It was good fortune that got me into social media three and a half years ago. I was in the right meeting at the right time and I raised my hand to say,
“I’ll do it.”
I launched and now manage the Compassion International blog and am a student of social media relying heavily on several of the blogs nominated for the Social Fresh Top Corporate Blog awards.
When Compassion came in third in the awards, the only non-tech company represented and one of two non-profits represented among the 29 finalists, it was tremendous validation.
Now I’m sharing the six points which serve as social media gospel for me each day as I run all of Compassion’s social media efforts.
1. Don’t Worry About the Other Guys
Obviously you need to be aware of what your competition is doing with social media but no more so than what any other company is doing. If your focus is on the competition, or anywhere other than your audience, you’re out of focus. Don’t let your competitors dictate what you should be doing and how.
2. Give ‘em What They Want
Your job is not about you and your opinions and preferences. And it’s not about your company. Obviously, you must balance out your company’s PR and marketing machine. But the audience is what should be top of mind. I run all my publishing decisions through this simple filter.
- Who benefits when I share this information?
- How does this add value to my audience?
In most cases, if I can’t find the value for my audience I don’t publish it. As far as giving the people what they want, keep in mind the people reading your blog, following you on Twitter, liking you on Facebook, etc. don’t necessarily want the same thing from you, which leads to …
3. Get Some Old School Social Skills
The notion, outside of social media circles, that anyone can do this job, “It’s Facebook for goodness sake,” is wrong. Success is not a matter of being able to figure out how to create a Facebook page or of being brilliant with digital tools in general. Success doesn’t just come to the great writers able to deftly turn a phrase. Success requires good judgment. And to exercise good judgment you need these old school social tools:
- Tact, to handle difficult and delicate situations
- Discernment, to recognize the unasked question or to get to the question behind the question
- Intuition, to immediately recognize an opportunity without having to smother it in thought
- Astuteness, to turn situations to your advantage
- Ingenuity, to make the most of your resources
4. Don’t Sell the Wine Before Its Time
There are times to act and times to be patient. Knowing when to push your leadership or other business areas to accept an idea, adopt a course of action or use a tool is highly valuable.
5. Get Comfortable With Missed Opportunities
There is only so much time, money, staffing support and capacity that you have. Establish your priorities and then be flexible with them.
6. Declare Your Independence
Don’t let the job consume you. Work hard. Indulge your passion. But make sure you have balance in your life. It’ll add depth and perspective to what you have to say, which will allow you to zig when others zag and will keep your social fresh.
What guides your use of social media each day?