Social Media’s 7 Deadly Sins

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Vine, Keek, Klout – so many tools to help you get your word out and so many ways to get it wrong.  We know this because we’ve done it ourselves.  Here are seven of our lessons learned.  Hopefully these will help you to speak more effectively with your friends, followers, fans, clients and audiences on Social Media.

Quality, not Quantity

Our very first lesson and one well learned.  Social media is not about how many followers or friends you can get.  It’s about who you can effectively connect with.  We spent almost two years before we worked it out.  Fifty contacts that are actively engaged with what you do are much better 10,000 who you’ve collected.  If you’re a journalist, connecting with a handful of hacks will serve you better than lots of people who just happen to know you.

 

Use it or Lose It

You may not lose the number of followers or friends, but you do lose credibility if you don’t engage with your Social Media connections.  It’s a conversation online.  So when you stop talking or listening people lose interest.  You may not be sure a high priority ‘reply’ or ‘like’ after 3 months of silence.  It’s also important to remember it’s not all about you.  Even when you have nothing to say yourself, get involved in your friends conversations: commenting, retweeting, liking.  After all it is a two way conversation.  

 

Content Is King

Looking for more retweets?  Use more content – pictures, video, etc.  It is always better to use the content uploader which is native to the platform.  Simply put tweeting a picture with twitpic is better than attaching a link from Instagram or Facebook.  In our experience, retweets are five times more likely with content than those without – even when you do add ‘pls RT’ to your message.

 

Tell Me About Yourself

Bios are REALLY important.  They are the short descriptions that you write about yourself.  What we learned was it is often the first (and the last) thing people read to find out about you.  It should tell a potential friend or contact everything they need to know about you.  Why are you a good connection to have?  What are your expertise?  What can they expect from being connected to you?  Your bio should always say what you are doing now and how people can get in touch with you.  Also keep it consistent across all your social media platforms.

 

Hashtags

Get into discussions with hashtags rather than simply inventing your own.  For example if you’re running an event about social media called ‘Let’s Connect’ you will get much more interaction using #socialmedia as a hashtag rather than #letsconnect.  A bespoke hashtag is great if are making a massive impact but for most of us, it’s better to go with the existing flow of conversation.

 

Know Your Worth

If you are using Social Media for business or promotion, it is important to know how effective your social media activity is.  There are plenty of analysis tools for Twitter: Tweetstats, Tospy, Tweetreach… to name a few.  We had to learn that the time you spend on Social Media is important, so your return on that investment has to be quantified. Is your message getting to everyone you want it to?  If not, why not?  If so, what can make it better, louder, clearer?

 

Get A Little Help

As well as looking at what you are doing with Social Media there are also tools that help you manage how you do it.  Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are the ones we use but there are many others out there.  They can help you plan your messages and content.  It frees you up from having to check your phone every few minutes to see if there has been any interaction.  Grab yourself a coffee and spend fifteen minutes with your Social Media tool.  We promise you will get much more out of doing it this way, rather than trying to respond to everything as it comes through.

 

There are many more ways we can help you get the most from Social Media for your needs.  If you would like to find out more get in touch with ruth@ideasgenius.com

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