For the past decade I have had the luxury to see social media progress from something kids do for fun into something businesses now spend millions to strategize their initiatives. Social media can be a godsend or become a disastrous failure for personal/business marketing. In my opinion, there are basic differences that distinguishes a person that takes social media seriously compared to someone that uses it casually.
1. Post Frequency
Quality not quantity. Contrary to popular belief, posting a lot of stuff doesn’t make you a social media expert. What good does it do if you create a new blog 4 times a day, send 30 tweets in an hour, and update your facebook status 12 times a day? A smart social media strategist will spread their updates strategically over the course of the entire day. They are knowledgeable and able to tell you what time of the day get the most response. The really smart ones are able to create a string of lead-ins to influence people what they really wanted you to do. Build hype, spread news, ask for feedback, show them what you’re working on, and present them with your end goal. Mix up the previously mentioned to an order that creates the best response from your audience.
2. Number of Friends/Followers
A lot of people slave over gaining followers. This is a double edged sword. Social media is more about building relationships and less about the numbers. You want to gain a lot of followers, but you don’t want to gain the wrong type of followers. If you spend your time attracting one loyal fan, that fan can attract 100 other fans. If you spend your time attracting 1000 disloyal fans, well, you got 1000 people that will tell 100,000 other people how annoying you are. Take your time and get to know people.
3. Social media gives me a voice
Social media is a medium for communication, but a casual user will always talk about themselves. You’re better off talking to wall. Adhere the 90/10 rule. Engage with other people 90% of the time and tell people what you’re personally working on 10% of the time. Social media is not an excuse to vomit your own accomplishments. It’s bad. It’s vomit.
4. Improper etiquette
Every social community is different. The way you say things on twitter is completely different than what you would say on Facebook. Understand the community that you’re in and modify your message accordingly. A casual user would get a aggregate tool that sends the same message across all of their social platforms. This is bad etiquette. This is being lazy.
5. No tracking methods
A casual user will just “wing it.” Becoming a smart social media strategist requires self-discipline with a plan. Want to get serious about social media? Start measuring your own performance. Track the amount of people who clicked on your links on twitter. Tag your link campaigns on Facebook. Get an analytic tool to decipher the number of people who opened your last newsletter. If you don’t track, you will never know what works and what doesn’t. Is your social efforts helping the bottom line?
What is your opinion? What makes people interesting to follow? What makes people annoying? What makes a good social media user?