Top 10 Social Media Secrets

7 Apr

Social media can be a very useful tool for businesses, non-profits and individuals trying to spread news about any number of topics. Some people are born naturals with social media and seem to draw a crowd without even trying. For the rest of us here are some quick tips for making the most of social media.

Everything Is An Opportunity

Try to remember social media in your normal daily activities. View your life as a collection of learning experiences and share these with others. You’ll have a huge amount of content that you weren’t tapping into before. Your successes, failures and thoughts thorughout the day are all relevant (aren’t they to you?).

You Can’t be Everything to Everyone

If you try to cater to the broadest audience you won’t actually be an attractive content source for anyone. Figure out your specialty and stick with it. That doesn’t mean that you have to keep your content to only one topic all the time but make sure there is an obvious direction to your blog/tweets/etc…

Nothing Beats Good Search Skills

This may seem a little off topic but making your content easy to find is an important part of writing for the web. Search engines are becoming more and more intuitive and better at finding content based on native language use; however, you can help this process by understanding the basics of why keywords are important and using them appropriately. Do you remember how to use a card-catalog? If not take a library sciences class or at least read a little bit about it online. A solid understanding of old-school search techniques can do wonders for the proper use of keywords and search-ability of your content.

Make It Easy

If using social media is difficult then you’ll never do it. You can make things much much easier by simply being yourself. Finding your voice online can be as simple as finding your own voice. It takes a lot of energy to pretend to be an alter ego or fun and different persona – this might seem like a good idea but ultimately is just difficult.

Listen More Than You Talk

Ask questions of the community and they’ll tell  you what they want. Overall the best way to measure how you’re doing and what you should be doing differently is to listen to the community. You can do this by checking analytics but you can also be more personal about it. When you get praise – do more of what you were doing. When you get criticism – take it seriously and be introspective about what has been said.

This Is Real Life

Social media and the internet are no longer separate from “real life,” so don’t treat your social media connections like they are. Develop real relationships with people online, just like you would in real life and maintain these relationships accordingly.

Be Nice

Sure, you might get a big boost of hits and a giant following if you’re controversial, snarky and mean but that just isn’t a lasting method of relationship building. You don’t have to be syrupy sweet but be genuine and caring with your online content. Answer questions the way you would if you were talking to someone in person. People like to follow people that are kind.

There Is No Replacement For Creativity

One giant mistake that people make in social media is copying what others have done and expecting the same result. Its great to listen and observe the trends of the web but ultimately you have to be innovative to maintain true relevancy online.

Remember To Speak Up

Listening is important but don’t forget to publish your own thoughts and comments regularly. If you only retweet then no one will really know who you are. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion, even when it goes against general wisdom, and speak up frequently. The internet is big and there will always be someone out there that what you say will ring true for.

There Is No Real Secret

All of the above items are great tips but the true secret is that when it comes to social media there is no replacement for hard work and consistency.

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6 Responses to “Top 10 Social Media Secrets”

  1. Gregory Stringer April 8, 2011 at 2:00 am #

    “…be genuine and caring with your online content…”

    Read this wonderful list over and over – kept coming back to the above. Really spoke to me. One of the best posts I’ve read in weeks – hell, ever. Thanks for sharing, Breanna.

    • Breanna Morris April 8, 2011 at 2:41 am #

      Thanks Gregory! That’s a very thoughtful reply – means a lot.

  2. Vanessa Jensen April 8, 2011 at 3:31 am #

    Such a great post Breanna! I like the tip on speaking up, I’ll try to work on that…and I completely agree with you on being nice! Thanks again *

  3. Billy Rivera April 8, 2011 at 6:45 am #

    Breanna, hope you don’t mind that I’m going to share these secrets with everyone I know. I love that you included “Listen More Than You Talk,” because I can’t tell you how many times I read something and I think, if only this person quit yacking and would just do more research. 😉

  4. taniesharjourn65 blog April 8, 2011 at 7:18 am #

    Excellent post! I love “You can’t be everything to everyone” because that is very true. A lot of us write in hopes of pleasing our entire audience, when that rarely happens. None the less, you’ve pointed out some great things.

  5. Mike10613 April 8, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

    That’s a good list and formatted well using the h1 and h3 tags. I think it’s good if you can write on a diverse range of topics or write about different branches of you own speciality. I have found writing regularly so people know I will post on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and know what I will post helps. I do cross links back to the posts from earlier in the week. people have most time to read blogs on a Saturday and Sunday. I was quite surprised at home many people are reading blogs well after midnight too. Most of my readers are in the UK but I bear in mind they are in other countries too. I also try to remember they are different ages and the cultural differences are important. the students I help in China now have access and with billions of people in China; I am not going to ignore them, I may even cater some blogs specifically to the Chinese.

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