I’ve heard this question a lot and people ask it all the time, how are you supposed to “be” on social media? Not just share this, talk to this person, what’s the norm? What are other people doing on social? Better yet, what are the best people doing on social?
These are questions I intend to answer. But please, please, PLEASE, don’t view this as the absolute best and only way to run your social media accounts. There IS no one way to run social, experiment, learn on your own, try new things and never be satisfied where you are, then you’ll be well on your way to social media star-dum.
What is social media?
I was told this story five years ago, it’s the best analogy for social media.
Who’s the most important person at a party? No not the house owner, it’s the person who brings the keg (the person who brings the most value to the party). Think about it, without the keg, there is no party. And the second most important person at a party? The person who brings the food. The second most valuable thing behind the keg. Just like at a party, on social media, bring the value (and no you just being there isn’t value).
On the contrary, who is the worst person at a party? It’s that person that stands by the dip ALL night complaining about themselves, how bad their life is and how there’s no more dip because they’ve stood there for the last two hours eating it. Don’t be the negative nancy, don’t talk about yourself unless asked to, and don’t hang out at the dip all night long!
The best conversationalists are the ones who ask questions about the other person, they keep the other party talking as long as possible, do this on social platforms. No one cares about you, they want to talk about the person who’s wearing their underwear.
The most important thing to remember about social media? Is the word social, engage others, talk to people, share what other have to say, then maybe one day if you’re lucky, those people will share what you have to say as well.
Do: talk to people, engage, make friends, be polite and encourage others. Share what interests you, share what inspires you.
Don’t: just share things. People don’t care about what you share if they don’t know who you are. Let me know meet you. You’d never walk around a party saying “Follow me, follow me! If you follow me I’ll follow you back!” so don’t do it in real life.
Do: fill out your profile so someone has to take a double-take. Show your personality, add elements that make it your own. Your goal is to create a profile that if anyone visits they have to talk about what they saw to someone else.
Don’t: just fill out your profile or get your assistant to fill it out so you “have something in there”. You never get more out of something than what you put into it. And if you’re going to treat a platform that has an executive on it from every Fortune 500 company like MySpace (avoiding it like the plague), be prepared to say “LinkedIn doesn’t work”, because it won’t.
Do: talk to people, interact. Like others photos and find people locally to follow. Search for people who are interested in what you are, follow them. Reach out to people you admire, like their photos.
Don’t: share the same style of posts all the time, don’t over share, don’t ignore comments, don’t only post selfies. Don’t act like a corporation, act like a human, a human that cares, interacts, jokes around with, and is pleasant most days.
Do: share a variety of things. Your people, staff, customers, building, projects, organizations you care about, events you’re going to, causes that are important to the company (or people at the company).
Don’t: be a negative Nancy, encourage people, have fun. Remember, you’re competing with those bikini photos from your friends last vacation, your post better be interesting or it’ll only be for inducing yawn therapy.