My interview with Sean Gardner aka Tomorrow Knight
BIO: 2morrowknight is an author and correspondent His work has also been appeared in Buzzfeed, The Stimulist, Essence.com, He has lectured at leading colleges and universities, including, Moorehouse, Spelman, and Emory University. The popular Social media site Smedio describes Gardner as a “True Social Media Icon” because of the way he uses Twitter and Faebook accounts to engage, educate, enlighten, and empower.
Tell me a little bit about what you do.
Personally, I support social good activities and charity initiatives. It’s a passion of mine. Professionally, I advise small businesses and nonprofits on the best social media platforms and tools to grow and establish their operations.
What is your social style? Do you use humor, straightforward, etc.
I’d say it’s a little bit of everything. Yes, I use humor. When you post a wide variety of topics, a sense of humor is a must. Sustainability, business, charity, travel, and breaking news, among other things. On Twitter and Facebook, I like to post inspirational quotes as well to enhance the content. I guess you could call it “style complementing substance”.
Tell me about your Twitter handle?
In January of 2009, I chose 50 names. Initially, I chose “TomorrowKnight”, but went with “2morrowKnight” because I liked its originality. I blog under that name for Huffington Post, Smedio, and Social Media Week. In fact, on Facebook and Pinterest I have the name “TomorrowKnight” because those sites won’t allow you to start your logon with a number. My friends call me “2K” for short.
What is your favorite social networking site?
So many to choose from. Pinterest, GooglePlus, Chime.in, Facebook, LinkedIn, they all rock. I would have to say Twitter. I love the engagement, the fast pace, and the unique nature of the site. It has influenced popular culture in ways its founders acknowledged they didn’t envision. It’s my favorite, but I still believe in having a presence on as many key sites as possible. A journalist recently said, “Facebook friends are more valuable than Twitter followers.” This is a false choice. One must use every conceivable tool to get value out of every platform. Have your favorites, but don’t seek to minimize the one’s that aren’t.
What makes you stand out in social media?
If I have to name one thing it would probably be my embrace of “social media collaboration”, which is one of the huge trends in the social space. I don’t see anything wrong with people doing things individually, and, occasionally partnering with others. I do this with my work for the Huffington Post and Smedio. I specifically look for writers I haven’t worked with, and reach out to them for a possible collaboration. There are lots of social media examples one can follow. You can work on business accounts together, or even create amazing, enduring blogposts together. So many ways to do it.
If there is one area you would need help in while using social media, what would that be?
Interesting question. I can’t think of any help I would need while using social media. But I will be broadening my experience this year by including videos and infographics related to my work. Coming soon. Can’t wait!
What do you like most about social media?
The seemingly boundless creativity. Site after site gives you the tools to set up your business, foster cross-cultural communication, and connect with friends in real time. It is as if everyone has been given a blank canvas to paint his or her own virtual masterpiece. There will always be things about technology you may not like, or kinks that need to be ironed out, but for me, the positives far outweigh the negatives.
What advice would you give others trying to get started and noticed through these social media platforms?
Study, study, study. When I joined, I asked lots of questions about apps, social media publications to read, blogging conferences to attend, great mentors, etc. I’m still learning. Never feel afraid to ask questions. Surround yourself with people who empower others in the space. Getting noticed? Connect with others who share similar values, and make sure to share others’ content.
What does Branding mean to you?
Branding is about what you do, and how you are regarded. And it is very important to establish your personal, social media brand. Sometimes it takes weeks and months, but it takes typically takes years. Your social media bios are great ways to grow it, and create the desired impression. If you are in a particular field or trying to reach a certain demographic, use words that will draw them to you. Tell people who you are, and what you do.
What is your favorite blog?
No one blog in particular, but I am drawn to those with diverse content. A blog with video, infographics, nicely written posts, guest bloggers, that sort of thing. The look of a blog is less important than the content.
What is your favorite social media tool to use?
Two come to mind. Hootsuite and Tweetdeck. I use them to post on multiple platforms, and to monitor content. And I like changing up, using one a particular day, and the other the next day. They both get high marks.
What Inspires you?
People working together to make things happen. I love seeing progress, and seeing folks connect across artificial boundaries to create and sustain some amazing work. Collaboration should not only be a hot trend in social media, but a permanent reality. It’s always inspiring to see.