Sunday, November 1, 2015

10 Ways to Simplify your Social Media Strategy

"What type of social media platform are you?" Honestly, I suspect those Facebook personality quizzes are purposely created to waste other people’s precious time. 

Do I need to know what type of politician I would have been if I was one? Hmm, I hope none of them, and frankly I don’t express my political views publicly.  

Another, even more useless discovery: “What kind of horror movie teen star are you?” The last time I watched a horror movie was on Halloween night during that infamous snowstorm that left most of the Northeast without power for weeks. The moment I realized it wasn't my smartest move, while “Scream” characters were being merciless sliced and diced on a blue screen, my lights started to flicker and eventually went off completely… Suddenly, the Halloween “spirit” felt uncomfortably close in the dark. 

Why do we want to know what kind of celebrities, rock bands, songs, or Harry Potter characters we would have been? How does it feel to find out that you are  #7F7F7F HTMX Hex color out of all 50 shades of gray? I bet it feels amazing!  What kind of car or, better yet, plane are you? If I was a plane I would be a Concorde—loud, and deadly. 

I read my Facebook friends’ quiz result posts with—declaring them to be dead presidents, rare minerals, instinct animals, etc.—with one thought in my mind: “Are you that confused about who you are?” 

Confusion is a Goliath of social media. It is THE main reason why people hate, fear and don't use social media to its fullest potential either for personal or especially business purposes. Social media with its millions of platforms, constantly changing at the speed of light, reminds me of my ADHD brain. It never rests. 

Flickr lost its followers and the market share to Instagram in photo sharing. Apple just came up with a new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. Who knows what Android has in the store? I think the new product should be called “Google Brain.” I can see a big demand for that type of technology in today’s market. 

The most common mistake people make about social media is profiling channels and their audiences: 

Pinterest is for middle-aged women; 
Snapchat is for kids; 
LinkedIn is for professional use only (wishful thinking—trolls love this site!);
Ello is for communists, who also believe in a “money free” society; 
Brigade is for politicians (Here’s your chance, guys! This beta site is ready for you to rumble. Bring your boxing gloves when you to sign on!);
Periscope and Meerkat are for people who can use selfie sticks; 
Blab is for playing Hollywood Squares; 
Wordpress is for bloggers;
Instagram is for selfie addicts (Kim Kardashian should start an “Instagram Anonymous 12-step program); 
Reddit is for engineers; 
Youtube is for those who finally figured out how to use their camera phones;
Twitter is for people who find it challenging to type more than 140 characters. and finally, 
Facebook is for changing the status of your personal relationship from “Happily ever after” to “It’s cheaper to kill that B$tch!” 

Unfortunately, this far-from-complete list of social media platforms will continue to grow and evolve more rapidly as time goes by. People will always feel the need for another, better and unique, one-of-a-kind idea for attracting today’s consumers and their precious 8 seconds of attention. 

The unfortunate reality is that you will never catch up. I repeat: You will never be equally successful on ALL existing social media platforms—even if you are Donald Trump, and one day wake up with the strange urge to become the U.S. President. 

Let me give you some helpful tips, or “hacks,” as they’re called nowadays, on how to simplify your social media initiatives and make this experience enjoyable, meaningful and profitable.
First of all. 
  • Relax. You are not the only one who’s confused. 
  • Follow 10 people who are successful on their social media platforms. Out of those, choose five you like and then cut down to the three who make the most sense in their presentations to YOUR Business. 
  • Start building your first “out of the box “ tool kit, with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube channels
  • Be a true leader. Meaning a leader who has followers (we are all VIPs in our own minds). If you are the CEO of a big corporation, at least create a Twitter account. By the way, Michael Dell and John Legere (T-Mobile CEO) are avid Twitter users. Do you think you are busier than Michael Dell? 
  • Give it some time and expect at least 6-9 months of a ramp up for your social media initiatives. 
  • Don’t scale too soon by buying the latest and the greatest social media and marketing automation tools in the beginning. Wait, and enjoy your learning process…slowly. Constant Contact (emailing software) can handle all of your first mass emailing campaigns. 
  • Start in your own backyard. Build your fan club inside your company.  Make asking questions a part of your clarity tactic. Be aware that some people don't like to comment publicly.  Generate conversations in private messages. Just don't stalk them. 
  • Please, do all of us a huge favor and get a professional photographer’s help on creating your social media avatar. I know, smiling can be challenging sometimes, but you can do it. 
  • Blog about things that matter. Tell your fans a story about how your product and services changed someone’s life . Try to write something compelling and fun. 
  • While trying different things and marketing on all those platforms, just follow this formula  Clarity = Customer (where all of your focus should be) + Content (what they like to read) x Common Sense (remember, Google Brain is not coming out anytime soon.)   
In reality, social media selling is a very simple concept: It is a buying not a selling process.
And not to forget our quiz subject, my answer to the question “What type of Social Media platform are you?” is:  “The clearest one—the one that makes sense to your audience.”

If you like to learn more on how to simplify your social media strategy follow me on Twitter @natashajuhasz and LinkedIn - Natalia Juhasz

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