I hear it a lot. “I just removed my Facebook profile.” “I de-friended like 20 people that had statuses I didn’t like seeing.” “Everyone is being mean about my status update.” Here’s the thing; Social media is SOCIAL. Don’t get your panties in a bunch let me explain some things about these ‘major’ complaints.
Stop being upset about Status Updates
People are going to post things on Facebook and Twitter that are sometimes viewed as whiny, soapboxing, or a variety of other understandably annoying things. Something to remember is that most people are doing these things not do get a critique or suggestions on solutions. People use social media as an outlet for communicating their feelings and opinions. It isn’t wrong and it isn’t the end of the world. Remember this, if you don’t like it don’t read it, don’t respond to it. I get caught in the whirlwind of social media sometimes and comment on those soapboxing status updates. Most importantly, don’t feel like you have to continue following people if they upset you online. If you don’t want it in your news feed block them or unfriend them.
You know what is even worse then a status complaining about your job? A status complaining about everyone else complaining about their job. People can say and do whatever they please but try to be less judgmental about people using it as an outlet.
Unfriending Fall-outs and Protocol
You can’t expect everyone to like you and you can’t expect to like everyone. I feel like this is one of the things that stress people out the most about social media. They create anxiety surrounding losing and gaining followers as well as unfriending people themselves. When it comes down to it, social media is an extension of communication and socialization, if you don’t want to be socializing with someone then don’t. I hear a lot of fights that ensue with people not following people or unfriending people. Some people seem to use it as a passive aggressive play at power, which is just wrong, don’t get in a fight with someone on-line and instantly block them. Like real life this passive aggressive gesture will just make things worse. Unfriend people that you aren’t actively communicating with sure, but don’t use this as a power play.
Also, if someone messages you about unfriending them, don’t just ignore it. Be honest with them, as in life, honesty is often the best policy.
Edit yourself on-line
One of the most important things you should do on any site, not just social media is to edit yourself. I am not talking about correct spelling and grammar (though it is important), I am talking about editing in terms of personal censorship. If you read something you are about to post and you think it will piss someone off, then reconsider. Something you will notice that is making the news a lot recently is people that aren’t editing themselves on-line. There is this sense of freedom on-line that isn’t limited by typical social morality. It seems like people are letting it all out on-line because they don’t think there will be repercussions. There are almost always repercussions and the media onslaught surrounding people posting racist or sexist comments on-line is proof of this. Not all backlash from an offensive post will be as obvious as this, that is why editing yourself is important.
Social Media is meant to increase your connects and social activity with others. It also functions as great conduit to fans, consumers and colleagues. Remember that interaction is public and can easily be read into and misconstrued. It is easy to forget this, you can become emotional and upset be comments and opinions. Just remember one thing, these are just comments and opinions!
Twitter is a fickle beast, don’t get me wrong. Things can go south on Twitter really quickly but it is by far the best networking tool online that I have utilized. I like LinkedIn but it has its own pitfalls in terms of networking abilities and socialization. You are limited on LinkedIn, Twitter is really open ended, which is also its failing.
When it comes down to it Twitter functions like its own little universe, which is why it can be terrifying to some people. Someone I work with just turns up her nose at the mention of twitter, she doesn’t like it. Apparently her sister just went on Twitter celebrity following binge once and due to that experience she can’t stand Twitter. I can’t blame her, her sister seems to fall into the “People Magazine, Celeb Gossip” Twitter community. Which I will admit is a Twitter community I tend to avoid. Though the beauty of Twitter is that there is a ton of different communities and other benefits that rise twitter to the cream of the social media crop. Let me list the ways:
Community Galore and Increasing your Network
Are you a nerd? Are you a nerd into baking, comics, and ABC’s scandal? Well there is a community out there on twitter waiting for you! A mistake that a lot of people tend to make on Twitter is following the “unattainable”, which by all means I follow some famous people but the majority of my followed profiles are “real” people. The great thing about twitter is you can search based on discussed topics. I highly highly suggest you do this, type anything in that you find interesting and just read the feed. Like what someone is saying? Click on their profile, read a couple updates and if you adore their statuses… FOLLOW THEM. You will increase your network very quickly if you do this because chances are they will want to discuss these things with you.
Unfollowing and Bots
Now you might be questioning why this is a benefit… Well, let me explain. It can be a downfall if you take it too seriously but Twitter unfollowing can be beneficial to you. If someone is just not interested in what you have to say they will unfollow you, but don’t take in personally, chances are you will gain another follower in his/hers place. Things happen much quicker on twitter then on any other social media site so don’t fret if you lose three people in one day, chances are you will get five more next week. Alright now lets talk bots, chances are if you are active on twitter in any way you will get followed by some bots. Which is totally fine! Just don’t follow them back! It will increase your following numbers but I can promise you will get annoyed if you feel the need to play the follow back game with a bot.
Following Back and Sharing the Love
Unlike Facebook I can almost assure you that most of the people you will follow and that will follow you will be people you have never met in real life. I mean I have IRL friends that follow me in twitter but I would say that they only make up a small percentage of my followers. Also chances people you are following on Twitter will also need support in a way. Retweeting is an easy way to spread word on something in twitter but another wonderful occurrence on twitter is #FF or Follow Friday. Its a hashtag in which you attach the @ link for all your favorite Twitter profiles to follow. It spreads the word and increases your social capital on Twitter. Its a beautiful and wondrous thing.
Your News Feed
While Facebook has a newsfeed you are usually reading personal news on that platform. Facebook lends itself to more personal updates, often they aren’t posted in a very timely fashion either. Twitter on the other hand supports the timely posting and updating of important events. Often I find myself going to twitter just to see what is going on in the world. Twitter has truly become a source for news and timely updates, you will even find that companies post new products and services on Twitter first.
