Social media superstar

How does social media pioneer Guy Kawasaki perfect his profile? Dan Matthews finds out

Guy Kawasaki is social media gold dust. In 1984 he was responsible for marketing the Macintosh at Apple and in the 30 years since has published a series of tech-related books, founded a venture capital firm and launched news aggregation service Alltop.com. He has 1.3 million followers on Twitter and 210,000 on Facebook, all glued to his updates.

He explains how he organises profiles that connect with large audiences: “When it comes to Twitter, my success stems from providing interesting links that people share. These ‘retweets’ put me in front of new people who follow me too. There is a group of sources that feed my account, including Alltop, a website I founded to aggregate and summarise great stories, linking to the original source.

“I also repurpose posts from Google+ and Facebook for tweets and I use Tweetdeck to respond to ‘@-mentions’ of @GuyKawasaki and direct messages; these are always me and never ghost written in my name.

“Google+ is the core of my social media existence. I see it as the Macintosh of social media, it’s better, used by fewer people and condemned by ‘experts’. My posts here are diverse and, like Twitter, I call on a range of sources.

Social sharing, when occurring in the workplace, is becoming more focused, purposeful and is making a meaningful contribution to productivity

“I have three main tips for building a community on Google+: only post when you are cogent. I wake up in the night and check the ‘What’s Hot’ feed from Alltop, but I don’t post until the next morning when I’m alert and able to write an engaging post.

“The second tip is schedule your updates so they are well-spaced. You can do this through ‘Do Share’, an extension for Google Chrome. Lastly, get rid of trolls. Think of your Google+ account as your swimming pool; if people pee in it, throw them out.

“I have two personas on Facebook, one is my personal profile and the other is my brand page. I operate them differently. My assistant monitors my Google+ account and manually adds many, but not all, to Facebook. Some are not appropriate for Facebook and there’s no way to tag ones that are.

“I monitor comments and respond to them as time permits; my assistant never acts as me so I either respond or there is no response at all. I do the same for LinkedIn, but I rarely respond to comments as there are fewer here. This could be self-fulfilling, but I have to draw the line somewhere.

“In total, the above plus managing my Pinterest account is the work of one full-time person. In addition, I spend three to four hours per day creating my own posts, commenting and responding. This is how I manage my social presence as of June 2013, but stay tuned because my procedures are ever-changing.”