This is the most popular page on my website, the one I love the most, and the most important one for you to read.
Social media has changed the way we make decisions, so play OFFENSE.
First impressions are digital.
We make decisions based on the information we’ve got - which is often heavily weighted with peer influence.
Facebook recommendations influence where we decide to eat. Conversations started from mutual LinkedIn connections influence who we hire. YouTube videos fix our broken car batteries, and Glassdoor reviews often dictate where we decide to work.
I don’t necessarily care whether a restaurant is family-owned as long as their Yelp reviews rave about how good their sushi is.
Social media has provided platform for anyone to have a VOICE.
It has singlehandedly provided foundation and structure to naturally-built online communities that connect like-minded humans with one other. It has connected us in unprecedented ways. And now, I trust a stranger’s opinion about how good Red Robin’s chicken wings are more than I trust my neighbor across the street. Why is that? Because social media has connected me to others with similar interests, and when we bond over commonality, trust is inevitable. And with trust comes the power to INFLUENCE.
We as consumers have more information at our disposal thanks to what others say, recommend and share online through conversation. Now, anyone can rate your product or service, your solution, your brand. And even if some of that info is incorrect, sponsored or misinformed, its illegitimate-ness often goes unnoticed.
So, since first impressions are digital, and we have the power to influence, we’ve got to play OFFENSE if we’re going to succeed - in business, in sales, in recruitment. And we play offense by educating our audience.
We’ll have to be proactive. We’ll have to speak up, raise our hand, share, listen, and inform. We'll have to be thought leaders and have original ideas on things that matter. And CONTENT will be our vehicle.
Day and night, social media has always had my attention. Even on its 19th birthday, it amazes me how new it still feels. It’s like Hot Wheels - it’s been around forever but every kid still wants one.
When others feel betrayed by social media or feel at the mercy of LinkedIn’s changing algorithms, I’m figuring out how we’ll adapt and how to reposition ourselves to get ahead again.
Maybe you disagree, but I find it beautiful in all its complexity.
I’ll never forget how angry I felt when my best friend told me she had to clock in + out of work every day, despite her salaried position as a medical billing engineer whose boss wouldn’t let her work from home.
Even as I write this, my blood is boiling, my chest is tight and I want to scream out loud.
Power + influence are more evenly distributed between employer and employee than ever before, and sites like Glassdoor often expose those imbalances between these two stakeholders, especially when so many careers aren't location-restricted.
For those employers who truly want to provide an optimal employee experience, they'll have to adapt to changes in talent demands, and I want to help them play offense. By demonstrating through CONTENT why you do what you do through stories and anecdotes that support your mission, values and unique perks, the right talent can find and come work for you.
This is so much bigger than social media.
My job...no, my RESPONSIBILITY, is to provide you with the platforms and content opportunities to eloquently and authentically share your voice + expertise with the people who need to hear it most. Because people buy in to experts who are educators. You want to be an educator, my friend. Trust me. Let content take you there.
Here's to your online reputation - it's everything.
Ashley [Ryall] Beaudoin
Founder + Chief COntent Strategist