Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a set of universal social media rules?
The internet is full of social media wisdom, but what if we had 10 rules of engagement?
If you’re reading this, you’re probably a writer of some kind. Whether you’re a blogger or author, social media has become a large part of our lives. The options are vast, but how do you stand out from the ever-growing crowd?
The 10 rules of social media engagement
The following tips are adapted from my ebook, How To Build An Author House.
Reading this post won’t turn you into a superhero, nor will you wake up tomorrow with 100,000 new Twitter followers. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I’m not one of those guys.
What this post does offer is some tips to help you become a social media rock star.
1. Engage first, sell second
The clue is in the name … social media. Your first instinct might be to tweet about your book, but what good does this do?
When did you last buy a product because someone Tweeted about it?
These days, we buy from those we trust. This takes time to develop, so engage first and sell second.
2. Be consistent
If you’re a celebrity this doesn’t apply to you. You’ll be able to share a Facebook message about that muffin you just ate and receive 2,043 likes. The rest of us need to keep it relevant.
People like consistency. If they know you as that girl who shares great financial advice, keep giving them what they want. You can mix it up from time to time, but make sure you’re being consistent overall.
3. Be regular
We’re all guilty of it: we start with vigour before getting lazy.
This is social media suicide.
If you open a Youtube account, comment on 30 videos a day, and upload daily, people will begin to take notice. If, after a month you stop, guess what? People will forget who you are.
Once again, it comes down to consistency. Be regular and be consistent.
4. Look beyond your own nose
It’s not always about you. If someone follows you on Google+ they want to know what you’re doing. By all means share your stories and spread the love. Don’t, however, think you’re the centre of the universe.
Have you ever been to a networking event where someone only talks about himself? Do you want to be that guy?
5. Reply to everything
If you have 100,000 Linkedin connections, this is bad advice. Assuming you aren’t Darren Rowse, though, you should try to reply to everything you can.
If it’s spam, by all means press Delete. If it has value, make sure you reply and keep the conversation going. We’re forever sewing seeds.
6. Search, don’t wait to be found
Again, if you’re a celebrity, this doesn’t really apply. You can sit back as a million people follow you. Most of us, however, need to search, but don’t worry, it’s quite fun.
Search for conversations that interest you. These are the people you want to meet. Go find them and make some new friends!
7. Be patient
Instant social media success is hard to find. You might upload amazing images to Instagram, but don’t be surprised if it takes a few months before people take notice.
The truth is, most people are wary. They see people like you all the time disappear after a few months. Be patient and earn your stripes. It will be worth it.
8. Spend time on it
One thing I discuss often is finding the right platform for yourself. Social media is a demanding mistress. If you think you can get a way with a mere fling, think again.
Join every platform at your own peril. To get the most out of social media you need to put in the hours. Picking the right channels is key. You want time to blog, too, after all.
9. Be your brand
Chances are you’ve built a platform. This means you have a brand. This means you have responsibilities to upkeep. Represent your brand as often as you can.
Again, consistency is important. Provide a message that spreads across platforms and you’ll do just fine.
10. Remember to sell
We began this journey with the warning of selling too soon. However, don’t forget to ask the darn question. Whether it’s a book you’re selling or a blog you need people to visit, make sure you plug yourself from time to time.
It’s about finding a balance between sharing your own world, and sharing other people’s. Being social is the first step, but we all have bills to pay.
Like I say, these rules of engagement won’t guarantee you an instant hit, but they will point you down the right path. Social media can help, but only if you use it properly.
Do you follow these rules of social media engagement? Has social media propelled you in front of new readers? Share your own stories below.