NEWSLETTTER | WOMEN IN MOTION
Marketing Yourself on Social Media
Social media is a great way to chat, connect and increase exposure for yourself and your business. It may be the ‘best thing yet’, but there are plenty of potential pitfalls as well. With social media marketing, you have to be aware that you are positioning yourself on the spectrum of social media content. Ultimately, everyone has to decide what is best for their career and business.
Let’s start by setting what would appear to be a few basic rules as far ‘anything social media’ is concerned. With the wide selection of social media tools available nowadays, do not be tempted to use all, or as many of them as you can, at once; instead, select the top three which make the most sense to you. It is advisable for one to set their own rules [and strive to adhere to them] before engaging in any social media activities.
Do Everything Right
Standards are also a measure that applies to social media. Do not connect with everyone unless you want to connect to their network. Be cautious, yet collaborative. Social media is a fun way to meet people, and you can connect on the basis of common
by Andrew Ngozo
interests and then do more business with people. You should spend time on social media each day and study what a few others in your industry or your role models are doing before starting on your own voice. Caroline Ceniza-Levine, a small-business owner and co-author of Six Steps to Job Success, elaborates on the rules of marketing yourself effectively via social media.
“Post your expertise – whether it’s a short tip or a link to something you have written. Curate other information, thereby showcasing your understanding. Linking that same information to another expert will still demonstrate that you are on top of your area, even if you did not write the stuff yourself,” she says.
Caroline expands on this and says: “Reach out to people directly in your network by using such things as inMail or LinkedIn. Calling people out on Twitter is a way of reaching out to someone directly that is often more effective than a cold e-mail.”
Her last piece of advice is not to take online communities lightly. If you want to get your message and brand ‘out there’, it is a must that you engage with a broader group of people. Joining groups or online communities or making use of Twitter chats are a way of meeting like-minded people in a much more efficient way than with live networking groups. Do not be misled – live networking still has its place in society, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to decipher that social media is a cost-effective alternative.
Strange, But It Works
There are strange content concepts that work as far as social media are concerned, says Steve Rigell, President of Preemptis Inc. These are more like acronyms or words that stand for something that you should do when marketing yourself using social media. MEME (Massively Embraced Mindless Entertainment) represents the lowest order of social media. This is where you will find the viral videos of the week, cute kittens, fluffy puppies, nip slips, near-wardrobe malfunctions, Photoshop failures and other content that passes for news these days. The MEME class of social media content will get lots of traffic, but has a very low potential for career advancement, unless your goal is to be an Internet sensation of some kind for 15 seconds or so.
Look at Me, Everybody
If you want to get your content clicked more often, then you have to make it LAME! LAME (Look At Me, Everybody) social media content includes both impromptu images and minute-by-minute discourses about what people are doing instead of being productive. Fair game for LAME includes anything that you can point a camera at or which causes you to exclaim, “OMG!” (obviously without punctuation).
LAME includes what you are doing, where you are going, where you’ve been, what you did, what you didn’t do, what you want to do, what you wish you did, what you wish you hadn’t done, who you are with, were with, want to be with, don’t want to be with, and how you feel.
A lot of people hang out in LAME. If you choose to hang out here, you will definitely not be alone. The LAME class of social media content attracts loyal followers, but there is very little new blood and their loyalty is predicated on a reciprocal LAME relationship. In the long run, LAME will not do much for a serious career or business for that matter. On the other hand, if your career is based on witty repartee, showing up at the right bars or having your picture taken with your mouth open, this may be the place to hang out.
Look At This Everybody
Other social media content which there is a lot of is the LATE (Look At This Everybody) category where you find a lot of extraordinary and original content. There is also simply a lot of content in this category. “There seems to be a pretty persistent growth industry in sites where LATE content can be aggregated, pinned, posted or otherwise displayed, and this does not include personal websites and blogs,” notes Steve.
A huge number of people hang out in LATE as well, says Steve. In general, LATE content is much more creative and engaging than LAME. The LATE class of social media content attracts a thinking audience with a bias toward the visual. This is a great place to hang out if you are a designer or otherwise engaged in a creative career.
Think About This, Everybody
We are all aware that, in social media, there is interesting content, but it is stuff that is simply too hard to find. Steve says this is the content that makes everybody want to think about it. ‘Think About This, Everybody’ (TATE) content can be provocative, controversial, abstract, perverse or simply a good question that may not have an answer but which begs to be asked.
The number of people who hang out on the TATE spectrum fall off sharply when compared with LAME and LATE, but the people who hang out in TATE are willing to engage in creative and dialectic discourse – if that is what interests you. The TATE class of social media content also attracts the thinking crowd. These people are interested in distinctions and interesting ways of mixing ideas and concepts together. Hanging out here is great for individuals and businesses with stories to tell. If you are serious about a serious career, a regular presence in TATE is a necessity.
How You Do Something
The last winner for effective social media marketing, according to Steve, is HYDS – (pronounced ‘hides’). This stands for How You Do Something. The Internet is replete with advice and how-to instruction; and much of it is very good, but take it or leave it, as you will.
If you are looking for techniques, procedures, check lists or other content on ways to get something done, chances are you can find something that resonates and appeals if you search long enough. There’s even a chance that you will find just what you are looking for. Most of the content in this category is guaranteed to be free.
The HYDS class of social media content is great for discovering tips, tricks and techniques. Whether video, photo or texts, HYDS posts are dedicated to helping people improve their lives, if only in small ways. If you can help people out like this, you will shine in this area. If you’ve figured out how to do something that no one else has figured out, you can be a star in HYDS; just make sure it supports your career.
According to Steve, a call for action for social media, as elaborated by Alan Weiss, is to toot your own horn. Alan says, “If you don’t toot your own horn, there’s no music.” Learning how to toot your own horn can be a useful skill, but that is only just the beginning. When everyone is tooting their own horn, and most people are these days, it’s harder to find the really good music.
If you want to stand out in social media, you’ve got to find a way to invent your own instrument, write your own music, recruit a band, teach the songs to it and then toot your own horn. Otherwise, you’re just part of the noise. The bygone era is gone forever. The best you can hope for now is 15 seconds of fame. But, you don’t need fame to build a solid career, and social media can be a big help. Go for it!