Whenever I present on social media in front of a business audience, I always explain what my professional background was before the advent of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social platforms. You, like the members of my audience, should ask the same of anyone who is trying to offer advice on how your business can use social media. The reason is simple: the professional experience we had before the emergence of social media deeply affects the way we look at how businesses can and should leverage the new opportunities social media provides us. A search engine optimization expert will have a very different perspective than someone who is well versed in public relations. Equally, a “traditional” digital marketer will probably have a completely different perspective than someone with a background in corporate communications.
In the same manner, before we dive into the practical aspects of this book, I want to give you a snapshot of my own professional experience and how it shapes the advice I am about to provide you.
My professional experience has been in business-to-business (B2B, a term I will often refer to throughout this book) sales, business development, and marketing. I should point out that the first 15 years of my career were spent living in Asia and helping foreign businesses launch new sales organizations from scratch and successfully develop new business thereafter. Similar to the way in which learning Mandarin Chinese greatly helped me gain fluency in ...