The Social Life
I tell people social media is a lifestyle – and most take it as a joke. Which isn’t entirely inaccurate. I made the off-handed comment with a friend of mine while we were chatting one day and she was asking me how I do what I do, but then I started thinking more about how true the sentence was. While many parents might describe their kids as “living on social media” there’s some serious truth to those statements!
I work with people every day who are confused or frustrated by social media; how it works, how you do it, why they are unsuccessful where others are getting sky-high numbers… they want to learn the “secret.” The biggest piece of advice I have for anyone wanting to have a social media presence or to learn about social media is to start using it and using it frequently!! Social media follows the same principles as a lifestyle change – it’s not going to be easy, you’ll forget, you’ll need a new routine… but it’s definitely more forgiving than an over-eating binge on a cheat day.
Sounds really simple, right? But you wouldn’t believe how terrified people are at being “wrong” or doing something “bad” or “stupid” on social media that they are too afraid to start even trying to use it.
Take baby steps.
- Sign up for an account.
This is the easy/free part of the process. Sign up for a free account with whichever social media platform you’re wanting to explore. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr… you name it, get an account.
Start following/liking other accounts (preferably businesses in your industry or people you know personally – don’t be that weirdo that sends random requests to strangers!).
Pay attention to what other people are posting, how they are posting, how frequently they are posting, and the type of content they are posting (what it is about, if it’s text only, a video, an image, a photo, a GIF (pronounced: ja-if), if they use hashtags, etc.). How long is the text of their post? Short or long?
- Check out the features!
What else does the social media platform bring to the table? Is it diverse like Facebook with a Messanger, Stories, voice clips, group chat, group video, etc. or is it more simple like Snapchat with stories and direct messages?
- Watch some more.
This time, take a few notes or screenshots of posts you like and why you like them. These will help serve as examples when you go to put your own content schedule together.
Time to dive in! Give it a try – this not only help you figure out how the platform functions but also gives you an idea of what to expect after you have published your content.
- Engage with others.
Social media is about being SOCIAL – believe it or not. So like, comment, share, double-tab, react, etc. with content posted by others that you genuinely like and appreciate or support.
- Watch, post, and engage some more!
If you find you’re not doing you “social media exercises” like you’re supposed to, set a reminder on your phone or in your calendar.
- Try, try, try again…
And if you decide you want to add a new platform or you don’t like the first network you chose, pick another!