I wouldn’t claim to be an expert at social media, but I am one of few people who has over 3 years experience working for a social media company (social networking companies only became big in 2005), and using social media personally to have helped build up brands & artists….in fact anybody with something to say. I guess I am a social media adviser, coach or a social media friend who likes to help people. The word expert is thrown out too easily.
Anyway, over the years I have consulted with many different people about social networking, from 15 year old artists to 50-year-old managers of global brands. I am going to break down very briefly 5 areas of social media that is key to any successful campaign and what I would tell anyone who wants to be successful in this arena. This is based on research, real life case studies, but more importantly experience over the years. Now I am a firm believer of fundamentals (read the post: How I Got My Ass Kicked for more information), so what I am saying here is not revolutionary. It is going back to basics, and making sure that these are covered because without them it will be very difficult to have a successful campaign. I state that these are secrets but really they are worst kept secrets because a lot of people know them already but may need that reminder or little push for some inspiration to master Social Networking.
Also, I think people digest content online in short pieces of information and then move on, so I will be breaking these 5 secrets into different posts over a period of time, so keep checking the blog for more information. Anyway, here is the 1st Worst Kept Secret to social networking success.
The number 1 secret to having an active community on any social network is to friend like-minded people. I can tell your mind is thinking “state the obvious Andrew” but you would be surprised by the amount of people who still try to play the numbers game and think having 100,000 friends by clicking add add add (or using a friend adder bot), will help their success. When I first started working at MySpace in 2006 that may have been the answer but as time evolved, whoever had “the most friends” was not as important. What you do with those friends is a lot more important. Having 10,000 like-minded friends is a lot more valuable. Why?
1) they like YOU and what YOU are about;
2) it is easier to communicate with them.
Social networks were built for groups of friends to communicate; with promoting yourself coming in a distant second. 4/5 years later it is still the case. People do not care about you. They care about themselves and their community and their audience. In the post “So what do you call it? ” I mentioned different social networks being like different social gatherings in the real world, and that the key was to treat social networks almost like how you would treat a particular social gathering. First off, very rarely would you be at a social gathering that you had nothing in common with anyone there. Secondly if you was at a social gathering you wouldn’t just tell people to buy your album, or dietary supplement or go to my website so you can find information about the next event you are having. You just wouldn’t. What you would likely do is have a perfectly normal chat with people. “How you doing?”. “What have you been up to?“. What will eventually happen is you will come up with something where you share common ground and therefore you can expand on your conversation. It is a lot easier and faster to come up with common ground when you have befriended like-minded people, whether it be in real life or online.
Now some people might say this is a long approach, but so is adding thousands of random people hoping that they will buy into whatever you say even though they do not know you.
This whole post may sound very obvious but like I said before, you would be surprised by the amount of people who play the numbers game and miss this basic fundamental strategy.
If you are smart, winning at social networking is not that hard.
The 2nd worst kept secret to Social Networking success is coming very soon.