Social Media Strategy: Be Real
This is a guest post by my social media – music world friend Stan Stewart. Yes, we are friends, although we’ve never met in person – it’s the power of social networking, at work… More about Stan following this article. Thanks for tuning in – Trace
If you want to, you can read dozens of how-to posts about how you should run your social media campaigns. They are everywhere these days. And it’s a great idea to find out as much as you can about whatever social networks you’ve selected for your brand or personal use. But this post is about something much more simple for each of us: being the real you.
I’ve been on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media for many years. Over the years, I had accrued a few clients who have trusted me with their social media.
Eventually, I gave up workouts, delayed mealtimes and failed to practice my art in order to keep the tweets flowing. Twitter, in particular, had become an obsession with me. Then, some life changes arose in my life that required more than the usual demands on my time. And like so many experiences that seem like hardships at the time, one of the gifts that I gained from this time in my life was this:
In both physical and virtual social circles, the best you can do is be real.
One of the ways that I had to become real on social media was to reduce my expectations of my presence there. With my perfectionist tendencies, I insisted that once patterns were in place on a social network, I could not let up on them. For example, on one client account, I had a daily “quota” of old style retweets. During this time of change in my life, I simply couldn’t keep this going. Emotional/physical reality takes precedence over virtual reality. Like it or not. With a reduced set of retweets and much to my surprise, the account continued to gain followers and influence anyway. This was a huge lesson for me.
Social media is an extension of our other social ways of connecting. Hopefully, you don’t put on a facade that is fake with your friends. The same should apply to social networks. If you try to be something other than who you are, it will eventually mess things up anyway. The real you always wants to come through and so it will: front ways or sideways. And the direct approach is better.
One of the ways you can be the real you is to set realistic expectations. As I learned with the client account, these may be the number of updates per day. But being realistic can also have to do with how much you reach out to other people and how much you let them come to you; what style you bring when answering responses from other people; whether you interact with one person at a time or many; and so on.
Social media is, again, just an extension of our other social interactions and so it looks very similar.
(A word of caution: There is one way that social media is entirely different from physical interactions with other people: it’s all “public”. You might be able to have a quiet breakfast with a trusted friend and expect that what you say there won’t be heard by other people. That’s never the case on social media. Anything you say there can be spread to anyone who wants to read it. It’s good to keep this in mind. But that’s another post…)
What ways have you found to be the real you on social media?
Stan Stewart is a man, blogger, and musician with a social media presence. He is seeking to align his musical knack for improv with his life which has often been far too structured and premeditated. It seems to be working.
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