I usually post articles here on Monday morning but I changed up this week for something special… at least for me. On Sunday I celebrated my 17th year of self employment as a consultant; let me take a moment for myself…
Thus, I moved this post to today, but in its own way it’s a milestone post, though not the one I thought it was going to be. At least I’m writing this post, which means I was able to figure out how to modify a new theme, which I talked about last week.
Anyway, I thought this was going to be my 2,000th post on I’m Just Sharing; instead, it’s my 1,800th post. That’s still a lot, even if it’s 900+ fewer than my friend Rummuser, who’s sitting at 2,723 (at least as of today, because he might have posted something new today). I think most of mine are longer, but you can’t sneeze at his consistency.
When I thought it was going to be my 2,000th post, I was planning on tackling 100 social media items, which might have ended up making this a monster post. Think about it; unless it’s just a list, if I wrote just 20 words for each item the article would have ended up being at least 2,000 words long. However, since it’s “only” 1,800, I decided to touch upon a lot fewer items, where some of the advice will be relatively short (probably because I’ve covered it already) and some will be longer. Why am I doing this? Because I care! 🙂
I’m touching on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. The last one is a bit dodgy, especially since it’s in a state of flux recently, but I’m going to touch upon it anyway. The reasons are that many people still don’t quite understand the concept of marketing on social media, whether it’s direct marketing, content marketing, or just trying to network and get known.
For each of these I’m going to talk about what you should do at the start, then what you should probably start doing by 3 months. There’s nothing saying you can’t escalate these steps (go big and go strong), but what I’ve found is that the majority of people feel they don’t have the time to go all in; I understand that. These are baby steps; if you find you’re a natural at this and are ready to take over the social media world, then go for it. Let’s begin.
1. Create an account
This will be #1 for each thing I talk about, but I’m also going to talk about setting up your privacy settings before you begin. I’ll have links for both LinkedIn and Facebook, but I’ve never talked about Twitter privacy much here.
After you’ve set up your new account (setting up accounts is easy on each platform so I’m skipping that piece), click on your picture or avatar (if you didn’t put one one, do it, then go down to settings and privacy. Click on the link that says privacy and safety and set up how you want your profile to protect your privacy. The main recommendations I’m going to make are:
* don’t click the box that says “protect your tweets” unless you don’t want people to be able to find you or you’re going to be doing something stupid;
* under Discoverability, don’t check the box for your phone number;
* I don’t know what Twitter for Teams is, but don’t let people add you to something you might not want to be a part of
* under safety and search, click the box that says Remove blocked and muted accounts because at some point you might want to mute or block people or certain terms, and if you don’t click this box you’ll still see those things
2. Follow at least 50 people
Hopefully you know 50 people you think you can get along with, which makes this easier on you. If not, there might be people you know who don’t know you that you can follow for at least a short period of time. They could be famous people, people in your industry, or even businesses.
The reason you want to do this is because it gets the ball rolling as far as getting people to possibly connect and follow you back. If it’s people you know, it’s a good thing; if not, people in your industry might go ahead and connect with you, and it never hurts having people who do what you do following you.
3. Write a personal greeting to the 50 people you follow (even the people you know)
This is big. If you create an account and don’t put anything on it, no one’s going to connect with you. If you know the people, you should at least be courteous and say hello. If you don’t, write them a nice little note telling them why you’re following them. This takes care of two things: one, people like being flattered, and what’s more flattering than telling someone why you want to see what they have to say; two, as I mentioned in the first sentence, having no content scares people away, but my way you’d start off with at least 50 posts; smooth, right?
4. Post at least one thing of yours every day
Something that’s strange to me is having people who write or produce their own content never sharing any of it on social media. This is what Twitter’s built for. If you write a blog, share your posts. If you only have a few articles, share them over and over… just don’t share the same thing twice a day unless you modify it in some way.
How you do that is to add what’s called hashtags. In essence it’s a number sign followed by a word that describes what you’re posting, AKA #socialmedia, #blogging. You can see as many of these as you see fit, but don’t go crazy. If you have little content create 3 or 4 of these and consistently post them. Know this about Twitter; you can’t post the same exact thing more than once every 24 hours. This is why it pays to have more content.
