OK, maybe that headline over promises, just a smidge. But here's the deal - you are doing some things in social media that make you look like an amateur. And I'm tired of gently pointing them out on an individual basis. So, I'm writing a post about them and then I can just send the link to people and reference the secret I want them to know. Kind of like The Bloggess's infamous Picture of Wil Wheaton Collating Papers that she sends to PR people who make ridiculous pitches to her.
Here we go …
Secret #1 - Twitter does not work the way you think it does
You are a startup - maybe a new tech company, a new magazine or just someone who really wants to make a name for themselves, particularly in social media. Awesome. And you've slowly built some followers on Twitter. Say a thousand or so. Clearly, you're not chopped liver, but you're no Justin Bieber either. But with the right push, you could likely get a few thousand more followers. You have somehow convinced a minor internet celebrity in your field to write a guest post on your blog. And now you want to tell all your followers about it. So you tweet:
@MiniCeleb tells us the secret to her success using hand puppets while naked. Check it out! http://goo.gl/nbknc
That seems like a great tweet, right? Intriguing. Room for people to retweet and add commentary. Every single one of your followers should retweet it. Maybe even @MiniCeleb herself. Job well done - time for a martini. Right?
The only people who are going to see this tweet is @MiniCeleb and the juicy Venn-diagram centre of followers that you and @MiniCeleb have in common. Which is probably 12 if you are lucky. When a tweet starts with an @Handle, Twitter takes that as a sign that you're directing a tweet TO someone (not tweeting ABOUT them). So Twitter limits the exposure of that tweet to people it thinks will care about it: the @Handle you're tweeting to and the followers you have in common.
That's why you may have seen tweets that have a similar pattern as the above, but there is a "." in front of the tweet. Like this:
.@MiniCeleb tells us the secret to her success using hand puppets while naked. Check it out! http://goo.gl/nbknc
That little dot is enough to tell Twitter that this is for everyone in your stream. However, I think you're smarter than that. Just write a better tweet:
Want to learn the secrets of success via naked hand puppetry? Great article by @MiniCeleb http://goo.gl/nbknc
Secret #2 - If you don't claim a unique LinkedIn URL, people judge you
Especially if you include your LinkedIn URL as your one and only professional link. Look, I don't judge you if you don't have a blog or even have your own name as a domain where you've provided a brief bio and links to your online presence. But if LinkedIn is your platform of choice, please at least be linkedin.com/in/corneliusrabbit and not linkedin.com/pub/cornelius-rabbit/21/7b3/5a
This help article from LinkedIn tells you how to customize your public profile URL. Please take 3 minutes and go do it.
Secret #3 - Social media amplifies your douchecanoe quotient by a factor of 10
You are not a douchecanoe. Neither am I. But just by being on social media and posting stuff, our douchecanoe factor goes up. Way up. Because no one can see our smiling wink and ironically raised eyebrow or hear our faux-mocking tone. There are a lot of things you can do to try to lower your douchecanoe quotient, but these are the top two (highlighted in this piece over at Mediapost - sent to me by a friend-who-will-remain-nameless-so-no-one-thinks-she's-a-douchecanoe):
- Stop posting cryptic updates (#3) E.g. "Two days waiting, and not even a harmonica! Guess I’m never going there again!" (from the article) or "OMG. SO. EXCITED. Covered in sparkles. Can't wait to post about it. HOOOOOOOOW will I get through the next 6 weeks?!?!?!!!!?" (from my bitter mind)
- Stop disguising self-promotion as "contributions to the conversation" (#10) E.g. "Good point about the changing role of libraries -- and it reminds me of some learnings we gleaned from the insight engine on our new social platform, which launched in beta last week…" (from the article) or "Great point - I've been thinking a lot about the colour blue as a rage-inducer since Facebook reached a billion users! I discuss this at length in my ebook 'Things that make you go GRRRRR' (available on my website for only $9.99 #selfpromo #wink)" (from my bitter, bitter mind)
There you go: three secrets to social media success. Feeling smarter, skinner or richer? Not yet - but you will. 30-day money back guarantee :)
Photo Credit: Search Engine People Blog