6 social turn-offs

pitfall photo

What makes you stand out in social media? Photo by JD Hancock

If you want to be successful in social media it’s first and foremost about human to human interaction. Here are 6 pitfalls to avoid. 

1. Lack of personality

Your personality is what makes you 100% unique. Your skills and experiences can make you stand out. But it’s only your personality that is guaranteed to be unique. There are various methods to help you to display your personality.

  • Profile photo and cover photo are good places to reflect your personality.
  • Add something personal to your bio. A passion, an interest.
  • Give your content a personal twist.

2. Lack of passion

Passion can’t be imitated of faked. Passion shows in your content. Your content should be imbued with passion. Fire tends to spread and passion works the same way. Passion ignites and inspires. Have you ever been captivated by someone passionate about their subject? It doesn’t matter if you’re interested or not, you’re captivated because of passion.

  • What is your passion?
  • How can you use it in your content?

3. Lack of dialogue

It’s social media. That means dialogue, interaction and relation. Not lecture and monologue. Not spam. Those who never engange in dialogue miss the whole point of social media. Last month I wrote a post on curatti.com about relationships as the prime directive of social media.

  • Do you check a Twitter account for interaction before you follow?
  • Do you have a strategy to balance posting your own content, sharing other’s content and engaging in dialogue?
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Don’t spam in social media Photo by freezelight

 4. Being (too) salesy

Being salesy has no place in social media. You can land sales and deals using social media, but it’s an effect rather than a goal. It’s an effect of people getting to know you and trust you.

There are guidelines to help you how you mix your content. They point in the same direction. Be social, build relations and add value for the most part. I don’t consider either of these rules as “The Truth” but they’re good advice. But they need tweaking and adaptation to your business.

  • The 80/20 rule states that 80% of your content should be engaging and interesting for your audience. 20% should be about your brand.
  • The 60/30/10 rule suggests that 60% of your content should be curated. 30% should be owned content and 10% promotional.

5. Bad automation

Automation is tempting to save time in a busy schedule. Good automation makes time for you to be social and engage in conversations. Bad automation pushes a lot of posts, but make you look like a bot. I’m not a fan of auto DMs when I follow someone on Twitter. I favour responding in person to people instead.

Scheduling tools are great to help you post at the best times of the day. But don’t forget to follow up on your posts. A study by Amdoc revealed that 52% expect a response within 30 minutes. 57% expect the same response time whether it’s day, night or weekend. The average response time for the top 100 US retailers was 24 hours on Facebook. And it was 11 hours and 15 minutes on Twitter. Here is room for a huge improvement to meet expectations.

6. Putting quantity over quality

Consistency matters. Your social media accounts needs updating on a regular basis. But it’s not about quantity, but quality. If you hit a creative block don’t post bad quality posts. Curated quality content combined with dialogue works well.

Here are a couple of places you can go for inspiration. I can also recommend these 4 blogs for inspirational posts

What would you add to this list? Please share in a comment.

Numbers

3 tips to be personal in social media

 

Numbers

It’s not about the number of followers, but the quality of your relations

Social media is not about the number of followers, but the strength of the personal relationships you build. Here are three tips to help you.

 1. You are one person

Business, personal or private, you’re one person. You have to handle this somehow in social media. For instance. Even on a business network like LinkedIn there you can be personal. From a business perspective.

On Facebook you’re only allowed one personal account. Here you make Facebook friends with both business contacts, personal friends and family. You can use friend lists to limit what your various friends are can see.

You can create a Facebook page to keep your personal account and business apart. Sam Fiorella wrote: Your business don’t need a Facebook page. He favours the idea of building community on your own business website instead. With decreasing reach on Facebook I agree.

On Twitter you can have more than one account, but is it necessary? Mark Schaefer recenlty asked: Do I need two Twitter accounts? For me one account would be enough unless I used Twitter in two languages. Mixing languages on Twitter doesn’t work for me.

2. Human to Human

I’m addressing you in this post. Yes, anyone can read this post online, but it is you reading my words right now. I think it’s fundamental to keep this in mind. Social media connects people. Sucessful marketing speaks to you as a person. People who are sucessful in social media are excellent at connecting with people.

If you feel like a customer or follower it’s more distant than feeling like a person. Remember the saying. “People will forget what you said, but always remeber how you made them feel.”

Consider how you are using automation. There is a big risk automation gets impersonal and distant. Use automation to help you save time to be present and personal in social media.

For this reason I don’t like auto-DMs when I follow someone on Twitter. For this reason the inbox on the Facebook page is a priority. Here are a few tips to increase the personal interaction.

