How Sinful is Your Social Media Management?

Author: James Bischoff on 03/31/2015

If you manage social media you know that the rules, best practices, targeting options, and available features of any given social media platform are subject to change with no real notice. There is a constant focus on the next, the better, and the newer. The importance of staying up to date in your field should be obvious.
Unfortunately, when I’m perusing news sources in the hopes of gleaning what the next big shift may be what I generally find is an endless supply of “what not to do’s.” Nothing wrong with that, of course, except their tips and tricks are generally common sense (“Don’t get into petty arguments” or “Don’t use low quality imagery”) and don’t really teach me anything I didn’t already know. There is a big difference between knowing how not to fail and knowing what it takes to succeed. Knowing what not to do is a good start but in no way helps you build a truly successful social presence. I have identified a simple truth. The secret to a successful social media presence, from Facebook to Snapchat, Meerkat to MySpace, is straightforward: be willing to sin.
In social media, simply lust for meaningful engagement. Crave it. Need it. Breathe it. Remember that you will die without it. If you don’t have meaningful two-way engagement what’s the point? More than getting likes, comments, shares, views, or retweets your job is to create, build, expand and ultimately convert relationships.
Be gluttonous with your content. Hoard it. Stockpile it! You’ve certainly heard the 2014 Buzzphrase of the Year Winner (that award isn’t real, but it should be) ‘content is king.’ Whitepapers, reviews, blogs, infographics, pamphlets, testimonials, landing page content, newsletters, photos, graphics, videos. You may operate in a silo, but your content doesn’t have to. Requesting content from other departments and creating a database is the easiest way to save time finding or creating relevant content when you need it.
Greed is often associated with material goods and it is important to remember that your followers are, at the end of the day, just material goods if you fail to convert them. Building a solid base of engaged social followers, again, is the name of the game! Think of your social outlets as a funnel where the more you put in the top (likes, followers, connections, etc.) the more you convert (leads, sales, brand advocates, etc.).
*Note the importance of building and not buying. NEVER buy connections. Ever!
Sloth is a comically slow-moving weird little Ewok looking mammal with orangutan-like arms that hangs upside down using ridiculously hooked claws. Perhaps more appropriately, sloth is also defined as a failure to do something. According to Wikipedia, “by this definition, evil exists when good men fail to act.” In social media, evil exists not when you fail to act, rather, it exists when you act for no reason. Be slow moving, be thoughtful, have purpose. Quality outweighs quantity. Don’t forget this.
Wrath is a little bit different, it is not something that you should do in social media but rather something you should be aware of. You don’t have to manage the social account for a lumber company downing trees in the rainforest or a manufacturer dumping toxic waste into a river to have experienced the belligerent, often unfounded, fury of an upset troll, err, I mean person. Keep in mind that this will eventually happen and be ready for it. Having an articulate, coherent, thoughtful and professional response prepared can make all the difference in the world.
Face it; you know of at least one competitor that gets the kind of engagement you can only pray for. Be envious of them; let them drive you to continue improving. Beyond being envious, analyze what they are doing that is working so well. Are there patterns in their strategy? Are there content trends that may work for you? Find someone doing it better than you and, if it makes sense, follow their lead and see what happens. If it works that’s great. If not, that’s great too, at least you know!
The philosophical quandary of our century is now “If something noteworthy is accomplished but not shared on social media did it really happen?” Pride is crucial in the world of social media. As the manager of a social media account it is your job to “toot your own horn.” Beyond sharing, take pride in the content you share. For starters, you should be spellchecking and only sharing content you are confident displaying to the world.
So there you have it, a simple foolproof formula for success on social media. No tricks or secret formulas, just tried and true tactics to guarantee success. Enough of what I have to say though, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Which of the seven sins do you think is most critical?