I often find that Social Media comes across as a big scary monster too many people who have yet to scope the fundamental utility each network and platform offers users. I’ll share why you should take care and avoid the murky waters of social media, yet still have lots of fun with it.
When people seek advice on the right approach or how to get started even, I find that not only is a large audience still generally unaware of the 1, 2, 3’s of social presence, they are also concerned with such things as privacy and content curation – whether for personal or professional reasons. Often times this ‘lack’ of awareness is due simply to intimidation and fear of the unknown.
One of the first things I learnt very quickly, probably because I have been ‘online’ for a few years and by that I mean I’ve done the rounds with MySpace, Orkut, university-level Facebook and so forth; social isn’t new – it’s just the old with a facelift. If you’ve read my other ramblings, you’ll know I say this often.
Still, there are rules of engagement and, in order to capitalize on the efficiency each platform offers, it’s good to go through the various (and free) guidelines offered by the likes of @Mashable, @TechCrunch, @Hubspot and our good friend @ThisIsSethsBlog – all of whom are masters in creating reach. Isn’t that what social media is all about? Forget the buzz words that everyone’s uses; instead, start by focusing on where the river flows and find effective ways to channel that noise in your favor. I’ll contradict myself later.
I’m personally concerned with the mush being created when each social platform for a brand is interlinked and the noise is repeated across the various points of presence, in exactly the same manner. Next you’ll see Instagram photos cross-posted on Pinterest…just to maintain presence on both, when all you need is just the one.
Social media, I try to tell myself, shouldn’t be so much about gaining followers by spreading yourself too thin, but about generating genuine, long-lasting interest and scaling with care. Like PBJ sandwiches, lay it on thick, man. Make it tasty and keep them coming back for more! I’m no pro but I think the basics of establishing online presence and digital storytelling can include (but are not limited to) using the right social platforms that bring positive impact to you and your brand (especially if you are your brand). This means that maybe (and I’m just speculating here) you don’t have to be on twitter because half a billion people are. That said, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a test drive before dismissing its potential.
The way I see it, with all the noise being channeled in popular directions, it’s the little buggers swimming opposite the current that tend to pick up solid mileage (the contradiction). Think about it yourself, when there are a billion accounts on facebook, you are only relevant to your friends/immediate circles. The same way, when brands brag about themselves, its friends of the brand that care – the one’s you already have onboard. Once you get the hang of a platform, exploit it by taking chances and doing crazy things – you never know how interesting the results can be.
While it’s highly crucial to retain their attention, you also think about growing your audience. The answer may not lie with any one social platform, but it also may not be waiting for you when all platforms have your name on them. Like your battles, pick your social networks wisely. We were always social; we’re only just realizing ways to concentrate the energy.
Photo Credit: janaandjoe.blogspot.com
Zohare is a tri-lingual communications professional, with a Bachelors in life, now living and earning in Qatar. He still tweets as @JJBaybee