It is a universal truth that no one likes to put themselves out there only to be rejected.
When you start using social media, especially when you are someone with a lot to say, the space can feel a little empty. The concerns you had before you began are immediately validated.
“Is this what it will be like forever (or until I give up)?”
Here are 3 actions you can take right now to build social media steam:
1. Accept that you are a stranger in a strange land – Have you considered you may not be fluent in Twitter? Are you speaking to your Facebook followers in the same way you communicate on Instagram? Before your first post to any platform, I always recommend you take a while to simply sit back and watch. Find folks with different writing styles, organizations who rally a conversation without fail, or an influencer with a unique take on a particular platform. Get a feel for how to use the space.Once you feel comfortable, communicate with friends, family, and colleagues who may already be experts. Let them know what you’re up to, and some of the goals you have in mind. Follow organizations, blogs, magazines, websites, writers, speakers, etc. and join their conversations. Keep the conversation light, and be open to other perspectives. Communicating with strangers who already have a shared interest is a great way to step out and test the waters when discovering a new social media tool.
2. Be a social media alchemist – You may know your social media language, but what do others think? Test out some different posting styles. You will see a lot of articles that will tell you to keep posts short and pair them with a great image. This may be true generally, but I can also give you an example of one person who only posts very long articles on Facebook and gets consistently huge engagement. So, test your posts. Explore getting a little personal (you don’t have to copy and paste your diary). If you’re an epic poet, try some longer posts. If you’re a great photographer or graphic designer, try filling up your page with photos or infographics. [Side Note: Are you more of a writer than a designer, but still want to spice up your posts with something more visually dynamic? There are plenty of free tools out there to help you add/create photos, graphics, infographics, memes, GIFs, etc.!] Finally, ask a trusted friend or colleague what they think. The best time to workshop new ideas is when very few people are watching 😉
3. Explore the network you already have – So, you’ve hit a wall when it comes to growing your audience on social media. What now? If you’re on Twitter, have you told your LinkedIn network that you’re live tweeting the Oscars? If you’re trying to grow on Facebook, give your Twitter followers bits and pieces of what more they can see (use a photo to tease a photo gallery, ask a question and tell them to check out how others have answered in the Comments section). Have you joined Facebook or LinkedIn groups? Make sure you’re reading articles in those spaces and commenting to let people know you’re not just pushing out content, but that you’re really engaging with others. The same goes for using hashtags and Twitter and Instagram (and to some degree, Facebook too). Still stumped? Have you stepped outside of social media to promote what you’re doing? Reach out to your network in real life!
What do you think? Let me know if you’ve given any of these a go! There’s a lot more I wanted to include and expand upon, but this is a good jumping off point. Social media fluency happens over time, so you’re best practice is to simply get started.