An Honest View on Social Media

Social Media

Yesterday I spent most of the day in wonderment and awe watching as my updates from Twitterfeed automatically fed into Twitter! The benefit of course is that you don’t have to sit there all day and type your thoughts into your 140 character limit box. However, doing this would mean that we would all end up as automatons, and nothing would actually come from our thoughts, through our hands tapping the keyboard of life! Nothing against automatic updates, however, I do think that one needs to create a strategy for any social media.

So here are some hints and tips that I suggest you use as your Twitter strategy, to ensure that people meet the real you and not just the salesperson selling a zillion products!

Take time in selecting the name for your twitter account, think about the messages you want to send to your followers. Add a photo of yourself to add credibility, as connecting with the picture of a plant won’t really help, unless in fact you really do look like a plant! Add your location, a website address or connection to your blog and add a little bio, doesn’t need to be much at all. You can also set-up a new background making your twitter page a bit more chic or even upload a new background image. All you have to do is click on the SETTINGS link and you will find all the sections that can be customised to your liking!

Now once you are set-up, do some research on say your favourite hobby, for example, one of mine is Art. This will bring back many institutions that are linked to art, magazines that report on art and other people who have a general passion for art. Once you have done this research start following some of the above and see what they are talking about.

Now that you are a follower of someone, they in turn will start following you too. A word of advice don’t just add any old thing in your 140 char box – twitterers like to see how your posts can add some knowledge or value to them, otherwise they will just stop following you as there will be no value add. For example, when someone you are following poses a question on their twitter, I encourage you to answer the individual, in order for that instant connection to be made and that space in between is filled with a meaningful interaction. So, again start to make those connections and others will start to follow you and also trust the content that you have to offer. One little pointer if you hover at the side of someone’s twitter you will see a little star and below that a little arrow – click on the arrow and you will be able to reply to that person. The reply will be prefixed by an @username. The person will instantly know that you have personally replied.

One of the other tips that will help you when adding website addresses into your 140 char box, if you are pointing people to a news link or some other source of info, is using tools such as  or TinyURL. These are tools that shorten the URL to make sure you can get it into the required 140 char box. Try  and create yourself a username and password, that way you can see some statistics about how many clicks you get on your twitter, which locations people are clicking from i.e. UK, US etc. I use this one and am sure the others are pretty similar.

Honest View Of Social Media

Building credibility is a BIG DEAL which I mentioned earlier. If you are planning to use twitter or other social media networks for selling your product, make sure that you are probably not selling 100% of your time! This will put people off you, your product and your credibility will of course go rolling down that very long hill. Be subtle, add your thoughts initially about what is happening in your world, tell people that you are working on something and will let them know about it when you are finished. Let them be the first to see it and maybe add their feedback on it. Don’t just send the product out to all who are following you. REMEMBER what I said earlier; create those connections by replying to other posts and you will have made some friends who can help you. Once you have tested your product and got that feedback, start to ease it out to your network – I would say perhaps the split should be 60% informational / human posts (what you are up to etc.) and 40% adding value to others (i.e. selling your product or service). Other twitters may have a different viewpoint on this.

Social media allows you to – LOWER THE COST OF MARKETING YOUR PRODUCT – and you can do this by pointing your product to your network as low cost advertising which provides you with an instant selling point. REMEMBER all this is just a message and will take you about 5 minutes or less to come up with! NO MORE is there any need to let your money go down the drain for costly advertising!

So to cap this blog off, here is a summary:

Take the plunge into starting a social media account, sign-up whether it is Twitter, Facebook etc.;

  1. Create an account, add some personal information, and add a picture so that others can see the real you;
  2. Research hobbies or something related to your work and start to follow those people – in Twitter you can just click on the Follow button and you are instantly tracking what that fellow twitterer has to offer;
  3. Post meaningful and useful information that will add value or provide good solid knowledge for those that are curious about you;
  4. Use the URL shortening tool to scale down those football pitch sized website addresses;
  5. Build a following and test a product that you are thinking of launching to market – low cost marketing – in fact there is no cost apart from your time!
  6. The split between information and selling should be 60%/40% – this is my humble opinion I am sure others out there will have different ideas. Perhaps, this is far too much selling!

Lastly, enjoy your interactions on social media, you are only building your network and make it fun for yourself and others!

PS see yesterday’s blog as I talk a little more about how I automated Twitter!