The Five “B’s” of Social Media Success

The Five “B’s” of Social Media Success

5 B's of Social Media

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.

 

Be authentic

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.

Be useful.

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.

Be specific

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.

Be focused

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.

Be nice

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.

21 thoughts on “The Five “B’s” of Social Media Success

  • May 3, 2012 at 9:25 am
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    Be authentic is my favorite, although they are all important!

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  • May 2, 2012 at 10:27 pm
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    I love these tips. It’s so important to be authentic. It has to be really exhausting to act like someone you are not. Building real relationships is what social media is all about. Thanks!

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  • May 2, 2012 at 11:55 am
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    I loved your B’s! There are probably tons of others we could think of, but you did a great job of boiling it down to the essentials – especially the all-important, Be Nice. Thumper’s mom was right!

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  • May 2, 2012 at 1:13 am
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    Love this!!!

    It’s all about listening and being engaged with your audience too. =)

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    • May 2, 2012 at 5:16 am
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      It definitely is, Jamie. Social media is definitely not a one-way street. It’s all about building relationships and listening and responding.

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  • April 12, 2012 at 9:44 am
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    You’ve prioritized the first one: Be Authentic correctly. Be who you are. People can read your voice and will know when someone else is writing for you. Put your personality into your blog articles and posts so people can connect with you more easily.

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  • March 17, 2012 at 12:06 pm
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    I love this blog and is so very true–I started a blog last night that had the same idea written–about being pulled n social media in so many directions etc…. Thank-you for writing this and helping me to see I am on the right track by not having to follow the crowd to follow the path I am led on.
    Confirmation!!!

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  • March 17, 2012 at 9:35 am
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    Love this, Marie! And the jaded me wants to add Be Careful! It’s easy to get sucked into someone else’s vortex out there… thanks for the article and check list! 🙂

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    • March 18, 2012 at 10:34 am
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      That is definitely a good one, Claudia. Or maybe we should say “be wise” along those same lines.

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  • March 17, 2012 at 8:58 am
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    Great post Marie. In no way do I feel like I am not being myself but I am rather an introvert in person and that is definitely not reflected in my writing. I would love the opportunity to meet the world of people that I’ve connected with in social networking to see if I am more “social”. In my recent experiences though I have found it easier to be in a conversation with others “in real life” since I started blogging.

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  • March 17, 2012 at 7:34 am
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    Very good points, Marie. I like Mandy Edward’s addition of Be Aware. Do you have a good feel for what is working … and what’s not? Do you check your website stats for signs of real engagement? Where are your website Referrals coming from? Adjust your Social Media Plan accordingly.

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  • March 16, 2012 at 5:30 pm
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    This is a great post Marie and what I tell people that ask me about using social media. I have used some form of social media to build my business for 10 years . These thing work no matter what platform you use!

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  • March 16, 2012 at 1:12 pm
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    Shared this one all over the interwebs, Marie — great read!

    I’d like to add one more “B” for social media success …

    “Be Bold!”

    Don’t be afraid to disagree with some of the alleged social media experts. Don’t be sheepish. Speak up and speak out on what’s working for you … and what isn’t.

    Too many people simply regurgitate information they come across online and take everything they read as “gospel”.

    You can be tactful and straightforward without coming across as argumentative.

    Don’t shy away from being opinionated. YOUR opinions may just help a whole lot of other people! 🙂

    Reply
    • March 16, 2012 at 2:50 pm
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      Love both of these. Be aware is great–it’s important to pay attention. And I LOVE Be bold. Timidity doesn’t get you far in the business world.

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  • March 16, 2012 at 12:05 pm
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    I love this and agree with all the “b’s”. I think you should also “Be Aware”. You should watch your social media and see what works. If you’re focusing on something that isn’t working, what’s the harm in trying a different platform?

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  • March 16, 2012 at 9:03 am
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    The be authentic part I think is very important. I see many self-proclaimed experts doing the same as everyone else, and they don’t stick out. I like to be myself, and I think people should do that.

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    • March 16, 2012 at 2:44 pm
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      Me, too, Tony. I don’t know how people find the time and energy to be anything but authentic.

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  • March 15, 2012 at 10:13 am
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    I like the 5 “B’s” you mentioned–all very pertinent to any form of social media. I suppose I would add “be consistent,” which especially applies to blogging. Blog on a schedule and stick to it–whether it’s once a week or every day.

    Another I would add is “be positive.” It sort of goes with your “be nice” point, but pushing it a little further–people are attracted to other positive, happy people. As you said, if you’re having a bad day, then take a break (or try to change your bad day by trying to look at it in a positive light).

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    • March 15, 2012 at 2:14 pm
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      Those are both excellent additions. Being consistent really helps you to build a following and establish authority and be positive is a big one. I will admit to having a major snarky streak, but I really do try and keep it out of my social media, especially since you can’t always tell someone’s mood or meaning from just reading.

      Reply

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