Step #1: One step.
You know you’re supposed to be social, but…
For too many people, even those who know they could reap real benefits by losing their online ‘lurker’ status, just getting going in social media is the hardest part. With all the channel options, and too little time available in the day, how can you get maximal social lift with a minimal commitment of time and effort? Read on.
Start with the basics.
For the sake of this discussion, let’s assume you have the bare minimum social footprint: pages on LinkedIn and Facebook. Experts battle it out daily on which is more important, but the fact is, both are equally critical keystones to have it place before starting anything else. Why? Because one, the other, or both are the ‘where’ to which your social strategy will be directing any generated interest (assuming you don’t also have a website or blog).
For many people, these two sites are the first search stop before any engagement, and if you’re not there, you’re missing a great opportunity to make a first impression.
1st steps don’t get a whole lot easier than this.
Seriously. If only all All-Star awards were this easy.
Do you have a LinkedIn All-Star Profile? Why not?
One of the nefarious techniques LinkedIn uses to get users to completely fill out their profiles is to award ‘soft’ achievements for section completion. It’s a gamification technique—that works. That illusive ‘All-Star Profile’ rating is worth achieving too. Why? LinkedIn, like it or not, has become a daily intel resource for just about everybody in business.
LinkedIn is way more than a résumé because it can also be a venue for you to demonstrate your expertise. It’s a minimally invasive matchmaker, too, as it’s always suggesting others you might be interested in ‘Linking’ to. And it is, without a doubt, one of the most powerful tools for sales prospecting, job hunting, ‘just checking them out before we meet’ 411 and more. No wonder Spencer X. Smith predicts that it will become the #1 source for business intelligence in the future. From my point-of-view, that future is NOW.
So if LinkedIn is such a powerful tool for business, is there any reason you shouldn’t have an ‘All-Star’ profile. Well, Federal Witness Protection program participants probably shouldn’t. But for everybody else, it’s a no-brainer, and an easy, yet critical first step in any effective social strategy. Need help? Check out these easy tips.
Pick a channel—and master it.
Some recommend blogging first. But me, I recommend dessert first. If blogging is fun and you love writing deep, meaningful takes on the things that interest you about your industry sector, by all means, start a blog. But if you hate writing an email, I’d start some place more amenable, like a social media channel that aligns with your interests. Here are some examples:
Love photography? Instagram.
Opinionated, but hate writing? Twitter.
Deep thinker / Thought Leader? Start a blog.
By aligning your social media activity with an interest you enjoy, you’re far more likely to keep doing it. This persistence is absolutely fundamental to keeping your face, ideas, and brand (personal or otherwise) on top of your audiences’ minds. This primary channel becomes your de facto Flagship, serving as the strategic hub for everything else you do in social media
One of the primary rules of social: quantity is quality. Just be sure it’s quality, relevant content. And remember: spammy, overtly salesy or poorly considered content is rarely appreciated, and can negatively affect your image online and in real life.
Cross-post where possible.
There was a time when cross-posting was frowned upon. Some still claim it’s a version of spam, redundantly polluting the web with identical content. To that, I ask “Why are there so many libraries? They all have the same books. Why isn’t there just one?”
Rather than create content that accrues value only to the semi- or completely walled gardens of LinkedIn, Facebook, Medium, et al, a smart social media strategy rightly demands that you seek to create content that accrues value to you. I can’t assume that a post to my blog will be seen by site-centric audiences. Therefore, I post them, sometimes in minimally modified versions, to all of them, and from within the LinkedIn / Facebook / Medium site itself (to ensure maximum exposure). Why? Because I can’t possibly be ‘top of mind’ unless I am. A blog snippet, with image, goes to Instagram, Twitter, and other short-form channels. But full versions of the post that originated at my blog are also posted wherever I can amplify the message.
There may be legitimate SEO reasons for not cross-posting if you’re an institution like the New York Times, but if you’re working to maximize your social impact, there’s no reason not to cross-post like crazy. Wouldn’t you like your book to be in every library there is? Well, the Internet is not, despite the wishes of many, a single library that everyone can access anytime, anywhere. You need to be where your audience is—and your audience is everywhere. Facebook-oriented people may spend the vast majority of their social activity within Facebook. Same with LinkedIn-oriented folks. Meet them where they live. Cross-posting makes it easy.
If you spent as much time as you should to create that social profile-enhancing blog post, shouldn’t it be conveniently accessible to those site-centric folks? Yes, it should.
– D.P. Knudten > Chief Collaborator > COLLABORATOR creative
©2017 D.P. Knudten / COLLABORATOR creative – all rights reserved
D.P. Knudten, the Chief Collaborator at COLLABORATOR creative, is a ~25-year veteran in advertising and marketing. Providing everything from freelance copywriting; content marketing strategy, creation, execution; and his NonFiction Branding™ system, D.P. collaborates creatively to identify, craft, and tell the true brand stories of complicated products, services, and companies throughout the United States.