Words of Wisdom from Digital Evangelist @ValaAfshar

 

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On Friday, March 18th over 100 staff members from across Harvard campuses, met to connect and share ideas on digital content strategy. The day long “Digital Content Academy” organized by the Digital Strategy Teams for Harvard Public Affairs & Communications and the Harvard i-lab, featured an exciting lineup of speakers and sessions. However the highlight of the day was a keynote by Vala Afshar, Chief Digital Evangelist at Salesforce.

In a conversational presentation (without slides), @ValaAfshar shared his journey from having his boss create a Twitter account for him in March 2011 in which he had 7 followers (one of which he proudly declared was his mom) to becoming one of the great influencers in the social landscape on digital strategy today. For over an hour @ValaAfshar openly discussed the death of the paper resume, the battle to stay relevant in the world of big data, future trends looming for digital and his secret to growing his social networks. Here are some short soundbites of advice:

ON BUILDING NETWORKS & STAYING RELEVANT: 

“If you are interested, and stay interested, then you will eventually becoming interesting. The path of being interesting is to stay interested and SHARE.” “Be open, be curious, don’t be prejudiced. Adopt a beginners mindset… You almost have to unlearn the old to get to the new. If you want to grow, you have to intentionally struggle.”

ON THE NATURE OF SOCIAL:

“Social media is a place far more suited to ‘giving’ than ‘asking.’ I don’t believe you can be influential unless you’re helpful. Kind, generous, incredibly accomplished people are volunteering their time, hoping to teach or be taught.”

ON DEVELOPING SOCIAL WITHIN TEAMS &  ORGANIZATIONS: 

“Culture, people, process, technology — these are the core of a social enterprise. The focus should be on making managers better people & cultivating talent.”

“Social doesn’t create [workplace] culture, but it can reveal it. It’s about the power of pull vs. push.”

ON PERSONAL BRAND & THE DEATH OF THE CV:

“Resumes are passe and the paper CV is dying. The web is your resume, and social networks are your references.I no longer have a CV, nor do I accept them.” #socialCV

“What does your tone on social reveal about your attitude? Your digital brand today is your digital footprint plus your digital exhaust, all the other stuff you leave behind.”

“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. And the room is the web…so why not share?”

dont-feed-the-trollsON NOT FEEDING THE SOCIAL TROLLS:

“I am mindful of who I engage with on social and how I do it. I don’t want to feed the trolls. My advice, take a deep breathe and think before you respond or engage someone who is clearly tying to push your buttons.”

ON HIS SECRET SOCIAL SAUCE: 

@ValaAfshar claims the secret to social is remaining willing to experiment, struggle and not be afraid to ask. He emphatically pointed out “If you don’t ask, the answer will be no.”

Want to learn more? Follow the discussion on Twitter via  and view slides from the speakers. Or just ask  directly as “the best time to call me is Twitter.”

 

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