Do you know how to use social media? Or any other social sites for that matter?
I’m not going to lie, something has been driving me up the freckin’ wall.
No wait, this outrage deserves a full on exclamation of my frustration.
Let’s try this again. Something has been driving me up the fucking wall! And it should be making you crazy as well. (Do I have your attention?)
There’s no way that it can’t be. If you’re like me at all, you’ve spent countless hours creating content on your blog and website, sharing updates on The Facebook or the tweeters or the Pinterest or Instagram or Tumblr or Google+, put blood, sweat and tears into your business and brand only to end up talking to yourself.
What do you get back for all your hard work? Zilch.
Or you haven’t spent countless hours on social media or your blog because the non-responsive abyss of death has stared you in the face one too many times.
And all you really, really want is more followers, to get a reply to your social update or maybe, if we dream big, to make a sale or two so you can leave your boring day job or be able to afford that new shiny toy in the shop window downtown. For me, that’s a new martini shaker and bar set.
You might have thought that you were doing something wrong. I know that thought has crossed my mind when I’ve sent out something into the social sphere that I thought was pure gold, only to be met by silence. Unless of course the twerps or peeps or igers wanted me to do something… Like check out their new blog post, or vote for their website or click, like, share or comment.
After months of exasperation, frustration and general crappiness, it all came to one pivitol question for me: Have I been shunned?
Do you know what I’m talking about here? I think you do. I can feel your exasperation through the computer screen. Of course I hadn’t been shunned. And neither have you. How do I know? I *think* I have a solution for that. Nay, I *know* I have a solution for it.
I’ve seen 5X the growth in my small business over the past year and it’s because of how I use my social media and blog. You want more response to your tweets, more likes on your Facebook page, more follows on your Instagram, more people to add you to circles and more comments on your blog post? Here it is…
Be social. For the love of all that is good in the world, stop automating your updates. Just stop it. Stop scheduling, stop auto-updating when a blog post goes live, stop avoiding the social platforms. Automation is the death of all things social. And the problem that’s creating this non-responsive abyss of death we’re all familiar with is in fact, automation.
I know I’m going to get a slew of emails from marketers and bloggers telling me how automation is the way forward and if you sync your accounts and the magical man in the machine updates all your platforms at once it’ll save you so much time and without it your business or blog or brand would fail, the world would fall apart and the skies would be filled with fire and all children would become tools of the devil and we’d resort to eating each other and the pigs would rule all.
But if I can channel my inner Dr. Phil (and believe me, I am no Dr. Phil fan), let me ask you ONE thing: How’s that working out for ya?
…don’t even ask me how I know that he says that. I can’t explain it.
Are you seeing a decent return on your investment? Social, monetary, community growth or otherwise? Are you projecting the growth, success and visibility you want to see? Or are you shouting into the non-responsive abyss of death?
If you really want to see a return for your work, let’s try something else. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. So let’s give sanity a try. Let’s give humanness a shot.
“Let’s put the social back in social media!”
Click to tweet this!
We’ve gotten so wrapped up in the media part of social media, we’ve forgotten the social. And I hate to say it (actually, I don’t. I love it) like all good business, the return on your investment comes from connections. Not networking, but real, genuine connections. You want more followers, likes, shares, retweets, pins and comments? You have to take the time to give those same things back to the people you value in your industry and community. And that means you have to show up and actually be on the platforms.
I want you to succeed with your goals and your dreams and that ALL starts with being present. Building relationships. Taking the time to invest in your audience, your community and your peers and having fun with that. Then, and only then, can you make a withdrawal.
So here’s your homework. 4 Things you can do right now – today – to do it right.
If you want to know how to use social media and the other social platforms to see a real return on your investment, these 3 things are where we start. The key word being do. Intention is great, but nothing comes from nothing. You have to actually execute. Here they are:
1. Unschedule and unsync. Do this for your social accounts and your blog. Then create a simple checklist that you can follow every time you publish a new post. I have one I use that breaks this down even further by Facebook group, pin boards and I actually schedule my activity on social platforms so I don’t waste time.
Ultimately, it takes a whopping 20 minutes to update manually and specifically to the platforms you’re on and in ways that show your audience that you care enough about them to show up. If you want them to invest in you, you must first invest in them.
2. Listen to this one podcast. Even if you don’t listen to podcasts. Those of you who follow my posts know that I’m a huge advocator of this podcast with Scott Stratten and Cliff Ravenscraft. I suggest you listen to it. It’s a little long but if you’re cleaning the house, driving to work, crafting some paper art or working out at the gym, listen to it. Absorb it. Then apply it to not only how you use Twitter but to all your social platforms.
3. Cut out the bullshit. Once you listen to the show, un-follow people. Get down and dirty. Be ruthless and cut out the people who offer nothing of value for you. Everyone you follow should either provide friendship/support, informative and helpful information or be entertaining. If they don’t provide one of those 3 things for you, get rid of them. Then find people who ARE present on social media and ARE worth your time. This will not only clean up your feeds so YOU get the content you’re interested in reading and engaging with, it’ll save you the time of scrolling through excessive noise and inspire you to be active on the platform.
4. Invest in your community. Start giving back. For every group you’re in on Facebook, every community you’ve joined on Google+, every group you’ve joined on LinkedIn, or every time you update Twitter, take 20 minutes each day to give back. Reply to other people’s updates, thoughtfully re-share their material, comment on their blog posts. Do this for 30 days. Not only will you start to see more followers and engagement in your feeds, but you’ll start do develop the relationships that will pay off in the long term. You can do 20 minutes.
That’s a total of 40 minutes a day that you should be spending on your brand on social media.
Let me ask you this: What can you change – right now – to make your brand a priority? What can you do less of, omit or delegate so you have 40 minutes a day to promote your own stuff and give back to your community so YOU get the full return on your effort and make your business, blog or brand better? Email me and tell me exactly that – I’d love to hear from you!
Speaking of other platforms, you may also want to check out how to engage on Instagram and Pinterest as well for other specific tips and techniques to grow your traffic, audience and increase the return on your investment on two of the most popular & quick growing platforms right now.
In essence, this kind of approach to social media and blogging – a social and relational one – is really the only way to leverage your brand, website and content in a productive, profitable and long term way. That’s how I’ve seen 5X the growth in my business over the past year; There’s no reason you can’t see the same thing.
Do you auto-schedule your updates? Sync your social accounts? Will you change that? What are you going to do differently to foster and nurture your community? What’s your experience on social media? What do you find the most frustrating about it or blogging? Share your thoughts below or shoot me an email – for reals! I promise to reply personally.