I’ve invested a lot of time and reading this year in understanding how I could better leverage social media platforms.
This post is not written to be a definitive and complete guide to social media; rather it is an opportunity for me to share with you some of my “must-knows” that you might also be able to apply.
- Pick two platforms and double-down on them
For me, my two preferred platforms are LinkedIn and Twitter. There are many others including Google+, Instagram and Facebook to name a few, but pick two and do them right.
- Get your personal branding right
This is important. Very important. Having the right personal brand and branding strategy in place will be critical to success. There is an enormous amount of best practice research out there already so I won’t dwell on this. Suffice to say, personal branding is not something that starts and finishes. It evolves and will need to keep evolving over time.
- Be consistent and predictable with your posting
Like most things, consistency and predictability are super important. I post once a day on LinkedIn and post a mix of 6-10 tweets, re-tweets and likes per day on Twitter.
There are automation tools that will help you with this. I use a product call @buffer that has a free and paid version. Currently, the free version caters to my needs. @buffer also gives me some great content I can re-share also.
- Why you are posting
The objective of your posts should be to educate and provide thought leadership to your followers and community.
No one cares about products anymore so none of that. People care about benefits and outcomes and finding a solution to their problem. Case studies, trends and directions and use cases are good because they get people thinking about how that could be applied to their situation.
Another important learning recently is to post about those things you want to be known and recognised for. If AI is your thing, post about that. If Cloud is what you want to be known for, post about that.
- What you are posting
It is important to get the right balance between shared content and your own original content.
Post about what you want to be known for, the areas of specialisation you want to be recognised for and the sphere of influence you want to contribute to.
When sharing other people’s content, my advice is to personalise it. When you find an article you liked, or learned from and think your followers would also be interested, tell them what it was you liked about the article when you share.
Now writing your own stuff is hard at first, but don’t feel you need to start with a 1,000 word article. Start with an area that you are passionate about and that supports your personal branding strategy. If you are passionate about Blockchain, then write something about Blockchain. And if you want to start with just a simple sentence that is powerful and impactful – do that. Just get started.
And another thing. I would recommend you share a mix of content styles that reflect your interests and personality. Just keep it professional.
It’s true. If you want to grow your reach and relevance hashtags will help you do that. My current experience is to use between 3 and 6 hashtags as a guide for a post you want to get noticed.
- Social platforms are for listening too.
Social media platforms aren’t just for talking.
Their biggest value is using them to listen to your followers and customers. If you look at what your community and customers are posting, you will understand what they are interested in. This will help you understand their pain points which will help you fashion a relevant conversation with them.
The other great thing about social media platforms is using them for your own learning. The amount of great stuff I find on Twitter around some of my areas of interest is amazing. The key is finding the right people to follow and the real influencers in your area of interest.
- Other resources
Graham Hawkins has written some great stuff that I found informative about the future of sales and social selling. You will find him here.
There is also any number of courses on LinkedIn that I found useful also.
These are two really good jumping off points to start you on your journey, but there are heaps of reading out there once you start looking.
I hope you have found this valuable and been able to take even one learning. Let me know what you think and things I may have missed that work for you.