The difference between publishing, public relations, marketing, media, design and user acquisition is more blurry than ever. The number one takeaway: if you don’t like bringing a little of yourself into your work life, you’re going to struggle. If you like to pour your heart into your work, this is your time to take the reigns and run with them.
I’ve been on Facebook since it opened to the University of Mississippi my junior year of college. You might – if you work in the online games industry – even call me a social media “whale”. I actually enjoy tweeting, which should probably be a requirement for social media managers, but is less common than you’d think.
Nowadays, I share my life’s adventures across the multimedia gamut – Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest… Someone could follow me on one network and understand my posts, but I try to spread the wealth. I like posting bits and pieces across the various networks, letting my friends, fans and followers put the puzzle together for themselves. I’d like to think they see it that way too.
None of this had anything to do with my career, until fairly recently, when PR and social media collided forever and always. Now I realize my approach to personal social networking is a valuable asset for companies.
So in no particular order, a few suggestions:
1. Have company accounts but don’t neglect personal ones.
2. Don’t tweet everything that pops in your head.
3. Turn off those obnoxious auto-tweets from 3rd party services like XBLA and Pinterest. Instead…
4. Spread the wealth. Why would someone follow/be-fan you on multiple networks if you pull them all together into one auto-fed pile? Yuck.
5. Don’t call people out – especially not publicly – for un-following you. This should go without saying but apparently does not. There is obviously a reason and it probably has something to do with you. Look at your feed. See number 3.
6. Promote your social networks on your website. Not just the company ones. Your talent (that means staff, if you hired wisely ;) is just as important as your mission or corporate posts. Ahem: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
7. Don’t try and appear perfect. You aren’t. If you are, people won’t like you anyway, so just pretend to be less so. I don’t mean grammar; I mean your trials and tribulations. Those make you human, and interesting.
8. Share your experiences – good, bad, ugly, whatever! See number 2, but also number 7, and know that the dumb things you try are more interesting to your friends and fans than most of the smart ones. Success speaks for itself. Failure needs help. This tip comes particularly from the heart. Some of my most “influential” followers have attributed it to my wild and crazy tales. They follow me because I say things other people would be afraid to, on occasion.
9. Share information that is valuable to your audience. That is usually why they followed you in the first place.
10. Do it. You can’t go back in time and make up for not tweeting or using Facebook. If you aren’t “doing” social media you should stop reading and go sign up for accounts. It may not be your only key to success, but bet your ass it’s one of them.