5. Create your first list
When you’ve connected with your 50 people, what you’ll find is that you’ll have an original list that will show you everything all those people are posting. It behooves you to create lists specific to what you want to see and put people in a list. Then all you have to do is concentrate on your specially created lists, and only delve into the bigger list when you have the time to do it. After all, once you get to your 50 and start engaging with them, other people are going to show up, and when you have lots of people posting things there’s no way you can keep up with all of it.
You also get to decide if you want your lists to be public or private. In my case, I have only my local list public. All my other lists are private and just for me. Some people like sharing those lists; I’m not the one. 🙂
6. Post at least three things from other people every day
Once you’ve been on Twitter for a while and you get a feel for the place, you’ll find that there are two types of people you’re going to get tired of quickly: the people who only post things about themselves and the people who never post anything of their own. Some Twitter experts say you should post more of other people’s stuff than your own. I think that’s hard to do if you’re a one man band. Instead, concentrate on having some kind of mix. My norm is to post 10 to 15 things of my own and plan for 4 or 5 things from other people. I say “plan” because I tend to come across stuff every day that I decide to share to Twitter. Most days I end up 50-50; I’m good with that.
7. Post 3 or more things of your own every day
If you like Twitter you’re probably already doing this after 3 months. If not, the best way to do this is to use either a plugin on your blog or a service like Buffer or TweetDeck. Lots of people use a plugin called Tweet Old Post. I’m not a fan but it gets the job done.
Buffer has a free version but it only allows you to set up 10 things at a time, which means you’d have to visit it every few days if you follow the 3 things recommendation. Still, it’s easy to use, though I only use it for LinkedIn.
Although I mentioned TweetDeck, I use Tweeten. The only difference is Tweeten is a standalone product, which I prefer. Both of these allow you to schedule tweets in advance, and there’s no set limit. When I’m feeling spunky, sometimes I schedule a lot of stuff 3 weeks in advance, but my norm is a week.
8. Post 4-10 things from other people every day
When you’re getting started and you’re connected to fewer people, start small. Once your connections start to grow, increase the amount of stuff you share. By the way, you can also keep a list and schedule these items as well; it’s what I do.
9. Talk to at least one person on your list every couple of days
This is imperative because one of my criteria for deciding whether or not I’m going to follow someone is if it looks like they periodically talk to someone. If all they do is post links, I feel like if I write them they’ll never talk to me. I hate being ignored. lol
1. Create an account
This one starts short because I wrote an entire post, with pictures, on how to set up your privacy settings on LinkedIn, so check that out.
After that, be sure to fill in as much of your profile as possible, including an image. My recommendation is that you don’t fill out your profile like it’s a resume; be more creative than that if you can. LinkedIn is for business, and even if you’re prospecting for a job, you want to come across with a bit of personality also. This will become important once you do the 2nd step.
2. Find at least 10 local people you know and connect with them.
Even if the 10 people you find are people you know, filling out your profile is important (especially a picture of yourself; LinkedIn isn’t for shy people). Do you know how many of my friends actually know what I do? One! Everyone else just guesses at it, and a couple of them I’m connected to on LinkedIn! The thing is, you’re not necessarily creating your profile for your friends, but for the people your friends might be connected to. Since it’s hard to trust others to properly market you, do it yourself.
3. Do a search for at least 3 people in your field of expertise and request a connection
If you checked out my 17th anniversary link above, you’ll see where I said that most of my consulting work has come from people I’ve networked outside of my area. Unfortunately, few of us are ever experts close to where we live, so it’s a good thing to find people outside your area who might become good connections with you later on.
4. Look at your feed every day for at least one thing to comment on or like
This is not only a good way to get used to being on LinkedIn (which I’ll admit I have a small problem with since it decided to look more like Facebook) and see the types of things people you’re connected to are posting or commenting on in some way. What happens sometimes is you’ll start seeing other people all the time that you’re not already connected to who you might want to know, or they’ll see you and want to know you. It’ll also give you a good feel as to who you might want to disconnect from; seems people forget LinkedIn is supposed to be for work stuff sometimes.
