This post is by Clare Lancaster, of WomenInBusiness.com.au.
As I was sitting down to write my first social media column for ProBlogger I was thinking about the best place to start. Should I do a run through of the basics or jump right into reporting on my latest experiment?
My sense of flow and logic won over and here we are at the beginning, a very good place to start.
I could talk about the things we’ve all heard before. Such as how important it is to observe the etiquette on social networking platforms—to behave like you’re at a friend’s cocktail party, not a sales conference.
Or the fact that you should build your network slowly, with focus, and engage people in conversation—not drill out your sales message and expect people to pay attention.
Or that networking platforms like Twitter are a communication tool—not a marketing tactic.
But that’s not very exciting, is it? Instead, here are 5 foundations of social media success that no one talks about.
1. Nice guys finish first.
Just as building your blog business is a marathon, not a sprint, so is your path to social media success. Resist the urge at all times to automate your network building. People want to do business with people they like. Be a nice guy and help people out. Answer questions generously. Connect people who would benefit from knowing each other.
2. People like people who like them.
This one’s all about ego (theirs, not yours). The first thing businesses want to know when they come to me for advice is, “How can I get the attention of my audience? No one is talking to me.”
I say: talk to audience; don’t wait for them to talk to you. Notice individuals and what they’re doing before you expect anyone to notice you and what you’re doing. Don’t just notice them, promote them.
3. Transparency isn’t everything.
There’s a lot to be said about transparency. Again, something we’re told all the time is that transparency and authenticity are key to social media success. Yes, people like to see behind the scenes of your business and what you’re creating. Yes, they like to know the human side of your brand. No, they don’t want to know what you had for breakfast. Or that you’re broke. Above all, don’t be boring.
4. Position yourself.
We’ve established that people do business with people they like. So does your network know what you do? You want to position yourself to be top of mind for a topic, and the easiest way to do this is to live and breathe it. If you’re blogging about your passion, this will come naturally.
5. Pay special attention to your fans.
Do you know who your fans are? Now before you get all Rock Star on me, I mean the people who comment on your blog and your Facebook page, retweet your posts and always open your emails. Know them, connect with them, and make them feel special.
So how did I go? Are there any questions you have about the basics of social media? Are there any topics you’d like me to talk about in more depth? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Clare Lancaster offers blog reviews to help improve the business performance of your blog. She is passionate about helping people make their own path in work and life and can be found on Twitter most days (@clarelancaster).