As a professional blogger, I read through tens of thousands of blogs each month, and after reading one of many syndication feeds this past weekend I have been contemplating what makes me stand out within my social media outlets. I’ve come to realize that success in social media is as simple as being good at socializing. With that said, though, you do not have to tell everyone what you had for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and you certainly don’t have to keep people updated every 5 seconds out of the day. However, there is a general method to the madness in how to stand out and be successful amongst your social media platforms.
One of the most basic key rules with social media is to establish a captivating key message to deliver to your audience. In other words, the topics that you decide to publish to your social media venues need to interesting; they need to captivate your audience and the topic along should keep them thinking well past the point they are done reading your update (even if it is only 140 characters).
After you have established an interesting key message to deliver to your social media audience, you need to be interested in what your community thinks. The bottom line with blog posts, with LinkedIn, with Twitter, with Facebook, and any other social media platform is to listen and be sincerely interested in what your audience says and does when you publish your work. Their reactions are true measurements of the interest levels with regard to your topics. If you are not openly and actively looking for responses (you can do this by using Google Analytics or just by watching comments on your publications), then you will not know if your topic is truly received well by your audience. Confused? Think about it this way, if you were with your friends, are they getting bored when you tell a joke and you get no response from the punch line you need to find a different way to approach the joke, right?
Along with the above two points, it is very important that you are personal with your social media audience. When I read a blog or a Twitter update, I don’t want to just read about your product. On the contrary, I want to learn a little more about you personally. It is not until then that I am able to develop a trusting relationship and start referring (or sharing) your updates. Think about how you interact on Facebook, the contacts with whom you are most familiar are the ones that you “Like” their updates while your casual friends are the ones that you just let alone. Be a little more personal with your social media audiences and you’ll establish more of those close “friends” that will share your posts.
Last, but certainly not least in your conquest to be successful in social media is a combination of being interactive, asking questions, and taking initiative. As a social media expert you need to take matters into your own hands and not be bashful. Ask people to share your updates, your posts, your information. Ask people to give you feedback on your updates and posts. Ask them to get involved; after all, the worst thing they can do is say no, right? Lastly, make sure that your social media updates are interactive. Features of your updates need to grab your audience and make them interact with you or your posts. Let’s take a different look at this, and think about how you are with your friends again. If you are having a one-sided conversation, people will not be engaged. Instead, you hold a conversation with them and bring them deeper into your topics by asking questions and interacting with them.
Overall, social media is not a 50,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. However, it is a great test to see how you interact with everyday people. Use a page from your own relationship book and talk about interesting topics, be interested in what your audience has to say, get personal with your social media, and just be interactive! It is that simple, and if you can accomplish these steps you will be well on your way to being successful within your social media platforms. I invite you to leave comments below and open the discussion on other tips or feedback from this post. And, as always, if you need help establishing a social media marketing plan please feel free to contact IMPACT.