12 Most Powerful Tips to Succeed in Social Media

12 Most Powerful Tips to Succeed in Social Media

“There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.” ~ Steven Wright

Everyone joins a new social media platform with the same amount of followers, zero. However; some people have the benefit of having huge followings on other arenas. They may be celebrities like Katy Perry or Lady Gaga or alternatively “internet famous” like Robert Scoble aka Scobleizer and Guy. But keep in mind that no one is guaranteed a following in a new venue, everyone needs to work on building up from scratch.

The problem with the big fish, like Guy Kawasaki or Robert Scoble, is that they don’t realize that their visibility and notoriety are tremendous advantages. What if you aren’t a Robert Scoble or Guy Kawasaki, but a regular Joe or Josephine like myself, how can you make Google+ work or any social media for you? Here are my twelve most powerful tips to succeeding in social media:

1. Don’t expect to be an overnight success

Even if you have a following on Facebook and Twitter, these people may not be on Google+ and if they are, may not be able to find you easily. You will need to take time to find the people that you want to engage with on Google+, whether they were in your existing social media circles or not. Share the link to your Google+ account and put the word out that you are there.

2. Pay your dues

Social media takes time — every day! You will need to create content or find great content to share. Take time to post your items properly on Google+ (reference to Chapter on posting). Slapping up a blog post with a link only creates a very unappealing looking post of just text in some instances. No one will notice. Taking the time to make a pretty post gives it a much better chance of being seen in the stream and acted upon.

3. Watch and learn

Unsure how to post? Look around and observe. See how people who have been on Google+ and already established are talking to each other and interacting with others.

Guy’s advice to me on being hesitant about commenting on Google+ posts was, “get over it.” Once I did and just started commenting, my Google+ experience totally transformed. The conversations and interactions with others is what truly connects us with a social network. The posts that you make are static; the conversations are the ebb and flow that makes it all work!

Google+ flows like a combination of Twitter and Facebook, so you will be in a new environment but not so new that you can’t get the hang of it. Watch your whole stream and you will see that people are posting interesting and fun content that gets acted on immediately. People also go through and look at older content on Google+ walls at a more leisurely pace.

4. Be original

I love this quote by Oscar Wilde “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.” This simple reality seems to be lost on many folks in social media as they “borrow” content from others.

As you are analyzing styles and observing, it is great to learn but being original is very important. People can spot a copycat and they won’t respond to your content if they can see it is not true to you. Sharing on Google+ takes away the need to credit in great detail but you can always give a hat tip when warranted.

5. Experiment with different content

Learning the Google+ ropes will take a little time — you will need to learn the basics but also find out what content works for you. I have found that different material is popular with my followers on Twitter than with my Facebook fans or Google+ circlers. Monitor your +1s, comments and shares — if something starts to stick, repeat!

For example, I write for my blog and sometimes I put a post up with a beautiful photo and get a few likes but no shares. But then later I post a poem with a great photo and receive more +1s and shares. So, my Google+ followers seem to like lighter content from me so I rotate. Bottom line: you can’t dictate what people will like but you can observe, learn, and give them more of what they like from you.

6. Change how you interact

You won’t see notifications every time you go on Google+ at first. It takes time for people to find you, just like when you were new on Facebook and Twitter.

The interaction is a little different on Google+ but in a good way! Conversation is a true conversation, not just “thank you for the retweet” or an @mention from your blog being tweeted. Unless it is just a notification that someone circled you, which you may then choose to circle them back or not, notifications indicate that someone took action on something you did or are sharing something with you. There is much less gratuitous chatter and more “meat” on Google+, so it is worth the wait until you earn some notifications.

7. Have fun

Don’t forget this! Somewhere along the way, everyone in social media became too focused on Klout and other metrics and forgot that this is supposed to be SOCIAL! Social, according to Dictionary.com, is defined as “seeking or enjoying the companionship of others; friendly; sociable; gregarious.” Don’t forget the reason folks are on Google+: PEOPLE! (besides pushing their blogs, books or webinars)

Don’t be afraid to be funny or post something that is entertaining; be tasteful and thoughtful please! Being on the internet is a diversion for many and they just want some inspiration or a laugh.

