Wednesday, 13 January 2010

The Social Media Train Journey - What to do Once You're On Board

OK, so the train has just left the station and you've met up with a few nice people on the way to your seat.

There's a real buzz going on down in the buffet car - you should definitely have a conversation with the following movers and shakers in there:

(Listed as I go in no particular order)
If you feel you should be on this list, then please comment and I'll be happy to add your details. Sorry in advance if I missed you out! 
    On you way back from the buffet car it's worth checking out the #likeminds Twitter carriage; you'll hear the buzz as you approach! :)

    First Things First
    On a usual train journey if you're like me you'll find a seat and sit there, keep yourself to yourself and read the paper, work on your laptop or read a book. You'll be able to hear snippets of the conversations going on around you but even if one of the convesations sounds of great interest to you; you would never dream of getting up and sitting down to join in with those people talking! Can you imagine their reactions!

    On the Social Media Train you can listen to other people's conversations too but the real difference is when you find an interesting topic on which you have something to add; you CAN jump in and join the conversation. Using the search function on Twitter you can actually search for specific conversations around your industry or a subject matter close to your heart. That might be a conversation on a completely different Social Media carriage and it might even be on a train in another country!

    So take time to find those people who are having conversations that interest you and begin by just listening. Yep, that's right - just listen. It is socially acceptable to eavesdrop on other people's conversations on social media platforms. They are using a public platform for their discussions and know that other people will be listening, so they won't be offended. In fact people welcome others to join in and contribute to the conversation.

    Wouldn't your train journey whizz by if you could just jump in and out of conversations in every carriage of the train?!!

    Now you've found a few people who are talking about subjects which interest you, take the plunge. Have a think about how you can enter the conversation and make a contribution.
    Don't just broadcast a sales type ad message:
    "Hi there. I hear you like skiing. I run a ski holiday company called Ski With Us Now. Book your skiing holiday with us; we're great!"

    Instead offer something of value such as your expertise:
    "Hi, I see you're thinking of skiing in France. I really recommend Les Deux Alpes or Chamonix. I can recommend some great hotels too."

    Perhaps you could also tweet a few links to some interesting websites - not yours. They can find yours via your profile details and they'll respect you more if they see that you are NOT plugging your own stuff.

    Know - Like - Trust
    As you start to contribute and have more and more conversations with people you will get to know them and begin to like and slowly, over time you'll start to trust them.
    The same is true of the realtionships they'll be forming with you. They will be getting to know; like and trust you too.

    This is when the Social Media Magic happens; the sparks begin to fly and before you even realise it, you'll be doing business together!!

    But people won't do business with you if you just listen and they definitely won't do business with you if you just broadcast. You have to take part in the conversations. You have to contribute and over time people will get to know you, they'll like you and eventually they'll trust you.

    And just remember - we're on all the train journey together - so let's have some fun too along the way.

    I'm off to the buffett car. Look forward to meeting you there!


    Trey Pennington said...

    Thank you Dickie!

    Listen, Contribute, Know, Like, Trust: fantastic formula. Listening is indeed the engine that moves that train!

    dickiearmour said...

    You're welcome; thanks you taking time out to add your comment.

    Scott Gould said...


    I love being in the buffet car with you!

    On point of disagreement - it's not a train. We're driving to where we want to go!!! :-)


    dickiearmour said...

    Thanks Scott. I love being in the buffet car with you too. Drinking gin and tonics and wondering where we're going to end up!

    I take your point of disagreement - and actually I don't disagree! :-)

    That's the beauty of Social Media - we can embark on the journey by whichever mode of transport we wish!

    You drive where you want to go.
    Some will take a cruise.
    Some will cycle - to save the planet.
    Some might run or walk - Olivier will swim; cycle and run! ;-)

    I don't think the transport method matters. I personally love my train analogy plus I get to eat and drink in the buffet car with loads of movers and shakers. If I drove I'd have to keep both hands on the wheel and I couldn't fit all the movers and shakers in!

    Drive safe my friend and I'll see you at the destination when you get there. I think you might get there first - if you do, I'll meet you in the bar. Please make mine a double!

    is it Feb 26th yet? Like Minds 2010

    Bernie said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Bernie said...

