This was my first tweet, back in November 2008. Nothing witty or awe-inspiring. I was just sharing a simple update about something I was doing at that time. If you’ve ever heard Biz Stone, the co-founder of Twitter, talk about how the company got started, you would understand that those corny, seemingly meaningless updates were the exact foundation of one the biggest social media platforms we have. Once you start getting the hang of things with social media, your true personality will shine. And that’s what you’re really after.
There are always going to be folks who caution about the dangers of using social media. Some of those fears are valid.
However, I look at social media like The Force in Star Wars. There is a Good Side and then there is a Dark Side. If you let it take over, it can have sinister consequences. You might get too caught up in yourself and start taking things too personal, and everyone, all of a sudden, becomes your enemy even though you might not have met them. But if you learn how to master it, you’ll be able to use it for good and people will want to follow you. Since we have become a social media first society now, I always encourage folks to embrace social media but not to treat it like the gospel. The reason why? Your reputation is permanently out on display. So when you get on social media, create a reputation that amplifies your brand.
Here are some tips I’ve learned over the years.
- Think of each social media account as your own publishing platform. Make sure they reflect the thoughts and values that you want people to associate with your brand.
- Before you start posting, don’t forget to come up with a strategy for how to manage your social media accounts. Are you just going to post about your business or your personal life, or both? How frequently are you going to post? And what types of content do you want to post to distinguish yourself as an expert on a topic?
- If you have a Facebook page for your business or small organization, even if it’s just you, don’t make it a personal page. You’re going for professional, not creepy stalker.
- Use lots of humor, even if you’re doing something as serious as saving the children. Humor is a way to the soul. When you’re goal is to persuade people, you’re going to find more luck achieving that goal when you create an environment where people can let their guards down.