social mediaI’m not a social media guru, it’s just not my passion. But I still know a helluva lot about it, I’ve run a lot of stuff for other people, and I consult on it often enough.

Here’s some bits of advice I’ve given to business-folk in the last week, which I freely post here so I don’t have to give it anymore 😉

The first thing you can start right now is to adopt a habit of connecting with every contact via their social media of choice as a followup to any conversation. This will tell you which platforms your people are into, get you in the habit of using these tools yourself, as well as build your connections.

What platforms you should be on? As few as possible, as many as you need for your own distinct and specific goals.

You gotta have a reason to do anything you do on social media. It’s not intrinsically important you know. No one really cares, or even if they do, they don’t for very long. What’s important is the actual connection you have with the friend/follower/contact. It’s kind of like waving at someone on the street, if they know you, then it means something. If not, they’ll probably avoid you (unless you’re really sexy). Online connections are great for maintaining relationships. Creating them? Not so much.

Pick what platform you want to master based on where your people are already. If you don’t know who or where your people are, then you’re not ready for social media yet. So, what are you trying to do again?

How do you get the platform to favor you and your content? Theres’s a different answer for every one, but it all comes down to money.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, Soundcloud, Snapchat, even Google+, yeah they all make sense for certain kinds of things. Each has a different culture and a different kind of demographic appeal. But basically they’re all in business for themselves, not for you. If they don’t ask for your money straight upfront, they probably want it on the backend. If they don’t want it now, they will sometime. Wake up and smell the 2015, organic reach ain’t what it used to be. Yes, you can win big, but never forget that every game is rigged in favor of the house.

Whatever you do, don’t tackle too many campaigns/platforms at the same time. Chances are you’ll screw them all up.

Not everything has to happen at once, slow down and your passion/curiosity will lead you well. I’m a big fan of chaining together a string of small goals that methodically add up to something massive. Consistency trumps enthusiasm. I’d suggest you learn one platform’s game well, then move on to the next only once you’ve got it on autopilot, and your people/audience/sales demand you follow them as they go someplace else.

It’s all about building on what you already have, extending those connections to new places.

  1. Search and find every person on your target platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter) who ever gave you a testimonial, and request to connect with them.

  2. Search and connect to every contact who ever hired you or whose name you remember in connection with previous work.

  3. Invite all of those Facebook connections from steps 1 & 2 to like your brand’s page. You can only do this once they are already friends with you personally, so this sequence is important.

  4. Follow every company who ever hired you. Again, after connecting to the people that work for that company is best.

This may seem like a lot, but it isn’t really. You can take 10-15min a day and chip away at the finite number until it reaches zero. It takes however long it takes, it’s worth doing. Don’t think of it as a “social media” effort, just the effort of staying connected to your existing connections.

You can also use technology to master technology. But having technology without knowing how to use it just makes more problems.

Yes, Hootsuite is great for scheduling and cross-posting stuff. If you know it, use it. But do know the communities that you’re posting to before you start. People on Twitter don’t want to see links to an image on Facebook, and while Tweet abbreviations may work on Facebook, they’ll probably just annoy people.

The most important thing is that you use social media (which other people control) to funnel business/attention back to something that YOU control.

Email is awesome.
Blogs are great.
Social media is fickle and everchanging
….and it probably always will be.

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