The 10 Commandments of Social Media …
Well entrepreneur friends, I’m back with the very last post (fourth) of my “Christmas in July” — end of the month commandments miniseries. So far we have dug into the 10 commandments of writing then we went off into the visual world of graphic design “rules” and ended last week off with come good ‘ol commandments for the web. I saved the best for last – and know for some of you this is your least favourite business task (let’s say nemesis even!) … social media!
Sometimes as solo-preneurs we just want some guidance when it comes to the ever-changing ways of social. Even the pros … everything changes so quickly and there’s all these new “rules” and trends to follow. It’s exhausting some days. Well … today I’m here to offer some insight by sharing with you my Virtually Untangled 10 commandments of the world of social. But before I do, as you’re reading through the 10 “tips” keep in mind that participation in social is EVERYTHING. If you aren’t in the game, you can’t win! And with that being said, here’s your untangled version of the 10 commandments (or things) you should be doing to get in and win with social media …
Commandment #1: Get connected – with everyone, literally everywhere.
One thing I notice that a lot of entrepreneurs simply forget to do is to cross-link their social platforms. On your Facebook account (personal and business), add links to your Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Add these links (in an aesthetically pleasing design sort of way of course) to your electronic email signature, your business cards, your letterhead … Add them to the end card of your YouTube videos. Why? Because that’s who you propagate and make important connections everywhere. That’s how you sell it!
If you’ve done that but are looking for a more fun way to showcase your profile, check out this great platform that I share on the Resources page of my website called WooBox (roughly middle of the list). I have used it to untangle my business’ social needs and if you haven’t heard of it, or used it yet … I think you’re going to fall in LOVE with it!
Commandment #2: Be creatively creative 24/7.
I feel commandment #2 goes hand-in-hand with #1 as it’s of equal importance to being connected; being creative! Why? Because that’s why your audience wants … to see transparency, see authenticity, see you being relatable and engaging, see you having fun and not being all “buttoned up business-ey”. They want to see something out of the box. Even better yet … like there is no box! And truthfully, this is the real reason they will choose you over the millions of other companies literally at their fingertips. Because your virtual voice screams out to them. Word for WORD – Graphic for GRAPHIC – Line by LINE.
Do something uncomfortable today. By stepping out of your box, you don’t have to settle for what you are – you get to create who you want to become. ~ Howard Walstein, Owner/Director of KidsDance
Commandment #3: Upload, upload, upload.
Upload photographs. Upload videos. Upload podcast episodes. Upload everything you have at your fingers tips because your audience wants to see and hear you! They want to put a gorgeous face to that business name. They want to know the person behind the name is real. They want to see you engage. And truthfully … what’s better than seeing a smiling face while learning more about what a business has to offer! It’s easy. You can do it; I know you can. And guess what?!?! It’s free. It just takes time.
Commandment #4: Don’t hide under a single rock.
It’s okay to go a bit crazy when it has come time to create yourself some online profiles. Or if you’ve been in the game awhile … add a new platform (or two) into the mix to create engagement with a different type of audience. So, go ahead … create your profiles; do it now before someone else takes them. Once they are gone, they are gone forever. And by gone, I mean you want that special page name, just like you did when you hunted for that perfect business name and/or website URL.
Commandment #5: Proofread before going live.
This is basically a rinse n’ repeat of commandment #5 in my graphic design post … And rightfully so as it’s one of the most common errors in not only design-land but also on social (if not even more so). Try not to rely on your spell checker too much. Your computer can do a lot to help you out, but if you use the tools at your disposal without thinking or double checking your work on your own, you could find yourself in big trouble with an error you may not be able to go back and fix. So please, proofread. Then read it again, and again. And when it’s finally time to put your words into that glowing white post box … read it again. Space out your paragraphs (remember that white space is your friend. And add some dang emojis already. LOL!
Commandment #6: Consistency is the key … the GOLDEN key.
