Five Tips For Being Awesome On The Social Web
Social Media is a Conversation
Too often we look at what brands do on the social web as an example of what we should do. The reality is if you're a celebrity or a huge brand then by default your social presence is broadcast, you will gain millions of followers just from name recognition and so the rules change. For most small businesses or solo practitioners you'll be starting from the ground up. Find people who are talking about lighting and design and start talking back. The web is getting noisier, real engaged conversation shows people you're human and that you care about this topic.
Have a Home Base
This blog is my home base. There are no rules on character length and no formatting constraints from the social network. I pay for this site. It is mine. When social media buzz first started getting hot the gurus and trend setters were all about Twitter. Now if you're jumping in, you're probably reading a lot about Facebook or Google+ these things go in and out of style. Having a home base ensures that no matter where the trends go, you still have a place that's yours.
Try All The Platforms, Then Stick To The One That Works For You
Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram - there are more populated social channels than ever before each with their advocates and detractors. To be honest with you, what platform is best for you is really a function of the kind of content you want to share. As a lighting guy, I've tried them all and seem to keep coming back to Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. It doesn't really matter, these are all massive networks with plenty of audience to gain. What does matter is that you like the platform and engage with it. You don't have to be everywhere if you are awesome somewhere.
Don't Write Unless You Have Something To Say
So this is one that cuts against the grain of most social media advice. Most social media experts will tell you that you have to tweet X times a day or post to G+ X times a day. They will tell you that frequent blog posting is a key metric for Google's algorithm. I'm not saying they are wrong, but I am saying that the quality of the content matters. My best content gets shared, my mediocre content doesn't. That's really all there is to it. Once you've built a base audience by engaging in conversation (see the point above) then really the only thing that matters is the quality of what you're presenting. That means writing less, but better stuff. Social gurus hate this advice, they are in the business of making sure that all of us are constantly sharing content on the web. Don't make this a rat race. Write thoughtfully and post when you're ready.
Promote Others More Than You Promote Yourself
If you were at a cocktail party and went from room to room proclaiming how great you were, you wouldn't make many friends. If on the other hand if you went from corner to corner talking about how great your colleagues are or others in the field who inspire you, I bet you'd make a much better impression. We're all yelling into a crowded room on the social web. Prop up someone else, odds are they'll do the same for you.
The social web is getting more and more visual act accordingly.
Be human first. You’re not a media outlet, you’re a person or a company. Have a personality.
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