Now if for whatever reason twitter still terrifies you, I understand though I would push you to at least give it a try. Twitter can be a great source of ideas, support and communication among like minded individuals.
I have been thinking a lot lately about how to better communicate what to do and not to do in Social Media to small business owners. Some have more experience then others, some don’t even have a person Facebook page (I have experienced that first hand and it was kind of frightening). I was thinking recently about how to explain the difference between maintaining a personal page and business page but to be honest those lines are slowly beginning to blur because people are starting to market themselves through social media. You are, whether you like it or not, slowly becoming your own brand. Case in point the Kardashians; I started to browse their social media presence and what I found is a handful of things that I can point of and easily say do this, or don’t do this to a small business owner. I also find that the Kardashians are a great medium to use to explain this because of their pop culture weight, even if you don’t love them you still know who they are and you can easily digest analogies.
Shall we? Alright, prepare yourself!
1) Stay on trend with new social media outlets, but don’t jump on them too quickly:
Firstly and foremost they are on top of social media trends. I am ashamed to say it but until I started looking into the presence I didn’t even know that Keek existed. Now I am not saying Keek is the next big thing, matter of fact I find it clunky. Regardless, their entire family is on the top of the most subscribed users list on the site. They are on top of their game, and while I tell most companies to find at the very most five social media sites they like a focus on just those I do think there is a lesson here. Stay on top of which social media sites are rising and which are falling so you can see fit to jump on a new one if its a match to your needs.
2. DO NOT, post the same information on all your profiles, sites, etc.:
What every single Kardashian does that I just can’t get behind is the fact that the share the same links and updates on every site they are on. Also is I see a link about a sale at their store DASH on one of their twitters I know its on all of them. There is such thing as over saturation and there is such a thing as what I like to call “white noise” content. Half of their pages seem to be devoted to store promotions without any interesting additional content. Its great they are using their profiles to promote their stores, makeup, clothing, etc. but it gets to be spammy and unreal after a while. I always tell companies to consider what content they like to read before they publish something. If you would click the link due to a boring promo text before it then think of something else. Yeah it’s great that DASH is having a trunk sale on awesome socks, how about a picture of Kim wearing her favorite pair? How about a little personality?
3. DO NOT over link with no additional content:
Following the previous tip pretty closely is their rampant over linking. I think evey post that they share on twitter is linked. Which yeah I get it everyone has more to say then the 140 characters will allow. Still, a link on 85% of your page? The truth is that not a lot of twitter links get clicked on. If you think about your own social media use as I did mine, and I even asked some of my friends as well, you rarely click on a link on twitter. Sure it does happen, but for me it happens even less with the celebrities I follow especially when the only incentive I have is “Our gorgeous new bedding! http://bit.ly/1jEsJsdfe”* If you really wanted me to click then say “Check out me and Kayne lounging on our new bedding”. Give me more, your trying to sell me on something, give me incentive to click that link, if its your name attached to that bedding then I am most likely purchasing it for that reason.
4. If you pride yourself in being a certain type of brand then be that brand EVERYWHERE!
One thing I will say about the Karadashians is that their everywhere but what I can’t seem to fathom is how they don’t seem to have that great of a handle on the distribution of their image. Kim is slowly becoming a fashion icon to some, her marriage to Kayne has propelled her further up the food chain whether we like to admit it or not. Kim will often post articles on her celebbuzz site about how to style things. That sounds exiting right? Getting tips from someone famous, getting fashion tips from them directly. While I don’t know if that is the case, the writing is dry and short, they pictures a good but not great and half of the stuff she is wearing is linked to more short and dry articles that include that piece of clothing. For someone who takes great pride in being everywhere and doing everything she is not giving it her all online. If you really want to imbue more brand loyalty and your brand is a fashionista model business woman then be that everywhere. Kim Karadashians celebbuzz is one big ad, I am not getting any better content then I would from an US Weekly article about her coat, matter of fact I might get more pleasure from reading that then I would her site. Despite what some people may say YOU have the control over your presence online, you shape and mold it.
5. If it has your name on it doesn’t mean everyone will immediately buy it:
This is something that may be harder to understand because out of everything this point is a little more B2B then anything else. Just because you have a loyal customer or fan base that already exists for one item it doesn’t mean you can expect the next one to be just as successful with little to no market research. My point being is that the Karadashians seem to produce whatever the like and put their name on it. While that’s all good and dandy it really does them a disservice. Why, because each market they try to corner has different rules and needs. Bedding is different from makeup is different from a retail store. If you start a business selling shoes your next obvious retail venture would not be steak knives. While that is more of a starling difference what you need to consider is the only thing that these products really has in common is the Karadashian name. The branding isn’t even the same and the design can differ greatly. My point is that is if you are a bakery that prides themselves in decadent deserts don’t try to have a full restaurant menu overnight. We are over eager these days and we want to have full far reaching brands very very quickly. You have to remember that some of the most successful brands today, i.e. Apple originally only sold one or two products and built their lines over a series of decades. If you want to flat line as a company then stretching yourself thin too quickly would be the way to do it.
The Karadashians despite all of these failings are actually, in contrast to their how they became famous, quite successful. Let’s look at their net worth:
Kim Karadashian: 40 Million **
Khole Karadashian: 11 Million **
Kourtney Karadashian: 12 Million **
Kris Jenner: 30 Million ***
Though if you look at their net worth calculations most of them are based on their endorsement contracts and their reality TV contracts. The more you know the more you understand that their brands aren’t really big money makers, and seem to be just more or less hobbies for these girls. They can afford that, but can you?