Over the last few years, I've been gathering social media lessons, both through my own experiences as well as those of others. If you start learning from them now, I hope you'll find that 2011 will be a more fruitful year in your social media life.
Here they are Letterman-style:
8. It’s easy to get caught up in reading interesting blog posts or playing Mafia Wars on Facebook. Figure out your social media schedule and stick with it. You’ll thank me later.
7. Building on the previous point, if you aren’t using any form of social media yet and you don’t have a really good reason – like your hands are broken and have been for years – you need to get with the program. If Oprah and Bill Marriott can get their organizations to commit to social media, your brand can get going, too.
6. Kill the brag-athon. There are many, many ways to toot your own horn without bragging. If you don’t know how, Google “Twitter without bragging.” Learn the ways and use them wisely.
5. Don’t get over-zealous in your sharing. Recently someone posted some information about a call they had scheduled with me on Twitter. It was no big deal, but be careful. Loose lips sink ships; avoid inadvertently over-sharing with your social networking updates.
4. Don’t be boring by writing content that your market can find anywhere. Dig deep to identify and learn how to correctly represent your brand’s personality. Also, take some time to point out what makes your company different from the rest of the businesses operating in your industry. Hint: Dare to go beyond offering “stellar customer service” as a differentiator.
3. For those who are worried about what people might say about you once you start using social media, two thoughts: a) they already are talking about you (gasp!) and b) to quote Dr. Seuss, “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.” Social media is like voting; you may not like the system, but unless you vote, you don’t have a right to complain about the outcome.
2. Social media and social networking are business tools. It’s not a popularity contest. I realize this might bring up some “high school stuff” for many people. It did for me when all the people who never spoke to me in high school all of a sudden wanted to connect on Facebook. Do what I did: come to grips and deal with it. This is your company’s image we’re talking about here.1. Learn how to be personable without being personal. This isn’t just a nuance. Many times, in their effort to “keep it real,” brand personalities over-share and end up in hot water. People don’t have to know about you personally to do business with you online; they just need to think they do. This is not about being inauthentic; it’s about keeping your personal life, well, personal.