The information you share with the world should reflect your brand. Therefore, you need to have a consistent style, colour theme, typefaces (remember … never more than 3 outside of the “family) and tone of voice. Don’t be afraid to be creative with your visuals – and your writing — to keep your audience engaged and coming back for more. Just make sure you are keeping things consistent throughout all means of communication.
Have you noticed that this commandment has been an important note throughout this entire series?!!
Consistently you might say … (LOL!)
Commandment #7: It’s never about you … (I know right?!?!).
Truthfully – and yes, this might sting a little bit – people don’t care about your business. They care about their problems. So, be the solution they’re looking for. Lead with undeniable value that targets their specific needs. People will trust you only once they know you can provide the solution(s) they need But also that you care about them. No matter what your program is, how cheap your prices are or even how skilled you are … if they can’t see that you care, they won’t stick around. A great way to do this is to ask yourself every single time you’re ready to click that “POST” button, will this pass your audiences WIIFM (what’s in it for me) filter?
So, what I’m getting at here is don’t just use social media to promote yourself and all your business goodies. Give your audience what they want … exclusive access to deals and giveaways, contests, personalized quizzes and content from other sources of relatable topics.
Commandment #8: Be cool. Don’t be a spammy spammer. It’s gross.
There’s a very distinct line between thoughtful commentary, a quick personalized LinkedIn “hello” PM, helpful posts and links, and downright SPAM! (And no, not that meat that comes in a can!)
Irrelevant or inappropriate messages sent on the Internet to a large number of recipients.
Unwanted or intrusive advertising on the Internet.
One of my absolute hugest pet peeves that weirdly comes with the territory on LinkedIn lately just so happens to be all those fun people that look like you could really connect with, have a lot in common with or perhaps even collaborate ideas with … then BAM! Just like that you’re connected and the very first thing they do is send you a PM pitch! Oh … My … Gaaaah. Seriously the worst. And to me, that’s spam. They’re not looking to make a solid connection, engage with me or even look at my profile so they can get to know me better. They’re just looking to make a quick buck … an instant win! *le sigh! A little “Hi, nice to meet you” goes a long way …!
Want a bit more information so this isn’t you? Then check out this amazingly great article: 5 Types of Social Spam (and how to prevent them).
The internet is 95 percent porn and spam. ~ Margaret Atwood, Canadian Poet
Commandment #9: Never EVER underestimate the POWER of integrity.
This is so important that it absolutely a commandment (personally and professionally). Relationship-building and establishing trust and credibility are in every way, shape and form essential if you want to be successful using social media. Honestly, if you want to be successful at all. The only way you can establish yourself as a credible and trustworthy entrepreneur is to exemplify your values in your business voice; the way you market yourself, your brand, and your products/programs/services. In doing just that, is what constitutes ethical marketing (something that is often lacking in the virtual business space).
Your clients, your audience and your business should mean everything to you. So, remember, once trust is broken, it’s nearly impossible to earn back.
Commandment #10: Be true to yourself and your brand.
As always, saving the most important for last … YOU and your BRAND.
Think of things this way … You (and maybe even your team, if you have one) have spent oodles of hours, day after day, crafting your brand’s mission and values across your every section of your website, your marketing materials and even your physical advertising items. So, now is most definitely NOT the time to abandon the positive image you’ve worked so hard to cultivate. It’s important not only to respect followers’ time and intelligence, but also to be consistent with your branding and messaging across all platforms. That way your audience know both who YOU are as a human being and the what your business stands for.
#BeYou its what entrepreneurs do!
You don’t have to let yourself be terrorized by other people’s expectation of you. ~ Sue Patton Thoele, Author
Well this concludes Virtually Untangled’s “Nerdy Christmas in July” miniseries … everything you need to build a power “no box” brand that build relationships, authority and trust all the while socially standing the test of time. Unlike the fast pace of online trends, these commandments shall never change … They may evolve just as technology does but at the very core, the fundamentals remain the same!
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