Social media is by far one of the world’s greatest inventions. We are part of a collective society and this means that by nature we are social beings. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and others are the fastest, most effective ways to connect with people from all over the world. They provide us with a space where people can create an impact on the world, bring change, awareness, promote themselves as professionals; a place where people can keep in touch with their loved ones when away from home. For business matters, it is an absolutely genius and easy way of promoting yourself, your products and services. No matter if you are a B2B or B2C focused business, you need to be on social media. The nature of your business determines the time and budget you may spend on each channel, but being active on all popular social media sites is absolutely vital. Since social media plays such a profound role in our personal and professional lives, let's take out 4 important lessons it taught us over the years.
YOU ARE WHAT YOU POST
People often underestimate the power that their social media accounts hold. Without us being fully aware of it, they have become a representation system of who we are and what we stand for. Most companies will gladly admit that when making their final decision on a candidate, they take a quick look at their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. It’s not only important to make sure that your photo is decent, but you also have to be aware of what posts you are contributing with. Updating your Facebook pages daily is a great thing, but the content behind that should be well thought of. We’ve all made the silly mistakes of posting hangover statuses or have been the victims of the classic examples of friends hacking into our accounts to post something that they thought was amusing on behalf of ourselves. But think carefully before you allow this to happen (yes you can be completely in control of your accounts and be sure this wont be an issue, after all that’s why we have passwords). Everything you post online stays online. Even if you have a revelation about the stupidity behind a previous post and decide to delete it, remember that the internet holds all the information in its files. And one quick search on you can bring up all those things you wish you never said.
One of the best aspects of all social media channels is in their ability to give us (its users) the opportunity to connect with likeminded individuals from all over the world. LinkedIn is one of the best platforms for this and the most obvious one of course. But lets not forget to mention the importance of Instagram, which is becoming more popular for online networking. Thanks to its private messaging feature, making contacts is more accessible now on the platform. It is no longer all about the nice looking photography and 10 daily hashtags you post with it. Remember the saying you are who you surround yourself with? Well this goes for social media also. Take a look at your channels and go to your friends/followers list. Who are the people who like what you post? Who are those who engage with your content? Are they similar to you or perhaps more successful than you are at this point? Are they people you aspire to or are they complete strangers with whom you have nothing in common with? It’s really important to establish early on who are the people you wish to be connected to online. Yes, it is a cyber world, but it’s the one we live in today.
QUALITY NOT QUANTITY
Most social media expert sites will advise you to post at least 2-3 times a day to create more engagement and popularity on your pages. This is completely true and it goes without saying that being active on your accounts will create more of a reputation for yourself and your business. But don’t mistake the quality of your content over how often you post. It is better to just have one thing worthy of being read, than having three things with no real purpose behind them, just for the sakes of an update. Some questions to ask yourself about your content are: Would I find this interesting if I saw it on my newsfeed? Would I want to share this with my contacts? And most importantly Would I want people to see that I engaged with this post? Remember that every time you like, comment or share a post, your friends or followers will be able to see this. If you are proud and happy to publicly announce you like that particular post, then go ahead. This means your content is valuable and has potential.
GOOD VISUAL CONTENT IS EVERYTHING
Regardless of what social media platform you are using, the visual content you post is very important. It can bring much more engagement than a written one. On social media, less is more when we look at user behavior. The easier it is to read and see the content, the higher the change of people engaging with it. Images are a great way to market what you do and promote your product. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to make them pop out because thanks to Instagram and other photo editing and filter using apps, you can make your images stand out and be unique. Think about how you are marketing your product or service in that image. Is it meant to bring a smile on people’s faces when they see it? Are they supposed to feel shocked or terrified? Is your image meant to inspire them? Ask yourself questions that can predict the users’ behavior and help you get it right.
These are only a few of the many lessons the online world has taught us. Each channel has its own importance and everybody will have a preference. What we should always remember is that if used in a smart way, social media can actually bring a lot of value to your life and business.