Social Media and Suits – The Myth of Sophistication

“When do you work? 
You always seem to be online!”

A question I asked of a social media forward fundraising consultant I was learning from in 2011. Yesterday, finally a peer asked that of me. 

So the time has come for me to spill my secret because when it comes to my social media abilities ( and my style of dress ) the work guru is being raised too much. And I despise the work guru almost as much as I despise the word schmooze… yuck.

Yes. It’s true. I’m not half as sophisticated and tech friendly ( or suit happy ) as people think.

See lots of tweets during the day?
Sorry, I’m not even online.
I am robo-tweeting.

How inauthentic Paul! Like anything, it’s about time management. In 2011 I learned that I needed to schedule my tweets. 80% of which used to take place between 9pm and Midnight when I’m online most after my family goes to sleep ) . Now I schedule tweets during the three most popular twitter-reader times of the day for my network:

Work skills content: 9am to 10am
Sector information content: 2pm to 4pm
Community content:  7pm to 8pm

And thanks to Tweetdeck and my Blackberry I get notifications when someone mentions me and I can engage only when it works for my time. Am I on during the day? You bet!

Why do you think I’ve become a public supporter of Twitter and LinkedIn, because it’s fun?! Let me assure you, it’s about cash-money revenue-line business.

Just today I was coordinating a deal, answering questions for a prospect and solving a client problem via twitter ‘direct messages’ because that’s the medium THEY prefer. Faster than phone and email combined.

If we want to walk our talk of donor/client service, it’s time we go where they live. Web, tweets, text are growing as service mediums. If we try to force those we serve to use  only the mediums WE prefer well…think about the service situations in your life when you can’t get a person, just voicemail. No person, just a web-form or mailing address. Do you feel good about giving them your hard earned cash?

On this note of what I’m not…at AFP Fundraising Day last week someone said to me “you always look like you came right from Harry Rosen” – yes, a very kind compliment. 

But I’m a charity guy at heart so bank or no bank let me disclose that I get physically angry shopping for clothes. That’s money I could have given to the poor, the community, a person who needs job skills to feed their family. And like Sir Richard Branson says the tie has become a barrier – entrepreneurs are anti-tie and so am I.

Most people who know me know that I only buy suits once a year from Toronto’s own Tom & Tom Jr. . I was the happiest man alive when Costco started selling dress shirts and I don’t own ONE tie over $25 – for the past two years all my ties are less than $15 and pocket squares under $5 – and I buy them all on ONE road trip in June.

So myths dispelled dear network. 
You always knew I was a dork, sorry, nothing’s changed.

Remember – I’m ALWAYS at your service to share the secrets I’ve learned from the best social media experts

And my annual tie/shirt road trip happens this weekend. I’m taking orders if you’re interested, if we’re forced to wear suits why not have a little fun? Why not express yourself as Antonio shares below. Whether outgoing or as I used to say when I worked for charities “polished but poor” – be yourself, but be your BEST self.

Remember. This is work.
So work it.


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