I've been on Social Media since 2008. Well, before it wasn't referred to as “social media” but to be fair you could say I've been online since I was 12 years old and my dad bought our first computer back in 1996.
The first form of social media back then was the forum, and the chat room. mIRC anyone?
If you were interested in something, for example a band, you'd join their official forum, or sometimes a fan forum. The whole point was for you to gather with other people who had the same interests and passions as you. You'd log in and socialize with people. Many times I had no idea if I was talking to a man or a woman, since it used to be quite common to use ‘nick names' instead of your real identity. Now, if you're not using your real name on social media you're missing out!
Forums still exist but people don't talk too much about them. I have my own forum that I started in 2007 around one of my favorite musicians, and as Facebook and other social platforms became popular it slowly began to die.
Nowadays, when we say social media we immediately think Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, etc. So let's review some of the mistakes people make on these social platforms and how you can avoid them. Oh, and by the way, these are mistakes from the business and branding point of view. I personally believe that everyone is entitled to use social media as the please, there are no rules other than those the platforms set (spamming, violence, etc).
Because I like keeping things positive, I'll use the positive version of each mistake, i.e., what you need to be doing 🙂 and the mistake in parenthesis.
#1 Using Your Real Name (Not Using Your Real Name). Yes, if you're trying to brand yourself, your best card is to use your name, or a stage name if you have one, but a name. When I joined Twitter I had a nickname that I had been using on forums and chat rooms, so I figured it made sense to use the same nick name. But I quickly realised that wasn't a smart move from a branding perspective so I changed it before any other Carolina Millan could come and take it! So now you can follow me by @CarolinaMillan.
#2 Being Social And Engaging (Not Being Social). Believe it or not, a lot of people miss the ‘social' aspect of social platforms, and think that they're supposed to talk about themselves all day. Being social isn't just about expecting people to reply to your messages. It's about you going to people's walls, times lines and profiles, and replying to THEIR posts and messages. Engage with people and they will engage with you! Don't be that person that talks about themselves all day with a megaphone, unable to listen to others. Always, always… listen first.
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#3 Adding Value To Others Freely (Not Adding Value). Now, don't think that for you to add value you need to be a genius or a super successful person. You don't! All you need to do is have passion for something and create content about it. And sometimes, it's not even about creating the content, but simply sharing other people's content on your own platforms, just because you found it interesting and useful, and you believe other people could benefit from it. Like this article you're reading right now. If you find it useful, go and share it! It'll make me and other people very happy 😉
#4 Be Someone People Want To Be Around (Being a Complainer). I always tell people to be themselves on social media. So if something bad has happened in your life and you want to share it with the World, go ahead it's ok. But there's a very thin line between that and looking for constant sympathy. You don't want to be that person, and you don't want to be someone who is always negative and complains about everything. I have used Twitter to vent sometimes and people can relate to it, we exchange a few messages and boom, I feel all better, next subject. People want to know that you're going through what they're going through, but if all you do is complain you'll drive people away. You want that side of you that spreads joy, positivity and success to shine more. So think twice before you post something negative and think about the desired out come you want from it (click here check out my video about the Ultimate Success Formula, it will help you do just that). You want people to help out? Maybe you are looking for prayers or some support. Just make sure the habit for you is to spread positive energy.
#5 Make Friends! (Not Making Friends). Social Media is about turning strangers into friends. Your website is what will turn them into customers. Don't expect people to want to buy from you on social. A good friend of mine and terrific marketer, Terry Lamb, always says: “it's like coming up to a stranger and asking them to marry you“. You don't want to do that right? Maybe if you're drunk in Las Vegas, but otherwise, it's just plain wrong to try and sell people stuff on Social Media if you haven't even dated them. You need to add value, go back to point number 3 on this article. Give value freely, that means, expect nothing in return other than maybe a thank you, or a comment, or a retweet on twitter!
BONUS #6 Post Often, Share Stories! (Not Posting Often). And by often I mean EVERY DAY. Yes, every single day, and if you're on vacations and you have no phone reception, then use that as a story to tell people when you come back, it'll make up for your absence. Become a great story teller and you'll have people engaged with you constantly! Make sure you share something every day, and again, it doesn't have to be genius or smart, it just has to be YOU. You can also just go through your time line, look at what other people are saying and reply to them, share their content. Just make sure people get used to you being around so that your name sticks to their mind.
Well my friend, thanks for reading this post, I hope you implement what I'm saying and go ahead and share it with the World! Use the social bar on the left side to share to your favorite platforms, remember, give value always!!