8. Jump in with both feet!

OK, so you are on Google+… time to stop watching and start engaging! Look at the posts that people are making like mini-blogs and be generous with the +1s, sharing and commenting. They are there for a reason. You need to put the social in the social media to get it going. No one else can get your feet wet but YOU! You will find that people are ready to engage and are looking for interesting and smart people. Let that be you!

9. Stay involved with your other social media channels

When you are a little fish, you need to keep swimming in all the ponds. You can use your traffic on other channels to redirect some of it to Google+. What I have found is that people tend to like their preferred social media platform, usually Twitter or Facebook, and are hesitant to try something new like Google+. So keep working at it and welcome those friends when they arrive!

Teach your friends and family how to use Google+. Be the bridge between the new and the old as you help others learn how to use it. Sharing knowledge with others is providing value and is always a benefit in social media.

10. Don’t compare yourself to the big fish

This will just make you feel bad. Part of the reason that the bigger fish get so many comments, sometimes from crazy people, is that they just want to talk to them. They make rude or inflammatory comments that are off topic and just meant to get attention.

Big fish also have lots of people who have circled them and, of course, more people will see their material. People will search for them by name. Don’t begrudge someone who worked hard and has more followers — instead, know that you have some work to do and do it!

11. Be confident

You might be wondering if anyone is seeing your posts, photos and other social media offerings. Be assured that SOMEONE is reading everything that you post and it stays on the internet forever. Don’t say stupid things like “is this thing on?” or post “woe is me” comments about how you aren’t getting any traffic. Guess what, that is very unattractive and it isn’t going to win you any fans. This is an instance where I would say the “fake it ’til you make it” rule would apply. Assume that fabulous, smart people are reading your material and post accordingly.

12. Be kind, humble, AND helpful

Being nice to others opens many doors! Many of the lessons that I have learned from others in my social media experience have been positive but a few times there have been negative things. Learn from it all and remember that people can see your temper tantrums and rants. No one likes this behavior. Just don’t do it.

Just like being a fake, people can spot a big head a mile away. If Guy can be humble, so can you.

Conclusion:

Helping other people is a great way to make new friends and people will remember that you were kind. Sharing your talents with others reinforces your positive social media experience. And it is always nice to be able to ask questions of other people.

Remember: social media is an individual endeavor and works differently for each person. Put the time into learning what you need to know and making friends. You will find that soon enough everything will fall into place, and you may even blow past Guy.

This was originally written as a guest chapter for What the Plus! by Guy Kawasaki. I invite you to read the whole book and really get down to business. What are you waiting for?

Featured image courtesy of  josullivan.59 via Creative Commons.



Article by Peg Fitzpatrick

Peg Fitzpatrick

http://pegfitzpatrick.com

Peg Fitzpatrick is co-Editor-in-Chief of 12 Most . She's co-author of the best-selling book, The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users co-authored with Guy Kawasaki. Peg works with global brands and leaders in the social media sphere every day. She's spearheaded successful social-media campaigns for Motorola, Audi, Google, and Virgin as well as having been a brand ambassador for Kimpton Hotels. All about being positive and connecting, she is a true social butterfly. Tweet her and say hi at @pegfitzpatrick, find her Stumbling on StumbleUpon, rocking Google+ here Google or happily pinning on Pinterest.

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28 comments
GiGi Eats Celebrities
GiGi Eats Celebrities

All too often small, beginning blogs compare themselves to the big fish and get depressed. This is the beginning of their demise if they continue to do such!

Wade Harman
Wade Harman

Pay your dues.  Wow is that ever more the truth!  Some people don't realize that it can take a pretty long time before you can actually become consistently successful on social media.  

ambrking
ambrking

One thing that annoys me the most is when people think social media is easy and quick. You need to exert effort and invest your time on it. The work is not done after posting a blog, you need to share it to others and engage.

