Remember the old school days when making best-friends-forever was as easy as opening your lunchbox and trading sandwiches? Never mind the fact, the whole best buddies thing could just as easily go stale by the bread’s use by date.
Whether trading your chocolate hail sandwich (yes I had those) for a more exotic cheese sandwich, social media works on the same principle – liking something in common. ln this case…I like your sandwiches, so let’s be friends, and share.
Whether you were once that super confident cocky kid, or the shy one always skirting around the edges, we all go through that “what will they think of me” moment. No matter how swish we like to think we will become in the social media universe, or how many books, blogs, or words we’ve written. We were all once kids looking to make friends.
Before you get yourself up and tweeting, posting, blogging, pinning, and whatever the next big thing is – there’s always the nervous apprehension of taking the first step and going public. At some point, everyone suffers a fleeting twinge of self doubt.
Social + Media = People + Content.
Not happy with just a diet of school lunch box sarnies (two slices of bread + filling) social media thrives on a robust 24/7/365 feast of content, connections, interactions, engaging, diversity, a roller coaster ride of high’s, lows, howling screams & belly laughs all provided by people.
Setting up a social media account is the easy part. Getting its purpose, and committing to a schedule of regular posts, takes understanding, time, and planning. Posting relevant content on a regular basis is the only way to grow your community from slim pickings to a loyal following who want to hear from you because, they like and trust you.
Friendships take time, as does building your social media community. Unless you are a Triple A List celebrity, getting loads of freebies and followers – well to sound just like an old shampoo TV Ad, “it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.” Eventually.
No matter whether you’re an emerging writer, a business professional, student, blogger, life observer, reigning cupcake champion, wannabe marathon runner, or a lottery winner, social media goals will always be specific to you – but the etiquette of social media, like good manners remain universal.
1. Show up.
- Post relevant content regularly. Find the right balance. And remember most people are just like you – being bombarded with junk, useless info & spam is not cool. Commit and Post. Find the right time for you – once a day, once, twice a week, whatever works best for your schedule.
- Let people find out about you, and what makes you tick. Note the old rule of thumb “less is more” TMI (too much information) is a turn off!
- Be proactive. Find like minded people, and interesting stuff to connect with and follow.
- Start a conversation, ask a question, post comments, either way interact with your followers, it’s not one-sided. Be inclusive.
5. Share the love.
- See a tweet you love? Retweet it. Inspired by a facebook post? Share it on your timeline. Found a great pic on Pinterest? Repin it. A blog worth re-blogging? Share the spoils with others – this what it’s all about, and makes the other person feel great. Remember to say thank you - acknowledge the person for sharing something you’ve posted.
6. Sales turn off.
- A continuous sales pitch is not ok. Please don’t spruik a never-ending sell, sell, sell message. You wouldn’t do this to your friends, don’t do it to your social media peeps.
7. Mix it Up.
- Sales is ok, but a little goes a long way. Combine business with pleasure, if you post a sales message as your main course, follow it up with a second course, or dessert. It’ll still be relevant, but the tone and message will define the difference.
8. It’s Public.
So you are tweeting from the privacy of your own home, but, and this is a huge but – social media lives in a global and very public universe. Say only what you want others to hear, and share.
9. Speak Nicely.
Respect is the foundation of all friendships, and it’s the number one building block of making and maintaining your social media community. Treat them, as you would yourself, your brand….and speak nicely, don’t SHOUT.
10. Fear Not.
Become your own best social media ambassador by being respectful, likeable, trustworthy, interesting, and present. Whether you just want to tweet, post on Facebook, or dive right in and swim the entire length of the social media pool, embrace it. Don’t be scared…be cautious, and use common sense – think before you post.
Blog written by Magdalena VandenBerg
Author of Love in the Vines
A Contemporary Romance E-Book Available on Amazon Kindle.