Koert Breebaart, a digital transformation leader and design thinking facilitator from SAP, shares he’s been posting written and video content for years, but he still hasn’t lost sight of the key success factor: Keep your content relevant.
To start, Koert outlines his background and why he considers social media to be a key business tool. “I’ve always been a front-runner when it comes to social media” he says candidly. “I’m not afraid to experiment and I’ve learnt that the more you do it, the easier it can get. If you know what you want from it, you can be more purposeful in your actions.”
He achieves three key things from his activity:
- To change the market perception of his corporate brand in the right direction
- To give his audience an understanding of who he is as a person
- To build his personal profile and increase his standing as an influencer
Sharing Beyond The Brand
Koert’s social media activity is often designed to give SAP a purposeful brand identity. He shares content around improving peoples’ lives with technology or reducing the effect of a natural disasters using SAP solutions – things that align with SAPs values – as well as core content related to his line of selling. In taking this approach, Koert appears in lots of searches and is often asked his opinion on a wide range of topics linked to his areas of expertise.
“I do make sure I share a fair amount of unbranded content – or things that aren’t obviously linked to my sales work” says Koert. “Things like new technology developments work well for me. It’s about me putting useful content out to my various customers groups that might be informative and can change their perspective of what is possible with technology.”
This sense of relevance is a theme which runs through all of Koert’s social media activity. He strongly believes quality is better than quantity and as such Koert plans his content with this in mind. The heart of it being his regular LinkedIn blogs, which he aims to post monthly. Then layered on top, he regularly shares worthy news and articles, accompanied by his own commentary after analysis. This activity echoes his desire to make things relevant to his audience.
“My activity on social media is really split between posting and growing my network” Koert explains. “I spend a good proportion of my time following up with new contacts, connecting with people I’ve met at events or in the course of business. And then post updates that will trigger their thinking.”
A Different Viewpoint
Koert’s other social media-related passion is video.
“I’ve been producing personal videos for about five years now” he enthuses, “and I just love the different angle a video gives to content. I have started to use those skills to produce business videos as well now. But I keep them informal – as I don’t want something too polished because I’m not sure people would find the same level of authenticity in something that’s been professionally produced. But I have invested in a teleprompter to help smooth out my delivery.”
He goes on to explain how his love of a more amateur styled video doesn’t detract from the importance of it emphasising his personal profile. He still spends a long time polishing his content; getting his messages just right, before recording. That said, his videos use the SAP News backdrop and appear professional, at the same time as retaining that personal touch he’s worked so hard to achieve.
To Koert, it’s important to get the video shot in one take if possible, to avoid his message getting diluted by a wooden delivery style. Natural is key.
“I do like my video content to have depth and relevance” clarifies Koert, echoing his core value again. “I don’t do the short status update videos because me on camera saying ‘I’m here, I’m doing this’ is more entertainment than content to me. I prefer to enrich the knowledge of my followers – so the only impromptu video I might do is to share take-away points from an event.”
Team + Social Business = Social Success
Koert enlightened us about the way social media works for his wider team, believing it to be important for them to adopt his knowledge sharing approach. “It undoubtedly opens doors and raises your profile” he explains “so I share my best practice and follow people within my own organisation and even team. Then, by following me back, they can see how I use social media.”
He explains, in the past year, how his team have all been given social media-related targets. All based around improving their SSI scores, which means each individual has a relevant and achievable target.
“It’s not fair to push people who don’t find social selling easy” says Koert, “you can’t really set a generic target. For example, we set the baseline at a score of 50 but my person target is 84. It has to be aligned to them. You need to be a curious person to increase your SSI score because you need to be continually on the lookout for good connections, valuable content and have a passion for storytelling; for sharing your knowledge in a way that will help others. I teach this to my colleagues, and they put it into practice on their own terms.”
Where To Begin?
Koert’s top tip for starting on social media is simply to ‘share something’. He says waiting for the perfect post is a common blocker for people.
“There’s a huge amount of fall-out between the planning and posting” he explains. “People need to relax and not worry about being overly detailed. This process needs to be easy enough for you to be encouraged to repeat it. It needs to be quick and simple so that it can become part of your working day or week. When we refer to SSI scores of over 80, these are only achievable if you’re posting regularly, so an overly onerous process won’t work.”
Koert posts once or twice a week on LinkedIn and finds he gets more engagements and interaction on curated content. “If I share a specific piece of content, for example, from an event I have attended, it’ll resonate more with my audience that, for example, generic news sharing. I think people genuinely like it when the information I’m sharing includes me. It makes it more personal.”
In another attempt to guarantee relevance for his audience, Koert never simply ‘shares’ someone else’s post. “I always make a comment related to it or give my opinion” he says. “A blank share is no use to anyone.”
Find Your Reason To Engage
Koert got involved in social media at an early stage and still works hard to be an early adopter of new technology or functionality.
He tells us, “People often ask why I spend so much time on social media and I tell them I believe I will benefit greatly from the investment. Social media helps me practice my storytelling skills and has already brought me to some big stages around Asia to share my experiences. If social selling is indeed the future, I feel fortunate to have already honed my approach.”