Social media isn’t supposed to be difficult or complicated. But lately it seems everyone is an expert with all kinds of strategies and rules and methods to achieve success in business using social media. Some days my inbox fills up with so many differing and conflicting opinions and strategies that I feel like my head is going to explode.
I’m not a complicated person so my social media strategy is a lot less complicated. Though each one could certainly be expanded upon, I’ve distilled my social media theory down to five simple “B’s.” I have to admit this idea isn’t 100-percent original. I heard a speaker a while back who mentioned a couple of these and it really got me to thinking about what they meant to me and how I would define them.
Don’t try to be someone you’re not or try to adopt some online persona that you think will make you more interesting, appealing and attract more followers. It’s exhausting and takes up way too much energy. You won’t be able to keep up that persona forever and when you finally give it up, you’ll be giving up your reputation and possibly all of your followers as well. Be the same person online that you are offline. You don’t want people to be surprised when they meet you in person. Social media is all about building relationships. A good relationship is based on trust and honesty, whether it’s an online relationship or an in-person one. Be someone your followers can trust. Be yourself.
Share more than random trivia through social media. Mix your humor, life observations, inspirational quotes and dinner menu with useful information. Write blog posts, Facebook posts and tweets that can help your followers in some way. Provide business tips that pertain to your niche and help establish you as an authority or expert in your field. If your followers are in your geographic area, you might occasionally share events of interest in your area, whether they involve your business or not. Just got a great shopping deal that you think some of your followers would love. Share it with them. It’s little gems like that that make your followers love you.
Don’t beat around the bush. Don’t make your readers and followers hunt for the nugget of wisdom in your blog post, Facebook post or tweet. Give your posts and tweets a single subject. Making readers wander in the wilderness will only serve to make them not want to follow you. Tell your followers what they need to know and be done.
This goes along with the last one. If you’re blogging for business, keep on task. Don’t blog about cooking or finance or social media every day and then suddenly throw in a post about a rock concert or vacationing in Mexico unless you can find a way to tie it in to the subject of your blog. Your blog and social media posts will gain a more regular following and help build your business if you stay focused on your objectives for that blog and your social media interactions and don’t just ramble randomly through life.
Thumper’s mother said, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” It applies to the world of social media, too. Unless you’re Howard Stern, being rude or vulgar isn’t likely to get you far in the business world. Mean Girls was about junior high. That should be light years away from your business relationships. Hopefully, everyone has grown up since then. Remember, once you put it out there, you can’t get it back. Think carefully about what you say because it may come back to bite you in the backside. If you’re having a bad day, it might be a good day to take a break. Remember, you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.
So, those are my five B’s of social media. Do you have any B’s? Any rules for running your online interactions? Please share them, along with your thoughts in the comment section below.