According to William Vanderbloemen, CEO of Vanderbloemen Search Group and Forbes contributor, there are four basic aspects of a successful social media strategy.
1. Never trust a social media expert.
If someone says they are an expert, they likely aren’t. Most people who know their way around will describe themselves as learning, and not learned. Sure, there are some basics that thought leaders have learned, but the social media game for business changes on a daily basis. A really basic guide that is helpful is Platform by Michael Hyatt.
2. Find a teenager.
If you work for OSHA, please stop reading at this point. Two years ago, we were trying to figure out this new app called SnapChat, and just couldn’t find any grown ups who understood it. Then it dawned on me that our 12 year old knew it well. We “hired” her to come teach the office for a couple of days, and the time and lessons were pure gold. (*If you are with OSHA – Disclaimer – we did not officially “pay” the underage laborer. She did, however, receive a nice bonus in her weekly allowance).
3. “Friend” people and “follow” them.
While my mother will undoubtedly comment that “friend” isn’t a verb, it is. And you need to start doing it. You won’t build a network without reaching out. Surprisingly, no matter what medium you are using, being proactively friendly, without being hauntingly creepy, is the key to building a valuable network.
Bonus: If you’re thinking about hiring someone, follow them on social media. In our work at Vanderbloemen Search Group, we do a social media scrub on candidates, because social media is often more helpful than a resume when getting to know a candidate.
4. Be you.
One of the biggest comments I hear from my peers that aren’t on social media is, “I don’t know what to say.” If you or your business don’t have anything to say, then what is its purpose? Humanize your brand. Create community among your customers.
As you’re thinking about your social media strategy, use the rule of thirds:
- One third of the content you’re sharing on social media should be about your business (blog posts, updates, customer stories, etc…)
- Another third should be personal (pictures of you and the family, updates on a book you’re reading, sharing about your hobbies, etc…)
- The other third should be other thought leader’s content you like (quotes, articles, etc…)