How To Social Media

WIP

  • Everyone should have a Twitter profile. It’s even more ubiquitous than email. It’s an environment that allows for stranger-to-stranger communications (in a way that Facebook and many others don’t. Excellent starting point.)
  • Everyone should have a homepage, a home on the Web.
  • Everyone should have a list of things that you strongly believe in or care about.
  • All of this should be as searchable as possible. This maximizes serendipity.
  • As far as possible, follow people, not pages or professional accounts. If you do this well, you will still receive breaking news, gossip, etc. Because if something is important, people will share it. Trust people.
  • Don’t follow anybody who posts links all day without responding to people. These are broadcasters. You want to build relationships.
  • Don’t bother following the big guns or celebrities unless you have a clear idea of what you’re going to say to them and how it’s going to help them. Follow rand fishkin because he posts SEO stuff worth reading.
  • If a person posts their own comments when sharing links, it’s a sign that they’ll probably reply to you.
  • You can use favorites strictly to keep track of things you want to read later, or use them as Likes. I do the latter. Send good vibes whenever appropriate. It wins people over.
  • Whenever possible, use a person’s name. If they link to their site, scan through it and look for useful cues or information about them. (Once made the mistake of tweeting an anti-capitalist about advertising. A quick scan of his profile would’ve averted it.)
  • Whenever you’re #bored and have nothing to do (good joke I know), scroll through your feed looking for personal information- people feeling stressed, people celebrating things, etc.  Say something nice and supportive. Celebrate with people, tell them their kids are adorable. It goes a longer way than you’d expect.
  • Ask questions from time to time. People like to help when they have the chance, and those interactions build relationships.
  • When you see the opportunity to help someone out, do so. Sometimes people ask questions that could be quickly Googled. Hand them the answer on the platter- it makes you look really smart ans helpful.
  • Say hi to everyone who follows you. Ask a question (I like to ask “read any good books lately?”) Sometimes people don’t answer, but when they do, it can be the start of a more engaging relationship. Plus you get a book recommendation out of it. Ask for food suggestions, travel suggestions, whatever. It’s an invitation.
  • Give people a reason to follow you. What have you worked on? What do you care about? Put it in your user bio. A list of nouns is fine. “Scifi novels, scotch, futurism, intermittent fasting,” that sort of thing. The idea is to give people things to talk about if they want to talk to you.

Repeat:

  • social media is first and foremost a monitoring tool
  • networking, communications
  • Profile- your resume/contact point. media people reach you here. I recommend using your name if possible. Use your Face. Link to your blog, about page. I like to do my research about people.
  • Follow quality people you want to build relationships with. It’s tempting to follow celebrities, news sites, Mashable, etc. I strongly advise against it, unless you have a very clear sense of how you get utility from it.
  • If a person is a genuinely useful source of information then sure. If they’re information is only of value to anybody because they’re famous, then nah.
  • Make it easy as possible for me to learn anything important or significant about you.
    • What is your best work?

Social Media Thoughts

  • Social media is a precious space. It’s interesting because it’s halfway between private and public and we’re still learning how to navigate this, as a species.
  • First do no harm. Don’t annoy or inconvenience people. Don’t tweet 20 things at once unless you have a really, really good reason for it.
  • Be kind and friendly. We try to curate our friends list to be full of people who might potentially be interested in our product.
  • Before following someone, look through their feed. Do they reply people? If they don’t, they’re broadcasters and we can’t build relationships with them. Do they post excessively? If so, they might clutter our feed. Minus point.
  • Reply to people’s emotional moments. If they’re happy about something, celebrate with them. “Nice!! -v” If they’re unhappy, commiserate. “Wow, that sucks. I’m so sorry. -v”
  • You can attempt humor, but first be reasonably sure that you won’t be misinterpreted negatively- and if you are,  never get defensive. Apologize. If things get ugly, abort all smileys and anything that might get misconstrued as sarcasm.
  • When tweeting links at people, sell the benefit. Tweet in reply to whatever they’re saying, not out of the blue. This ensures that they can see the context and feel like you’re continuing a conversation, not spamming them.
  • Ask genuine questions and take people’s input constructively, even if they’re mean about it. Sometimes we can disarm people.

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