Social Media Tips So Simple They'll Spook You
Social media has been around since the dawn of humankind. Wait, wait… let me explain that last statement a little. We humans have an innate desire to be social with one another. We want to like others, share things with others, celebrate others, communicate with others; we enjoy being social. We want to be social and communicate with one another, so we have developed different mediums over time to carry out those social goals. Even though the platforms of Facebook and Instagram haven’t been around since the beginning of time, “social medias” have been.
Somehow, we forget that social media is supposed to be social. Instead of catching up with our loved ones or sharing a funny video with a friend, we engage in pointless debates over politics or try to sell our latest multi-level marketing product. Both of those things are fine but imagine how the real world would receive those actions. Not very positively. Imagine someone that only went around starting political debates with others or someone who was trying to sell their product to everyone they came across. Both of those cases would be super annoying if met in real life. Social media needs to be social. Here are some principles that I apply to use my social medias as they were intended.
1. BE AUTHENTIC
The first principle is to be yourself! Let your life online reflect your life offline. It’s a turn off when someone is ingenuine in person, right? It’s also not cool when someone is ingenuine online. Don’t let that person be you.
2. BE HONEST
I saw two people arguing on Facebook a while ago. Halfway through the argument, however, one of the participants acknowledged that he didn’t have all the information and switched his position! It was refreshing to see someone practice honesty on social media. We practice honesty offline; why not practice it online as well?
3. BE TRANSPARENT
This principle is in the same vein as the previous two principles. Talk about and share content that you actually care about. If you care about LGBTQIA+ news, then talk about that stuff! If you care about curbing pro-abortion laws, then talk about that! There’s a line that you must walk when considering your audience. Will this offend them? Should I care? Ultimately, your social media is your social media. Talk about the stuff you want to talk about.
4. BE CONSISTENT
Post often. Comment often. Share often. Repeat.
5. BE ENGAGING AND INSPIRING
When I say “engaging” I mean genuinely taking an interest in others online. People take time to fill out their social profiles and share content that matters to them. Feel free to engage with others in a respectful, meaningful way online. And when I say “inspiring” I mean share your story. Sharing your story, even if it’s in little bits, is inspiring in and of itself. The point of being inspiring, however, is in showing up to give. Not to receive. Engage and inspire.
6. NEVER DELETE A COMMENT
The one rule that I have for myself on social media is never delete something I or someone else wrote. I don’t delete something I wrote simply because I wrote it. I should stand by what I wrote. And I don’t delete something someone else says. It’s the online equivalent of saying, “What you say doesn’t matter. Shut up.” I am accountable for what I say offline as well as online and I value equality of free speech.
7. DON'T OVER PROMOTE; BUILD RELATIONSHIPS
This goes out to those who have a personal brand or are selling something online. Please, for the love of God, do not overpromote yourself or your product. Focus on building actual relationships with people. I can’t tell you how many people I have removed who were overly promoting themselves or their products. It’s annoying and it’s not an effective use of social media. I would say a 1:10 ratio is acceptable for promotional stuff. That means one out of ten of your posts is promotional. The other nine posts are valuable to your friends and family.
8. SHARE GREAT STUFF
All the earlier principles can be summed up in this principle. Social media is meant to be social. We share cool things with people we like. So, if you’re a gamer, share cool gaming stuff. If you’re a theatre junkie, then share some of the cool plays/performances that are going on around the city. If you love music, then share some of your favorite artists or songs. Sharing is caring. The biggest compliment that you can receive on social media is to have others share the content you post. Don’t just focus on getting likes. Focus on sharing “shareable” content.
About the writer
Tyler Hanna, NCU Enactus President and Entrepreneurship + Marketing major is leading a six week social media academy. All are welcome! Details below:
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
North Central University
910 Elliot Avenue
South Minneapolis, MN
55404 United States (map)