Let’s face it, everyone wants to be a social media guru. Who wouldn’t? From complimentary valet parking at restaurants because of your Klout score, to people lining up outside of Books-A-Million waiting for you to sign their copy of your book, social media is the new rock and roll. Only, there’s no actual music. And your fans wear thick glasses instead of leather halter tops. That said, and because I’m blessed with the power of observation, I thought I’d pass along five simple things I’ve noticed about people who are true social media gods, so that you too can begin building your empire in social media.
1) Only state the obvious – When you write blog posts, do not try to get people to think about things in new ways. That only leads to confusion. Most people just want to be told what to do. So only state very obvious things when you blog. For example, “Don’t Forget to Say You’re Welcome” is an excellent blog post title that should garner some serious traffic to your blog from across all social media channels. Another might be, “Social Media – An Important Part of Modern Marketing.” Despite any urge to share new ideas, it’s really not worth the time to write something if no one is going to read it. Stick to the basics. People like basics. And yes, copy topics from other gurus as often as possible as this is a great way to show them that you notice and appreciate them.
2) Only RT people who are above you on the social media ladder – A great way to establish yourself as a social media expert is to follow as many people who other people consider to be experts, and then RT everything they say. Especially links. If an expert you admire writes a blog post, try to be the first person to comment, and then RT the post several times over a few days and make sure to mention the expert’s Twitter handle in each tweet. Eventually the guru will notice you, and then one day when they RT something YOU write, that’s when the universal tumblers start clicking into place. While you might find some of the content from bottom feeders interesting, remember – stay focused on the prize. Never RT people who aren’t at least a 70 Klout score, as this will adversely affect your credibility.
3) Avoid controversy – Almost as important as number one above, you must be fitted with a Teflon suit before you can become anything like a rock star in social media. It’s a fact that not one certified social media guru has ever stepped in a pile of controversy, because it’s certain death to credibility. If there are political struggles from insignificant countries in the middle east sweeping across social media, avoid them at all costs. Tweet about your most recent blog post “How to Use Social Media to Keep Customers Happy” instead. And stick to the strategy. Revolutions are for people in other countries. This is America. Keep your eye on the prize. One wayward tweet from the heart could destroy everything you’ve built up thus far if it’s not in alignment with how most people feel about a subject. It’s best just to turn away from these controversies. Of course, if one of the social media stars takes a position on something, and other gurus RT their position, then it’s probably ok to do the same. Just be careful.
4) Wash, rinse, repeat. – It can’t be stated often enough that when you repeat something, people get it. Why else would popular brands like GoDaddy and CapitalOne keep running the same kinds of ads on television if it weren’t because this tactic is wildly successful? It works. Say something. Promote it. Repeat it. There are new people coming to social media every day – never think that everyone already has seen what you’ve written. Keep it out there. Don’t worry about adding too much new content. Be resourceful and use what you’ve got.
5) Smile in your avatar like your picture will be on billboards – Look around at the other experts in social media? See anything silly or controversial about their profile pictures? No. So despite the urge to be original, it’s best to stick with the basics when selecting an avatar or profile picture. No need to complicate things. If you have a picture that was taken by your local newspaper when they announced your new position at your old company, that’s probably a good start. Always sit up straight. Men, if you’re not wearing a tie, make sure you wear a sports jacket. Ladies, if you’re well endowed, you should consider showing a hint of cleavage, but don’t go overboard. There are no slutty social media gurus. Above all else, show the rest of the world your smile. Because every time you say anything in social media, your picture represents you more than your words. A lot more.
Good luck. And rock on.
Jim Mitchem can still tie a tie.