuals and businesses to unstoppable performance and results. As a recognized market strategist and turnaround expert, Rebel guided over 200 global organizations to step beyond their status quo perspectives to create profitable market advantage. She also worked with US and European venture firms to successfully fund and launch their portfolios. She also ran a consulting practice in Paris for three years, working with European clients. Fascinated by the power of our human minds to limit ourselves and our business results, she began her study of neural science. Her core question was simple. What could we do if we had no limits? Today, she brings the power of neuroscience to business (NeuroBusiness), fueling limitless thinking that drives powerful bottom line growth for her executive and corporate clients. Rebel’s work has been featured in media including First Business TV, Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, Business Insider and Business Week. She is a Vistage International speaker and workshop leader as well as NSA speaker. She’s also been named one of the Top 100 Women in Computing. Rebel is also the founder and director of the Unstoppable U Foundation, a non-profit program committed to guiding kids to know that they are born to be Unstoppable!