With all the different social media options—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google Plus, YouTube (to name the big ones)—it’s overwhelming trying to keep up. I recommend you sign up for all the ones that sound interesting to you, read a little about the types of content that do best on the different platforms (Gary Vaynerchuck’s Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook (JJJRH) which I own and love is an excellent resource), then after trying each out for a few months, decide which one(s) you can consistently commit to and rock them! I’ve decided to focus on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Periscope (more on this last one later). The advantage of signing up for all of them initially is if you decide to try the social media in the future, you won’t have to fight to get your preferred username.
Is social media only for bloggers?
In my opinion, no. Social (that’s how the cool kids refer to social media) is such a part of our daily lives: Twitter now breaks news probably more than your local television or radio station, and due to the real-time nature of social media, you get the information sooner (no waiting until the 11:00 pm news for that update!). Potential employers and dates google you before they meet you, so having a curated social media presence that you’re proud of is key, and there’s no better way to have such than to create it yourself.
Yes there can be drama on social media but just like drama in our day-to-day lives, you can get into it as much—or as little—as you want. Remember: social media is full of real people, so the same types of people and things that you deal with at work, on the street, or at social functions are the same ones you’ll find online. Just find your “peeps” (people) and you’ll be fine. (As I wrote this I thought of a certain Nitty and her aversion to a certain social media platform!)
Know the best types of content for the platform!
It drives me nuts when people link several social media platforms to each other, for example, all their Instagram photos get posted on Facebook or Twitter, all their tweets appear on Facebook or vice versa. There’s a difference between posting the SAME information three times, each customized and optimized for the platform, and reposting the exact same thing on multiple social media (insert my “boos” and thumbs down for the latter!): the first is fantastic (and totally doing it JJJRH style) and the latter is spammy in my opinion; granted it’s only spammy to those following the same person on all available platforms. Whenever I see this I wonder why I’m following someone on three different platforms, only to see the exact same information posted at nearly the same time.
That said, I no longer spend much time thinking about it: we have to be ourselves and quite frankly no one has hired me as their social media strategist (yet) so I can keep my opinion to my
self blog. Besides, there may be an advantage to this strategy that I don’t get. “It’s easier this way” or “it allows me to maintain a presence on lots of different social media” doesn’t resonate with me because I think with a little bit more effort one could make a more genuine and authentic connection on the various platforms.
What to do if you stop using a social media platform
As I said earlier, try out the various social media platforms available to see what you like. Admittedly some are better for bloggers or people with a business to promote, but a non-blogger would feel totally comfortable on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest.
If you stop using a particular platform and you’re a blogger, remove it from your blog links: it doesn’t do your brand much good to have links to outdated content. However, if the content is evergreen (i.e. valuable no matter when it’s viewed—tomorrow versus two years from now) then you can keep the link to the social media accessible for your readers.
The new kid in town: Periscope
Have you heard of Periscope? It’s (yet another) social media platform but what’s been blowing me away is how people are using it! Let me break it down for you: it’s a live video you create with your phone and broadcast to the world (you can do private broadcasts if you prefer). Wait, stay with me! What’s blowing me away is the level of engagement it encourages with your audience: while you’re broadcasting, people type messages in response to what you’re saying and these messages appear on your phone’s screen, can be seen by all participants, and you get to reply immediately. People can also tap their screen to show you love by “sending hearts”.
Engagement is leading to serious cash for some people. In online business circles, people often talk about the “know-like-trust” factor: people only do business with people they know, like, or trust. There are various ways to build this know-like-trust factor, and your blog is a big part of it. But a quick “scope” (Periscope broadcast) can grow your k-l-t enormously—it shows your personality like a carefully prepared webinar can’t, and gives you tons of opportunities to share valuable information casually. I’ve lost count of how many scopes I’ve listened to this week. Two days ago I listened to the scope of a woman who has sold over $50,000 of web design services completely through Periscope; another person created a “Periscope for business” course that earns her $500 to $1,000 dollars per day on Periscope!
Before I heard of these women who are crushing it on Periscope, something about the platform appealed to me, even though being on live camera is not something I’d normally do. I had to give myself a pep talk before doing my first scope on Monday, but I’m hooked. My only concern (aside from the need to watch my data usage!) is that my scopes are boring, but practice makes perfect—I’ve already learned from my second and third scopes, which in my opinion weren’t as good as my first one! Check out my first scope—though you’ll see me responding to people, the recording doesn’t show the comments and hearts—I need to look into options for preserving a scope because they only last for 24 hours.
If you want to join the fun, download the Periscope app (available for iPhone or Android) and add me: @goodnaijagirl. You may not see any of my scopes due to their short shelf life of 24 hours, but I should be broadcasting soon. Most of the scopes I’ve been watching have been online business-related, but I’m thinking of sharing snippets of my life, like Instagram but more real (messed up hair and all!).
Which social media platform(s) are you on?