  • Take time to respond on Twitter rather than using an auto-DM.
  • Make sure your inbox is activated on your Facebook page.
  • Use your name on business accounts and pages to make sure that people know who they are communicating with.

3. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts

What happens between people is greater than the parts of the meeting. Inspiration and ideas add to the conversation and content of the meeting. The best way to illustrate this is the classic stereogram. Two flat images can be combined to one image with depth. A new dimension beyond either of the individual parts is added. This is for mutual benefit.

Stereogram

Charles Street Mall, Boston Common. Photo John P. Soule

The stereogram reminds us that social media is not about you. It’s about sharing. It reminds us of the prayer of Saint Francis: “it is in giving that we receive.” By giving it all you gain a whole new dimension.

I’d love to connect with you. Drop me a line in a comment below or on Twitter.

Photo credit: Janet Ramsden

Tip: 4 blogs you should read

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Do you have a couple of blogs you follow more closely? Blogs that inspire you? Blogs you return to when there’s an update because you know you’ll have a great read? I’ll recommend four blogs that I follow. They all deliver inspiring content about social media and marketing.

Curatti

curatti.com

Jan Gordon and the team of contributors on Curatti deliver really useful posts. They cover several areas within B2B. Posts are about trends and ideas as well as hands-on tips and tricks. When I write this the last three posts are about social listening, content curation and social media platforms. This variation of topis is typical for Curatti.

What I like about Curatti

  • The good combination  of a variation of topics within a specified niche.
  • The plain and simple layout makes it easy to read the posts.
  • The high quality content from great contributors.

{Grow}

www.businessgrow.com

Mark Schaefer and the other contributors on {grow} deliver unique insights. Inspiring, mind-boggling and new perspectives.  A big plus is the active community of people commenting. Mark is always quick to respond. Comments provide a lot of value besides the actual post.

What I like about {grow}

  • The unique and original content. {grow} is exceptionally inspiring.
  • The active community in the comments.
  • The posts make me think in new ways.

Postplanner

http://www.postplanner.com

Postplanner is a great resource for easy to apply tips.  The tag line is “Triple Your Engagement in 10 Minutes a Day”. Postplanner delivers on this. As I write this the last three posts are about: what the best social media influencers do. A collection of business articles and Facebook’s “save” feature. A how to on Twitter chats. I find this significant for Postplanner. Plain and simple tips. Joshua Parkinson and his contributors make your social media efforts easier.

What I like about Postplanner

  • All the tips to make my efforts on social media easier.
  • The practical approach. When I leave Postplanner I want to test what I learn.
  • The easygoing style. Read the values on the About page. The headline on number 1 is “Eat the dog food.” (Just skip over to them to see what they mean by that.)

Twelveskip

www.twelveskip.com

Twelveskip is great when it comes to web design and internet marketing. Pauline Cabrera and her contributors deliver high quality posts on these topics. She shares many tips, examples and templates for marketing and web design. I like “less is more” in layout. Twelveskip serves as a beautiful example of this. It’s plain and straightforward, but you can tell that Pauline has a great eye for layout.

What I like about Twelveskip

  • The insights and useful posts on web design and internet marketing.
  • The beauty of a simple and stylish layout.
  • The focus on small business.

“My favourite blog is…”

So this is 4 of my favourite social media blogs. Which one is yours? Fill in the blank and share your favourite social media related blog in a comment.

Photo by futureshape

Ripples

Go specific, go microviral, reach big

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We all struggle with organic reach don’t we? Look at your Facebook insights. I dare say they are going down, even if your page is growing in numbers. Even if you share great content.  What are your options? Paying for ads and boosting posts of course. You can also go small, specific and microviral.

There is not a clear definition for when we call a post viral. In general terms a viral post reach a lot of people (millions) in a short period of time (days). If you get a viral post it will boost your traffic for a short time. But there is no guarantee you will gain anything long term. Marketing expert Mark Schaefer told about one of his viral posts. Guy Kawasaki mentioned him. It generated a lot of short term traffic. But we want to grow our long term and loyal audience.

What is microviral?

Microviral means that you reach a small circle of active and loyal audience. And you reach them in a short time. Even with a few shares you can reach 10 times the number who like your page.

The maths is simple. A big page has an organic reach around 2-5% with each post. Let’s go for the lower 2%. If you have 1,000,000 likes that adds up to 20,000 people reached. With the microviral thinking you can reach as many from a small page with 2,000 likes. Or even better, split those 2,000 on 2 super specific pages with 1,000 likes each.

Maths doesn’t add up

In all honesty, it’s not as simple as the maths suggests though. There are more than 100,000 individual ideal weights producing your Facebook news feed. This means your page will reach fewer people than the maths suggests.

