How To Market Yourself With
Social Media: Start With A Snack
By Dave Courvoisier
Voice Actor & TV News Anchor
A constant parade of social media "experts” write long and convincingly about how to use social media to promote ourselves and our brands online.
I’m skeptical of people who call themselves social media "experts,” as the realm is so constantly changing that I believe the highest attainable status is "student.”
But the many blogs, forums, webinars, seminars, e-books, and videos you can absorb on this subject start to reveal a sameness, and I’m going to distill it down to the answers of the two questions I’m most often asked about Social Media.
When and how often during the day should
I engage my social media channels?
My best answer is an analogy. Remember when dieticians discovered that your digestive system is more attuned to snacking lightly all through the day rather than seeking three squares? Get it?
Sure, you can sit there for hours on end, pounding the keys. But I prefer checking in for short spans, several times a day. That way you can sort of "hit ‘n’ run.”
When you come back, you can see reaction to your posts and pick up the thread. Or, if nothing suits your fancy on THAT network, visit a different one each time.
This method also has the added benefit of keeping your presence high on your preferred sites.
THE PLAYING FIELD
Remember, there are 5 huge platforms for social media, and each have their strengths, drawbacks, and unique offerings.
In order of importance (my take):
SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS
Everybody has a desktop, laptop and a tablet computer, or some combination thereof, so it becomes a matter of apps, programs, and innovative streaming technology that dictates this category.
They seem to come and go, or get bought out, but an absolute MUST for successful social media students is a Smartphone.
As far as software tools and apps, my current favorites (other than the native Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube apps) are:
Many people like to automate, or schedule their posts. I do this, but very carefully.
If you can't be a snacker - coming and going all day to your social media channels - then automating can lend the appearance that you’re present when you’re not.
It works OK. Just OK. But if you do it a lot without reinforcing with real committed personal time on the social media stream, you will begin to appear false, absent, unengaged, and disingenuous.
Hootsuite and Buffer allow painless scheduled posting.
How do I successfully convey my brand
or my persona in the online channels?
First of all … you ARE your brand … not a logo or a catch-phrase.
Neither of those fetching and concocted constructs will replace the real you. So, the question is how to present you - the REAL you in a virtual medium.
Here’s is my 3-part answer:
1. BE GENUINE
You can be genuinely angry, genuinely sarcastic, or genuinely prickly. But for the purposes of Social Media I’m saying you need to be genuinely charming, positive and friendly (98% of the time).
Unfortunately, wry humor, innuendo, and inside jokes just DO NOT translate well in written word. I don’t care how many emoticons you use.
Keep it upbeat, light-hearted, and unambiguous. About all you can do beyond that is be thoughtful, pensive, or questioning.
2. BE CONSISTENT
This refers to many things: style, attitude, times of day, direction, approach, knowledge-base.
Whatever you decide is your priority - the most important thing about you and the image you’d like to project - do it, and do it consistently.
Do it time and time again. Hammer home in every social platform you visit that consistent person, image, thought, and brand.
Consistency also refers to your choice of online associations and relationships. Play the field far and wide if you want, but give your most productive time to a focused core of relationships you hope to develop.
3. BE HELPFUL
Another way of saying this is pay-it-forward. Don’t expect reward. Ask how you can help.
Offer factoids, news, videos, and links that play to your consistent brand and interests.
Share stuff you don’t think others have heard or seen that might be helpful your friends, followers, and prospects. In this way, hopefully, prospects become friends, become trusted friends, and that leads to rich results.
Woven through all these points is your chance to be "you.”
Use words you like to use. Assume non-controversial positions on topics of interest to you. Express non-controversial statements about you and your world. You’d be surprised how much people like to talk about the most unassuming things. (I started a FB thread about shaving preferences once that lasted three days, and over a hundred posts.)
It may pain you to be non-controversial or non-confrontational on some threads, but in the end, the true you shines through anyway. Be controversial if you want on private chats, but not in public forums.
There you go: social media secrets revealed from an admitted "student” of the medium.
Dave Courvoisier is an Emmy Award-winning broadcaster, writer, producer, voice actor, and the main weeknight news anchor on KLAS-TV, Channel 8, the Las Vegas CBS affiliate. He also writes Voice-Acting in Vegas, a daily blog of adventures and observations in a style that’s true to his friendly Midwestern farm roots.
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