Binge might not exactly be the right word, since that suggests doing stuff in excess. And while I haven’t done exactly that over the last few days, I have made a more concerted effort and learned some valuable lessons in the process:
1) Be yourself – In trying to build your social media presence, you will be using automated features that send out stuff on your behalf. Whatever is sent out still has to match your style and is true to the brand you are trying to build. If it isn’t, they are going to sound like robots, spam, or ads and that’s going to damage you worse than if you did nothing at all.
Being a cookie cutter won’t cut it. You have to offer a new take on things or some other compelling reason why people should invest their time and money in you. It all about the why and not the what in this case. Why should people network with you? Because you are an expert in your brand and your brand is about something that benefits them. Even if it only a laugh that makes their day!
2) Invest your time wisely – There is so much to do to build and maintain your social media standing it could be considered a full time job. I didn’t even try to do everything I could and I still felt a little overwhelmed. As point three says, find the tools that work for you. It will save you both time and sanity.
For example, the time I spend on Copromote selecting the posts that sound like me gives me 2 or 3 days where I’m posting on Twitter 3 times a day without even thinking about it. Add to that my normal posts I do either from this blog or other sources and I’ve found and my Twitter posting power has increased tremendously.
3) Invest your money wisely – Of course, most social media service is going to have a premium and none premium way of doing things. They have to pay for the servers, people, marketing, and other stuff that make a business profitable and still make their profit, after all. When you are starting out, seek out those services and platforms that give you more for less.
Right now, I’m not investing much of anything. I don’t have the budget for it. I’m not too worried about it, though. I’m not ready for the big push. My manuscript still has to be finished and published. My whole purpose for increasing my social media presence was to start the fire and get people aware of me and my series, so when the time comes to sell a few books, I can build on the foundation that I’ve laid.
4) Find the tools that work for you – Not everything will and that’s okay. You need to find stuff that you can use without thinking. As you add to the tools you use to build your presence, you are going to have less time to use them. You need stuff that will work for you in an instant and not leave you drained by the time you are done, so you can move onto the next task quickly and with the same amount of enthusiasm as when you started your daily rounds.
I have a Reedit and Pintrest account, both of which I’m probably not going to use for now. I haven’t really looked in how effective Reedit will be for me and Pintrest doesn’t share both text and pictures fast enough for the way I think. Both Stumble Upon and Scoop.it, which do the same thing, are more natural to me.
5) Respect your audience – They have lives and feelings too. You have more of a chance of building a longer relationship with them, if you build a community around them and be consistent in your message instead of jumping all over the place and trying to preach the latest fad just because it’ll score you the most points or make you the most money.
To this end, I split my Twitter account and have two Facebook presences (my profile and a page). One is for me as me, author and general computer geek, and the other is for the series. One’s a person and the other is a product and they have to be presented in two different ways.
6) Find out what other people are doing and incorporate it into your own way of doing things – People are successful because they found things that work for them. What they find might not work for you, but if you keep finding the same name over and over again as your network grows, there is great possibility that it might be of some benefit to you. Always remember point number 1 though.
7) Remember you are on the world’s stage, so act like it! – Mistakes are fine. They happen. I just made one today by using a feature that quickly tapped out my allocation of interactions on a service’s free plan. I regret that I did it, but learned a lesson. And if I want to continue to do what it did, I’ll just have to do it myself.
The stuff I’m talking about is the crazy photos or comments that you would share with friends, but not necessarily complete strangers. Social media is about reputation and everything that is posted on the Internet can be found eventually. You just have to read the daily newspapers to find that out. Besides the NSA, hack attacks that expose credit cards, sites that buy, trade, and store information on everything that you do that they can track, and stuff like that, there is also the fact that potential clients and employers use the ‘Net to judge who you are and what you can do for them. So you have to act if you are on the most important interview in your life (and still be relaxed about it!) In this case, the less that is said is more.
I’ve actually had this philosophy for quite a while, so it’s not really a new lesson, but an important one that I want to pass along every chance I get.