All the same, the principle works. You can reach a lot of people from a small and specific page.

Specific, local and relevant

You can’t afford losing engagement by posting something that isn’t specific or relevant enough. In my parish we have three churches. We have three Facebook pages, one for each church. On each page we post what’s relevant for that church. This way every post becomes more relevant. We could have one parish page instead, posting for all three churches. A lot of people are active in one church. One parish page would mean that only one of three posts would be relevant.

With of Facebook Place Tips you have another reason to go small and local. Geo-tag your photos to connect them to a local place. Use relevant hashtags to specify your content. You have to use every tool to make it possible for people to engage with your posts.

Quality content and connections

Facebook is the largest social network. But not the only one. I like to introduce people to Google Plus. It’s Google’s social layer. It’s free from ads. Photos of kittens are fewer than on Facebook. Most important, it’s all about quality content and connections. Through Ripples you can see how your post spreads.

I asked if Google Plus is the ugly duckling of social media. In many ways it is. I meet a lot of people disregarding it. One the other hand it’s a swan like the duckling in the fairy tale.

In Google Plus Communities it’s possible to connect with awesome people. When I have an issue with my website the WordPress Community is a treasure.

For a microviral reach I recommend you to go to Google Plus. Join a couple of Communities in your areas. Engage with the people. Offer your expertise. You will make great connections. You are welcome to connect with me.

What do you think about Facebook and Google Plus? Share your thoughts in a comment.

Photo: Geralt, Pixabay

How to: Benefits and challenges of building a local parish blog

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What are the benefits and challenges of having a  local parish blog? I’ve built our parish blog for a year now. I’ll share my experiences, tips, challenges and benefits.

Being a non-profit and faith driven organisation we don’t sell a product or service. (Though we have several services every week for free.) The parish blog (in Swedish) is one of the best ways to reach out with our message on recent and relevant topics. Building a blog takes preparation, a defined strategy, follow up and hard work.

The rewards of a blog are worth the effort. A blog drives traffic, connects you with people and gives visibility to your parish.

Preparations for a parish blog

I won’t go into the specifics of setting up your website and blog in this post. But rather go into the practicalities of launching a blog. Setting up a website and a blog are their own separate topics.

The issue of consistency

Before you launch your blog you want to know you’ll have people to create great blog posts. I set a goal to post at least once per week. One year in I’m happy to say I have reached that goal. It comes down to having a group of people willing to write at a regular basis.

Who can write for a parish blog?

In my parish there is an open invitation to everyone in the parish to blog. Blogging differs from writing an article for the local magazine or parish newsletter. I provide help and support to those new to blogging.

Strategy

Part of the ministry

Our blog is a part of the ministry.  Apart from blogging, we have a rock band, an art group and a drama group. We call this Creative Arts. Each blogger speak their own mind. This is important. There is no editorial group refusing or approving posts. The blog aims to write about life in the parish, Christian life and commenting on recent news and issues.

Relation to the church year and Sunday readings

Every week one priest is blogging. This post relates to the readings and the theme of the coming Sunday. The starting point of a blog post must be relevant. It has to catch the readers’ attention. It can be an article or editorial in the news. Or issues we all are facing in life, work, school, relationships, family and health.

The starting point relates to the readings and themes of the coming Sunday. When it’s appropriate it’s possible to link to a group or activity in the church.

Long term goals

One challenge for the church is to be relevant. “The Bible says…” or “When Jesus lived…” generally require an audience already interested in the church and the Bible. When that is not the case we must address people in another way. A blog gives the church a great possibility to say “In the news today…”, “When you face this issue…” and show how faith and scripture are relevant.

A blog is the start of a conversation. Conversations can start online and offline. Mark Schaefer suggests that we only see about 2% of our audience in the analytics. The other week I learned that the youth group had talked about one of our blog posts dealing with children in Swedish jails. Feedback like that tells me the blog is working.

So far comments on the blog have been few. Conversation happens on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and offline. I recommend Dorien Morin’s post Is blog commenting a lost art for a great read on blog commenting

A blog drives traffic. It’s a goal to use the blog as an entry point to the parish. From the blog the reader can discover more about the parish, our website and social media pages.

Follow up and work hard

This is important to point out. Building a base of readers take time. Looking for authors. Creating content for the blog. Sharing in social media. Follow up on comments and analyzing the statistics. To mention some tasks.

Do you have a parish blog, or a local business blog? What are your experiences? What have been your challenges? What benefits have you seen? Welcome to share in a comment.

Photo by kpgolfpro, Pixabay