Screw What You Know About Social Media

Everything you know about social media is probably wrong. And today I want to help you understand it better so you can share better content, engage your visitors/customers/audience, and ultimately help you build your brand and make more money.

Back in the day (I’m talking maybe 10 years ago), social media was new to the entire world. There were only one or two platforms around vying for your attention. I’m talking about Myspace and Facebook (maybe throw in Friendster also).

Today you have so many different platforms around to engage people that we, as content generators, tend to forget how important and powerful all these platforms are.

No two platforms are the same. This might be the most important sentence I write in this article (it certainly is, as I’m typing this). But not everyone realizes that. Let’s discuss this further.

What social media platforms are there as of today?

  • Myspace (yes it still exist. I think)
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Snapchat
  • Vine
  • (and a bunch of others I don’t really know – this is a problem I will talk about below)

How are you using each of these platforms to share? Or rather: Are you using all of these platforms to share??

Unless you hip to the game of social media, the answer is usually no.

Social media continues to evolve but a lot of us aren’t keeping up. We get comfortable with what we know and that is enough for us. But if you’re not keeping up with the trends of social media then you’re being left behind.

The Old Way Doesn’t Work Anymore

  • Remember when we used to read all of our email?
  • Remember when we used to click on website banners and ads?
  • Remember when we used to believe everything we read on the internet (some of you still do).
  • Remember when you shared something on Facebook and everyone liked and commented on it?

This doesn’t happen anymore. We have become immune to all of this.

But why?

Because we’ve realized that a lot of it is spam (thanks to internet marketers). And because too many people are doing the same thing that we’ve grown tired of it.

The Proof is In the LIKES

If you’re still using Facebook to share your life or build your brand – then good for you. But if you’re relying on this platform for all your sharing – then shame on you!

I still use Facebook. But only for my professional websites, not for my personal account. Why? Because I know there are people that still use Facebook and only Facebook. But I also know that Facebook is not what it used to be. For the most part, my audience doesn’t go on Facebook often enough for me to engage them.

You can see this based on a term I’m going to make up right now called Return on Post (ROP). This is the LIKES, comments and shares you get per post you put up on Facebook relative to the number of Friends/Followers you have.

Chances are if you post something, you’ll get a couple (and by couple, I mean less than 10%) of your friend/following to like, comment or share what you’re posting. The ROP is too low for me to want to use this platform as my primary social media platform.

Not Only Do We Not Care Anymore

  • Facebook is for old people.
  • Facebook isn’t cool.
  • Facebook is boring.
  • There are too many ads on Facebook.

The above is just a handful of the comments I hear about Facebook from people nowadays.

You may not agree. Especially if Facebook is what you’re using on the daily to share and consume content.

But the social media landscape has changed. A lot. And eventually, the things people are saying about Facebook will be said about other social media platforms (if they aren’t already).

This Isn’t About Facebook

I know I just wrote a lot about why Facebook sucks. And I didn’t mean to. But seriously, it’s just not that great any more. There are ways to still advertise on there, such as Facebook Dark Posts. But I want to focus on why you need to diversify your social media platforms and why you need to realize not all platforms are the same.

Why Multiple Platforms?

You might be asking yourself “Why do I need to have multiple platforms for social media? That is stupid!”

  • It’s only stupid if you’re posting the same thing on each platform. Hint: Don’t do that.
  • It’s only stupid if you have the same following on each platform. Hint: You shouldn’t.

There are two reason off the top of my head as to why you should be on multiple platforms for social media.

1) Because you have different audiences on each platform (or at least you should). Different people use different platforms (think about the different demographics). This allows you to reach a wider audience.

2) Because not everyone consumes content the same way and the different platforms allow you to engage people differently.

The Most Important Reason to Use Different Platforms

I was going to change my two reasons in the previous section to three. But instead I created this new section because I think this point I’m about to make is probably the most important. (I know, I know…I said this earlier about another point).

You need to use different platforms because people eventually get tired of the current platform they are on. And if they get tired of that platform, they go on it less and less and become less engaged. Read: This is bad for you and your brand.

For that reason alone it is important to continue to evolve as social media evolves. If you don’t then you’ll be left in the dust.

Everything is Cool Until It Isn’t

Do you remember when you were younger? How you used to dress? How you were in style?

Imagine if you wore what you wore back then, now.

Not so cool anymore, is it?

If you looked at photos of yourself, you might even say “What was I thinking!” or “Wow, we thought we were so cool!”

Social media changes like fashion trends. What was cool yesterday and today, may not be cool tomorrow or in a year. If you want to continue to be part of the cool crowd, you have to change and update your wardrobe (social media platforms) when the new trends come along.

You don’t have to jump on the next social media train right when it comes out. But you don’t want to miss the train. Keeping an open mind with social media is important. And understanding that not all social media is the same or always going to be “cool” is super important.

Understand Your Audience

Now it’s time to drop some business knowledge in this post about how you need to be cool.

Knowing who your audience is, is probably more important than anything for your brand (except the last point I will make below).

If you think all social media platforms are the same, then you don’t understand your audience(s). Hopefully you have more than one audience.

People go on different social media platforms for different reasons. Let me explain in bullet points:

  • Facebook – Not sure why people go on here anymore 🙂 Probably just out of habit. It’s a good place to share uninteresting stuff and your views I guess. Old people use this.
  • Twitter – Easy way to share quick thoughts. Broad audience reach. You can “retweet” interesting stuff you see or hear. Old and young people use this.
  • Instagram – Photo sharing with some context. Typically younger audience.
  • Pinterest – A platform to post ideas. Buyers and sellers use this.
  • Vine – quick video sharing platform – engage your audience in 6 second video clips. Younger audience usually.
  • Youtube – a video platform to tell a story & if you’re smart you can use it to show your real self. The people that use Youtube are now watching less tv and watching content on their time.
  • Snapchat – a content creation platform and messaging app. No its not just for sexting anymore. The original audience was young, now it’s evolving.

Not only do you have to know who your audience is. But you need to know how they use each platform.

If you’re connecting your Instagram to your Facebook and Twitter then you’re doing it wrong. People don’t want to see the same thing posted on multiple platforms.

Engage, Engage, Engage

The last thing I’ll say about social media today is that it is not just a platform for you to post. Posting is only one aspect of social media.

Social media is supposed to be SOCIAL.

This means there should be an interaction.

Do you know how many businesses have it all wrong? 

Individuals and businesses may have a large following that they post to. But they fail to engage and interact.

The best way to build your brand, trust, or a relationship is to engage. To reply. To ask questions. To answer questions.

Your audience wants to feel engaged. They want to feel like you care about them.

If all you’re doing is posting content and reading the comments and not replying then eventually your audience is going to lose interest and stop engaging you. Its true. It’s like pursuing a love interest that just doesn’t care to hear what you have to say. Eventually you give up.

It’s Not Always About Selling

Just a quick tip – don’t always post to sell. Post to share.

For every sale post, post 2 or 3 things just to give your brand some exposure. If you are only posting to sell, you’ll be seen as a dirty salesman.

And That’s It

Social media makes it so easy to build  a relationship with your audience/consumers. Way easier than ever before. But if you don’t keep up with the social media platforms then you won’t have an audience to connect with.

So make sure you keep an open mind with social media platforms and you learn how to engage your audiences on all the different platforms.

Let me know what you think about social media and how you use it to engage people 🙂

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