source: woofer_kyyiv @ flickr
“Sure, sure”, you’re saying to yourself.
This guy is clearly a nobody. He’s got no background, he’s not famous, and I think I have more followers than him on Twitter.
Why would he even dare to think that he’s better than I in social media?
Worthy reader, you’re going to read this post and think that I’m just bragging here.
But, you’re also going to leave with a set of action items that happens naturally for me and will become natural for you.
You see, I grew up with Facebook and Twitter. Quite literally. When Facebook first allowed anyone ages 13 and over to register, I had just turned 13.
And what has happened with people that grew up with social media is that we have developed the innate sense of sharing and the natural sense between great posts and TMI (too much information).
Here are three things that I do on a daily basis, things that connect with people, and things you should take away from this article.
#1. Be witty, inspirational or helpful, but only one.
With any tweet, I seek to 1) make people laugh, 2) motivate or 3) offer information. It’s the crux of getting any form of useful attention to yourself.
But, if you try to do all three at once, you’re going to lose yourself somewhere. People my age call this “trying too hard” or “too much information”.
When we see an inspirational quote, we’re launched into a brief spark of energy and deep thought.
When we see a witty tweet, we chuckle and admire the creativity of the tweet.
When we see a helpful link or tip, we have a small “a-ha!” moment.
Notice how we don’t have “a-ha!” moments when we laugh, nor do we feel motivated about life when we see a link to a blog post.
Pick one, and only one.
We send a different message with each tone, and mixing these tones will undermine whatever it is you want to say.
Furthermore, if you don’t have any of the three, your message will be lost. Lost, meaning nobody will care to look at it.
These are the Facebook statuses that get zero likes and zero comments, which is more disappointing to us millenials than you may think.
These are the messages that say “dinner and movie with the family~” or “this cereal tastes so good”. You don’t care about how good the cereal is. Now imagine how many other people don’t care.
The takeaway here: Each tweet (excluding replies) that you send should have ONE purpose: make people laugh, motivate or offer information.
#2. Avoid opinions that you have to defend.
Primarily, I’m referring to politics, the economy and religion.
When you post these opinions, the only people willing to respond are the people who care enough about one side or the other.
I mean, think about it. Mention the two words “Obama” and “good” and all of a sudden, you have divided the entire country into two halves, those who agree and those who don’t.
If you really want to express this sort of opinion, do it on a Twitter account that isn’t affiliated with your brand. That way, you avoid associating your brand with conflict and bias.
Millenials are particularly adept at this sort of indifference. When we post things on Facebook, we all have that hope that we score a certain number of likes. And sure, when we see someone blasting a politician, we might agree or disagree.
But in general, we are afraid of being parts of those disgusting, messy comment threads that others see and go “…ugh”.
And that’s a good sixth sense in the case of social media marketing.
The takeaway here: Avoid conflict. Your brand is a platform for you and your knowledge, not your opinion.
#3. Express all other thoughts you have.
It’s like the Three Laws of Robotics. Do anything you have/want to do, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the first two points.
That means that besides politics, the economy and religion, anything is fair game as long as it is witty, feel-good or helpful, but only one of those.
Growing up around social media, I have had plenty of experience that tells me that nobody will come to you asking for your thoughts. You have to put it out there on your own.
When you’re on Twitter and someone posts a cool picture, tell them it’s cool. An inspirational quote that you thought was great? Thank them for sharing.
The difference between social media interaction and in-person interaction is that social media lacks the element of nonverbal communication. You can’t see that a person is smiling, so you don’t know to ask them about their day.
Share, share, share.
This is the one way to differentiate your brand from other brands. This is the one way to show that behind a Twitter account is someone reading tweets and typing out replies.
And people love to see that someone.
The takeaway here: If you have a thought, you better share it. Few thoughts are stupid, and the stupid ones are often related to controversial opinion.
Using Facebook and Twitter for years has taught me how to capture attention (because it’s not given to you), how to avoid shooting yourself in the foot (because it can happen) and how to remind people that you’re still alive (because dead people don’t post on Twitter).
Be like a millenial and share more effectively.