Yesterday I did a little research on social media and how to improve mine. I’m fully aware of its capabilities, but like everything in life, if you want to win at something you have to persevere until you can reap the rewards. It’s not enough to expect it all to come to you, waiting for someone to show an interest on the off chance is very likely not going to happen. You need to go out there, make connections and talk to people, it’s called social networking for good reason!
You also need to make sure you are prepared for the long haul, to establish yourself and become a name on people’s fingertips. I find a lot of people I speak with don’t get Twitter, thinking its all about sharing tweets of updates about your lunchbox contents and television habits. Twitter isn’t Facebook, if you want to chat to friends about your latest lasagne success complete with photos or let the world know you’ve overslept, Facebook is your platform. I find that Twitter is more about creating important* conversation, sharing information and letting your followers know what exciting projects you are involved with. That’s what hash tags # create, conversation.
I use Twitter as a brand of myself, as an artist and a recent project manager, it’s a platform I can contact people I wouldn’t normally be friends with on Facebook, to see what’s going on in my field of interest, by choosing to follow accounts that have relevance to me both topically and locally. This is the key thing here, when deciding who to follow.
There are a lot of spam followers out there, attempting to follow all 500 million users to promote their business. I always like to check who has followed me, I tend to ignore the Plumbing Firm from Bolder, Colorado, since I have no geographical need to use their services. But a local artist or service from Yorkshire will grab my interest and I’ll check them out. If I like them I’ll follow back, I imagine many people do the very same, it builds up an audience of like minded individuals and useful contacts. I’ve built my network and found information that has helped with my burgeoning career in this manner.
Similarly what you tweet has to be engaging. There is no point in tweeting about nothing, or your dinner, it will only get lost in amongst all the other 200 million active users tweets…
I write a blog, as is obviously evidenced here, but without the use of social media, it would probably go unread, the probability of an interested person stumbling across my website is extremely low. The power of the retweet is limitless. I wrote a blog post inspired by something I read, after I had clicked on a link tweeted by an account I follow. Tagging @ the author of the piece in my tweet, using this simple and personal interaction, the author was interested in what I had to say, and retweeted my blog to her 500 different but like minded followers. And so the snowball grows.
Here are my 5 top tips!
- Socially selective – decide which social platform works best for you.
- Personable – don’t blanket tweet, it’ll become annoying and we all hate spam, speak to individuals and tweet like the human you are.
- Conversation – join in the conversations, create conversation, contribute.
- Connect – follow accounts that are interesting to you, don’t follow every one in the world just to boost your follow count, it’s a waste of time and energy. Instead…
- Engage – write something worth reading, and people will be interested.
*by that I mean, important to you, whether that’s political, televisual, health, fashion, charitable, global, local etc. it’s your conversation!