KatherineKotaw
KatherineKotaw

Love this line: "The posts that you make are static; the conversations are the ebb and flow that makes it all work!"  What makes any kind of interaction interesting and fun is the give and take that comes from a true connection.  When we're children we're taught that having a conversation is just as much about listening as it is about speaking and it seems many of us need a constant reminder as adults as well.  Connecting is interactive and no one wants to interact with someone who only wants to talk about himself.  Yes, the bottom line is that we all want people to click on our links and hire us but at the end of the day, I'm so much happier to have made a genuine connection in real life or on social media with someone who has absolutely no need for my content marketing services but perhaps decided to rescue a pit bull because of something I said or who made me laugh when I was having a stressful day.  Thank you for this great article, Peg, and for promoting kindness and genuine connections :)

Bilal123
Bilal123

You know I don't have believe in Facebook peoples. The reason of this thing is that I've made a lot of fans on Facebook and I've a lot of likes on my Fb page! But when ever I share something about my blog on that page, I get just few traffic and it's very painful. That's why I'm not using too much social Media sites for driving traffic. 

pendor
pendor

Great tips!

Social media is indeed a whole new world in which new rules are applied and change regularly! It's hard to keep up with the different platforms, but for me, Twitter has been the best for making really great contacts.

DivaBusiness
DivaBusiness

Great Advice Peg I love helping people learn from social media and this a great summary of what I tell clients..;) sharing..!!!

lisabuben290
lisabuben290

Excellent advice, everything thing online stuff will happen quickly - it surely takes time. I love #3 - always a great way to learn by watching a bit and then of course, jump in! I have met a lot of people over on Twitter and then connect on Google+ or Facebook. Thanks for sharing your list.

philip1
philip1

Super post, Peggy!  I'm just now getting back into a regular habit of posting to my social media sites and starting a blog.  One thing i can share is that if you take a vacation (like I just did) it is going to be a while before you can feel the pulse of the networks like you did before backing off.  I needed to get some perspective on what I was doing and why I was doing it so I didn't do much of anything for about a month (except remodel my office!) and had lost touch with the people I had met online.  I'm just now getting back into it and I realize that I lost momentum.  The great thing is there is such wonderful support from people like you @Peg Fitzpatrick  and @AnnTran_  and @amberrisme I am uber-excited to jump back in with both feet and enjoy, share as well as create content more than ever before!

dbvickery
dbvickery

People will remember that you were kind - you know, that is one of the things I always hope to accomplish. Easier in social networks than real life sometimes, huh? Peggy, great list - I've definitely enjoyed our interactions on all the social networks, and that includes Google+. In fact, you are one of my most consistently engaged friends on Google+ (along with a few more of the 12 Most crowd). To the rest of you readers - come on in, the water, networking and camaraderie is fine!

Deborah Latham White
Deborah Latham White

Great tips! 

It does take time to develop relationships online and it is worth taking the time to choose your friends wisely.  Have some basic standards about who you connect up with on any social media site.  Not everyone who wants to be your friend should have that connection privilege. Take time to look at their profile page.  You can learn a lot in just a few minutes.

loiscreamer
loiscreamer

Great post! Reminder that not all people like to be engaged in the ways, just.as our followers have diverse interests. Anyone who quotes Oscar Wilde is interesting to me!!

AnnTran_
AnnTran_

Hi Peggy,

 

Great advice!  I sure can use your expertise on G+ ツ Yes, social media is not an overnight thing, it takes work and dedication.  This is another great post to share multiple times and many platforms.

 

Thank you for sharing.

 

Ann

Abel Pardo
Abel Pardo

"Don't expect to be an overnight success"; this is the key point. Internet is not a place for becoming rich in a pair of weeks. Internet, social media, are places for working hard and then, collect.

PegFitzpatrick
PegFitzpatrick moderator

@KatherineKotaw 

The connections really are the key, aren't they? You never know if someone is just watching all your interactions and then decides to hire you for content marketing based on how awesome you are on social media. I'm sure that happens since so many new people just observe and watch before jumping in.

Thanks for your thoughts, Katherine!

Latest blog post: invite

Deborah Latham White
Deborah Latham White

 @Peg Fitzpatrick I have also met some great people.  I made that statement because I think that there are times when people feel that they have to accept a friend request when it really is okay to refuse.  I often do not accept requests from people who do not have the basics of the profile visible because there is no way for me to find out what they are about. 

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