10 Things I’ve Learned Working With Social Media

Below you will find a list of things I’ve learned while working with social media.  Some of this stuff I learned the hard way, while other things came as a pleasant surprise. No matter if you’re new to this stuff or not, I hope this post sparks your creativity.

       0. This is just a place holder. It doesn’t exist.
  1. Thank People – When someone re-tweets your tweet or shares your post, shoot them a thank you. It can go a long way and make them more likely to pass along your ideas in the future.
  2. Follow Back – There is no greater currency than reciprocity. If someone decides to follow you, it’s just good manors to follow back. This act of kindness also makes you not look like you think to highly of yourself either. Unless you have some kind of celebrity status, your follow/follower numbers should be pretty close. Obviously, if the person who randomly follows you looks like they are just fishing for follows, by all means, don’t follow back.
  3. Engage – If you’re new to social media, or even at the point where you want to become more active, the best thing to do is just dive in.  You need to comment on blog posts, contribute to twitter conversations, and flash those oh so lovely likes. Don’t worry about messing up, you have to learn how you will do social media.  Don’t try to be someone you’re not.
  4. Branding – Whether you like it or not you have your own personal brand.  It’s what makes you, well, you. Social media does a really great job of helping you figure out what that is.  Embrace it.  If it has to do with what you share, or the ideas you produce, your personality interests will start to shine through.  The application of this is to label your online persona with this branding.  That way, people like you will find you. Then, you can do that engagement thing we were talking about earlier.
  5. Pictures – Post pictures. Everyone comments on pictures. Everyone likes pictures. Pictures are the easiest way to generate engagement.  It draws the viewer into your world, to experience life, if only for a short while, the way you do. I’ve found pictures of kids, food, and anything where I’m making fun of myself generate the most interaction. Join a photo sharing site. I like Instagram because the format plays out like a story.
  6. Analytics – If you ever think you will parlay your social media prowess over to something more professional, you will want to know what works and what doesn’t. The best way to do this is by using a service(s) that tracks your activity and show you how much activity your content generates. I really like crowdbooster for tracking activity. I have invites if you’re interested.
  7. Timing – You know how they say, “Timing is everything?” Well in social media, it kind of is. Content shared on facebook and twitter has a fairly short life span, as most people’s feeds zip by with content from all of their other friends. To help with this their scheduling services available that post your content at the most opportune time for the greatest impact. I’ve been using buffer to help schedule my tweets, and it will soon work with facebook as well.
  8. Link Tracking – Marketing firms like to know what kind of impact their media campaigns have. One of the ways they track this is by monitor how many clicks the links they send out get.  You can do the same thing to determine what kind of content your audience likes most. The easiest way is to get a link shortener like bitly. Bitly will shorten links (which helps save space in your 140 character tweet) and track the amount of clicks each link gets. What I really like about bitly is that it works with buffer, so I only have to go to one place to get the job done.
  9. Personification – Ok, I’m really giving away a good one here. I’ve found that if you personify (giving a none human subject human characteristics) what you tweet or post you will get more engagement.  Humor plays a huge role in this.  I don’t know if that even makes sense, but if you can master that alone, you will be an all-star.
  10. Walk The Talk – There are a lot of people out there talking up social media. They like to discuss strategies, tool functions, scoring methodology, best practices, etc.  They self title themselves Guru’s.  You find them doing twitter chat sessions and constantly using hashtags to promote their perspectives. What you don’t see these people talking about are bona-fide results. They tell no stories about success or actual analytical proof of anything working. Don’t be like that. If you’re going to talk up social media, speak to the purpose, the power, and show what you’ve done with it.


[Image via Rosaura Ochoa]


One Response to 10 Things I’ve Learned Working With Social Media

  1. Sydney says:

    You said that there were 10, but you listed 11…

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