5. Start posting something you wrote at least 3 times a week
Earlier I mentioned Buffer. It’s a great place to set up links you might want to post to LinkedIn. You can also write long form content and post it via Buffer, but I wouldn’t suggest using it like that.
If you have short form content, maybe 2 or 3 paragraphs, or links to blog posts or videos, use Buffer for it or input it directly into your LinkedIn feed. If you have long term content, post it as an article on LinkedIn. You’ll have the option to do that showing in your home window. The reason to do that is you get to add hashtags to it (although it works differently on LinkedIn; you have to fit your hashtags within what LinkedIn gives you) and you have the chance to get a lot of people following you. Even though my articles there don’t get nearly the visits they use to, I have more than 1,500 people following me there, which means there’s always a chance I’ll connect with a large group.
Either way you decide to go, it pays to be visible on LinkedIn, especially if you find people who like what you share.
6. Join at least one group that’s in your field of expertise
I hate to say that most LinkedIn groups are disappointing… but they are. Still, every once in a while you’ll find one that you like that’s active and engaging. Even if it’s not, you might find it works for you in posting your own original articles and content. Some group leaders don’t like that so make sure you look around first before doing i.
1. Create an account
You’ve gotten used to this, haven’t you? In this case, the link to how to set your privacy settings some from my friend Holly, who oddly enough isn’t even on Facebook anymore. Anyway, you need to set up a profile to do some of the things I’ll mention later.
2. Find at least 5 people you know
With Facebook, I think it’s smart to start out small so you can learn the lay of the land. You can go bigger, and you’ll possibly find your account growing faster than just a few people early on, but don’t spread yourself thin.
I’m also going to recommend that if you get to at least 20 people you download a plugin for your browser called FB Purity to help you set up things you do and don’t want to see, change the look and background of your site, and many other things you might want to do. I like this one so much I made a donation to the guy who created it so he’ll keep working on it. 😉
3. Check your feed daily to find something to like or comment on.
Facebook will either suck you in or repel you. Hopefully you’ll find middle ground, which is what I’m suggesting here. I check in more than once a day, but I’m rarely there longer than 5 to 10 minutes at a time. When I go there, I always find a few things I can like or comment on, and every once in a while I’ll share something. Facebook likes are different in that if you hover over the link you’ll see 6 icons pop up meaning different things, which lets you decide how you feel about what you’re seeing if you’re in the mood to use that as your comment.
4. Find at least one group, business page or sports team you find interesting to join.
You do this for two reasons. One, you might actually want to connect with people who share your interest and two, connecting with these people there might end up with a connection outside the group. The only sports group I belong to is Syracuse University sports, but there are other groups I’m a part of… though not a lot.
5. Set up a group or business page that either highlights something you’re interested in or represents your business
You don’t want to do this too early because it looks aggressive, and you might not be connected with enough people early to make it worth your while. I have both a business page and a group page. My group page is geared towards type 2 diabetics, since I’m one, and I get to share new information as well as get and offer support whenever possible. With both of these you can make them as private or as open as you want to, depending on your needs.
6. Send out invitations from your business page or group to some of the people you’ve connected with over the first 3 months
I’ve sent invitations to quite a few people for my business page, but only a few to my diabetics page. I do it for my business page because once I added all the other things I write about to my professional resume it opened up the group for more people to join. However, I also have the group set to private so it’s hard for people outside the group to find it… though it happens when someone else shares some of my content, which I’m always proud of.
The thing about the business (or fan) page is that you need at least 26 people to like it (by the way, you have to like your own page; no idea why lol) to be allowed to use some of the other things Facebook offers you; there’s way too many to mention.
7. Post something on your page at least once a week
I hate pages that suddenly stop adding new content to them; I say the same about blogs. The more you post, once again like blogging, the more traffic you “might” get. Facebook is strange in that they won’t show your stuff to people even if they subscribe. They’ll only share it to a select few unless you pay for it to get out to more people or you can convince people to check the notification tab.
Posting “something” doesn’t even have to be your own content, just something related to what you do. However, it’s best if you can publish your own stuff. You know what gets seen and shared most often? Images with motivational quotes on them. No real idea why, but those aren’t hard or too time consuming to do.
There you go; those are my suggestions to you for this 1,800th post. I hope it’s helpful; let me know what you think.