WARNING: This article is written for those who wish to take their social media to the next level. If you are just a beginner, I would recommend that you don’t read this article.
If you dislike change, you’re going to dislike irrelevance even more.
– General Eric Shinseki
Let’s get back to basics, what is social media? Social Media is actually made up of two separate words the namely:
- Social – the art of being a real person and connecting on a meaningful level with other people.
- Media – the communication, content and different types of media (articles, podcast, videos and posts) that will get you noticed.
Put the two together and you have Social Media or in simple terms, content that is communicated so that we can attract a social response from someone you are wanting to connect with.
Please note the YOU in the sentence above and the way I use it in the rest of this article, here I am talking about you and not someone else. If social media is going to work it is up to you to get it working. If you happen to be in a company that only allows so much to be posted, or whatever their pathetic excuse is for being insignificant it may be a good time to start looking for a job in social media where someone will appreciate the creativity and work ethic you bring to the job.
Currently, if social media is not doing what it is supposed to do for you, then you are either doing one of two things wrong. You are either not posting in a way that is engaging or you are simply not posting enough to get you noticed.
Everyone wonders what Content they should be sharing? What have you posted today, was it a new place you visited or some experience that you have never done before? Show people what is new and exciting, go to different places and share the experience. You need to have an opinion and post pictures to show people what you did. If you don’t have enough content it probably means you have not looked for new ideas and new things to experience.
If you post on behalf of the company what is new and happening? Don’t expect to understand the platforms if you don’t have profiles personally on them. To fully understand anything you need to get completely immersed in something. So decide to get good at what you do.
If you are looking for engagement (which you should be) then you will need to start listening to what people are saying. If you listen you will have more new and creative ideas than ever, after all, 80% of success comes from listening.
Content is what is going to determine your success, nothing else! When I hear things like ‘keep your content relevant to your audience’, it sounds like an excuse to me and a way of saying you have done enough. The bottom line is don’t be boring, get creative and make your content count.
Here are a few guidelines to get YOU into the correct rhythm with your content and media on the various platforms:
Blog/Website – Do you have a Blog or a website which gets updated regularly? If you are not blogging yet, it is probably time to start. Simply start writing about what interests you. There is a good chance that if you find it interesting and share your thoughts, that you will find an audience that likes what you do.
Try starting with 3 articles on your blog a week (300 – 500 Words), then see if you can increase to 5 posts a week and then 7 posts per week. Consistency is the key to getting started. Set yourself a goal to try to write something every day – this is a great way to start.
FaceBook – Share your Blog posts. What message are you wanting to get out there? How do you want people to remember you? What thinking do you want to change? Remember it is not all about you, so share posts from others, but don’t just share – use comments to engage with other people and build your brand.
Become more active in groups and show people you care. Everyone is looking for some recognition – give some recognition and there is a good chance you may get some.
LinkedIn – How many articles do you post on LinkedIn? These may be articles you would not place on your Blog if you have made a very specific and focused Blog. Remember to also share your Blog posts on LinkedIn.
Find articles you can reference and/or write thought leadership type articles that will tell people your view or your companies position on certain topics. Doing this will give you so much to comment on and keep you producing good content for many hours a day.
Twitter – Are you doing at least 20 tweets a day? Can you tweet 50 times a day? Could you tweet more than 100 times a day? What are you trying to accomplish if you are not tweeting enough? When you think you have run out of things to tweet, that is the time to start engaging and commenting on what other people have tweeted. The process of social media is to build a community of engaged followers, not just on Twitter but on all the platforms.
Instagram – Do you have images that will captivate others? Do you think about a photo before you simply take it and what will your comment be with the photos? Add links and use different photos that you possibly did not use in your blogs and other articles to attract people to your posts. Keep on posting, if you challenge yourself to post 10 photos a day, would they be varied enough? What if you could post more than 20 photos a day – would that be a good reflection of you and a way to share your creativity with the world? Remember if you’re not going to make an impression, someone else will.
YouTube – I have always said if you are not on YouTube you virtually don’t exist. People are lazy and whatever you do should have the potential to be made into a video. Start with posts that are successful on other platforms and make videos of them. Soon you will find topics that are more suited to video and others that are suited to short presentation videos. Videos are powerful and they need to be short and you need to do them as often as you possibly can.
Podcasts and Interviews – You will find that the more you become active and good at the above platforms the more you will get invited to interviews. This will further accelerate your relevance and build your brand. It is at this stage that you may want to start assessing how effective you are and start making minor adjustments, but the feedback you get daily on your platforms will be adjusting your whole content and communication process in a natural way.
If it is your decision not to be on a particular platform, then your reason needs to be really good, not just an excuse. The reality is if you want some form of success you are going to have to work at it … The amount you post is going to be what makes the difference and will determine your success.
How much work do you have to do? If you are asking this question, it’s probably because you’re lazy. Successful people never stop working and I hope that answers your question. If you really want to be good at engaging with people on social media, it may take 15 hours a day for at least 4 years.
That is the reality, in this world where everyone is looking for attention. You get to decide if relevance is for YOU or not.