    Hi Dickie,
    Great to be joining you in the Buffet Car and also the guys in the #likeminds Twitter carriage [roll on Feb 26 2010!]. Love the train analogy and agree that it needs to be a train where you can set the destination to Social Media nirvana! Getting the message home to the business community in 2010 about the powerful value of Listening [and Contributing] on Twitter and its huge potential as a business resource will be an interesting journey to watch. Hopefully, it will be more of a Bullet Train journey and less of a stuttery Eurostar journey in the wrong kind and temperature of December snow!
    see you soon in the Buffet Car for a few G&Ts!

    Anonymous said...

    You paint a compelling picture, Dickie.

    Of course it's a train!

    Jacob Morgan said...

    I am like so totally shocked that I am not on this list? You haven't heard of me? Dude! I'm like this killer social media expert guru guy. Who the hell is this Chris Brogan fellow or Olivier Blanchard (he sounds evil). Add me at once or I shall write a horrible blog post about you and everyone you have ever been in contact with or have done business with, you heathen! :)

    Anonymous said...

    perhaps @lesanto, the official #likeminds blogger ought to be on that buffet car list...

    Chris Hall said...

    clearly written and simple to follow advice. It's really important for people to heed the part about 'LISTEN". More can be gained, learned and understood through listening to the crowd.
    Only then can you truly engage and collaborate with the community you want and need.
    Love the Know-Like-Trust part: three simple words but if followed will give so much back.

    dickiearmour said...

    Jacob, I've told the maitre de in the buffet car to let you in!

    I'll see you in the bar soon! :-)

    dickiearmour said...

    Thanks Chris and thanks for your tweets too. :)

    dickiearmour said...

    Neville, the Clue Train looks fascinating. I shall be adding it to my reading list. Thanks you.

    dickiearmour said...

    Thanks Bernie.

    I totally agree:
    "Getting the message home to the business community in 2010 about the powerful value of Listening [and Contributing] on Twitter and its huge potential as a business resource will be an interesting journey to watch."

    2010 feels like it's going to be a very good year, especailly now we've finally got rid of the snow.
    I love your idea of a Social Media Bullet train - hope it's not too fast though - I want to enjoy the journey and my G&T!

    (Actually scratch that; my hhangover headache has just reminded me I'm not drinking again!) Better make mine an orange juice :-(

    Ann Holman said...

    Hi Dickie

    Great post, love your concept of the buffet car, although I do wish they looked like your first picture nowadays, looks like so much fun.

    Think you have made some great salient points. You are absolutely right, it is about contributing and participating and not broadcasting that's what makes it so fascinating!

    There is a light at the end of the tunnel and its not the social media train coming the other way!

    Anonymous said...

    Ah, Im in such great company.

    And if we're discussing mode of transport .. Im flying baby!

    dickiearmour said...

    Thanks Ann, your comment made me smile :-)

    dickiearmour said...

    Oh yes indeedy; you know you are.

    And how silly of me to miss flying off the mode of transport list! I like the idea of flying but I guess the social scene on a plane might be slightly trickier!

    Gabrielle Laine-Peters said...

    Great post - As for "the social scene on a plane" have you never hung out at the bar on a Virgin Atlantic flight? I'd be happy to mix the Martinis!

    Caroline said...

    Woot woot! Now we have all of the essential ingredients...gorgeous people, excellent conversation, @GabrielleNYC on the cocktails...I'll set up the decks and get this party started!

    Bring on Feb 26!!

    Nick Armstrong said...

    I'd love to be on the list.

    I'd also like to suggest two others:
    @JoelComm - Joel Comm
    @LinkedInExpert - Viveka Von Rosen


    Peter Ball (petrball on Twitter) said...

    Hi Dickie,
    Just trying to find a table in the car to park my ....

    dickiearmour said...

    Hi Nick,

    Thanks for commenting.

    You and the others are now listed.


    dickiearmour said...

    Hi Peter,

    I know what you mean! The tables are fairly sparse on this train!

    dickiearmour said...

    Special Agent Bosher, hi there!

    I can just see you on the DJ decks looking cool as ever!


    There are sure to be some perfect tracks for our Social Media Train!

    Follow you, Follow me - Genesis
    I will Follow You - Phil Collins

    How weird that both of those feature Phil Collins. I think if Twitter had been around 20 years ago, Phil Collins would definitely have been in the buffet car with us!!


    Anonymous said...

    The train analogy is perfect. None of us is in control of the train, but we must make sure we're on the right one.

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