“The next time you tweet or update your Facebook, think about how it contributes to your day, and your goals. Stay positive, helpful, with your goals in mind, and you'll find that you'll always have something interesting to say.”
This particular line seemed to resonate in last week's “Balancing your social media plate“, and I want to elaborate more on it this week.
The internet is a virtual world where many of us spend a significant part of our day working, playing and creating in. How are you contributing to it? It's helpful to think of it this way as you represent yourself in the social media space. What you tweet, Instagram, pin or post to Facebook is a reflection of the “house” you're building for you, your blog and ultimately, your brand. While it's easy to share every meal, complaint or YouTube video in your day, these updates could create different picture of you for your friends, fans and followers than what you’d like. Get savvy on your social media updates with these tips:
Patience is a virtue
Before you hit that ‘retweet' or ‘send', take a second to think about the post you're putting out there. Is it worded correctly? Is it conveying something you feel strongly about? How will your readers respond to it? This will keep you from over-sharing or posting one too many memes – and when you're out for a crazy Friday night, could keep you from posting something wildly offensive or inappropriate.
Moderation is your friend
Want to share your latest blog post, a YouTube video, and your new favorite BuzzFeed slideshow? Take a look at how much & how often you post to one social media site, and space your original updates out accordingly. Buffer and HootSuite offer great solutions for optimizing and auto-sending out updates to other social media sites. Replies and likes don't apply in this rule, however! It's important to respond to everyone who talks to you, whether that's via blog comment, Pinterest, Instagram, tweet or FB reply. (Pro tip: If you're replying to someone on Twitter, your followers won't see it on their timeline unless they're also following that other person!) As for likes, it's always good to let others know you appreciate the content they're putting out there too.
Read through your Facebook News Feed or Twitter stream. I'll bet there are at least a few updates of people complaining about something, or putting down others in the name of proving a point. Let's face it – it's much easier to complain and blame than it is to be positive. Remember that you’re a reflection of your blog, family, close friends and (whether you like it or not) your place of employment. It takes more effort to spread positivity, support and good vibes – but it all comes back to you somehow. Next time you want to talk about how crappy your Monday's been, turn that around and post about one thing you are thankful for instead. I know you can think of one!
Keep it fresh
Just like no one wants to see a slough of updates from you at the same time, no one likes a one-hit wonder. Switch up the different kinds of content you're sharing, and your followers will be able to relate to a lot more of your interests than just your latest blog post. Share an interesting article you've read recently, a link to the song you're listening to, a photo of today's outfit, or info on a fun event you're attending soon.
Different sites, different languages
Everyone has their favorite social media sites. As a blogger, it's crucial to know where your readers like to play, and how to talk to them on each site accordingly. In a nutshell: Facebook is where people go to keep in touch with friends and family; Twitter is used to gather information and interact with people we don't necessarily know in real life; Instagram and Vine are for those who prefer to share & see original visual content; and Pinterest is for sharing curated visual content. You wouldn't talk to your fans on Facebook in the same manner as you would in a tweet (and I know there's a one-click option to sync the two. Don't do it!) Choose your words and your photos carefully (and separately) for each site.
It takes time and effort, but it pays off to be thoughtful about what you’re putting out there. What other tips do you have for putting your best foot forward in social media?
[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]