10 Ways to Turn the Social Media Odds in Your Favor
1. Start Slow
One Social Media platform at a time! Once you are comfortable with your first choice, then add another. Otherwise, you will completely overwhelm yourself and your platforms will be unprofessional creating a bad "reputation" for you online. Remember: anyone can search your name and see everything you have done online!!!
You cannot change what you said or did in the past. (Just ask Paula Deen) One moment of weakness or stupidity will follow you for the rest of your online life! AND could possibly cost you everything you worked for. You need to decide NOW what type of reputation you want and need to accomplish your goals online.
If you don't know where you are going, then you will never get there! Take a moment to consider why you are online. Is it to meet new people, to network, to build a platform, etc.? Now, think about your ideal world - what does your online presence look like? (I have 10,000 real people Twitter friends that love me, I have built a solid network on LinkedIn that is providing job opportunities, I have over 20,000 likes on my FB Page and now have a publisher? dreaming) Okay, now we are getting somewhere. Prioritize your goals and tackle them ONE at a time. *Whatever your goal is determines where your focus is. Time to start researching!
Choose your #1 Goal (Make money from my Blog) Go to a search engine and search key words. If you are just creating your first blog, search for "Create new blog". If you want it to be free, add the word "free". The more specific you are with your search, the more specific your results will be. The Internet is HUGE and has many, many resources. Know what you are looking for and be specific. Also, make sure the web pages you find are credible. Don't believe everything you read on the Internet or you will end up dating a French model with a redneck accent!
5. One Step at a Time
When researching, you might find a hundred things to do and get very overwhelmed at how hard it appears. Take a deep breath and start with #1! You will learn as you go and one day reach #100 on your to-do list. If #1 is create a blog, the do it. #2 is to add widgets to your blog. So, AFTER you created the blog, start researching and playing around with new widgets. You can always delete and change your blog if you don't like something. You cannot start at the end!
If you are irregular, you will get backed up! (Yes I am still referring to social media) Social media will suck all the fun out of you if you are online 24/7 "working". Stop! Step back from the computer! You need a schedule. Evaluate your goals and progress. If you are posting on Twitter, FB, and Goodreads all day, then when are you having time for friends, family, and fun? There is an amazing thing called Hootesuite. It allows you to type out your posts and schedule a date to post without you having to be there! WOW time to be me!?!
7. Create Interest
To attract people you have to be interesting and valuable. No one wants to waste their time reading a blog that does not help them or interest them. As you have found out, social media is vast and there is not enough time in the day to sort through it all. Therefore, you need to be the Oprah of television hosts. She was/is real, caring, and provides current topics of interest. Smart lady! She rose to become the queen of television and is a huge influence on people everywhere. Basically, all you need to do is be Oprah. haha
8. Be Real and Caring
Social media is a peculiar outlet for people. Many are here to network and build their platform. The other half are here because they are looking for fun and friends. They are "the platform" that consists of real people with real feelings. You may be the only person they "talk" to each day. Do you care? If not, shame on you. If you do, then be real. Mingle, chat, follow back, check on people that said they are sick, etc. I think business minded people forget that they are talking to REAL people who want a friend not a salesman.
9. Current Topics
Let's give them something to talk about! Google Alerts allows you to receive emails about current topics in your niche. Use these to post your opinion or to just inform your audience. If you are current and interesting, they will follow!
10. Find your Niche
This should probably be #1 because this is where you fit in to the vast online world. This is who you are and why anyone should read your stuff. This requires a LOT of self reflection and goal mapping. Who are you? Why are you online? What do you care about? What message do you want to scream out to the world? What topic do you care about the most in your world? For me, it is bullying and suicide. I am a teacher and author. So, my niche could even get more specific to include secondary schools and students. That is one niche I have. Oh yes, you can have more than one!
My second niche is in the author world. Discovering online presence, platforms, social media, marketing, and not drowning under all of the items on my to-do list. Why do I care about all of this? Reflect back to my niche #1. I want to scream from the mountain tops for kids to STOP the BS! (bullying and suicide) I am passionate and believe that together we can STOP bullying and suicide. I have an easy plan that will work. I want to speak at every school and tell every child, teen, college kid, and adult that WE are the reason bullying exists. People bully others that are different or do not agree with the way we are. It is wrong and easily stopped. *deep breath* See, my passion came out and I started rambling. This is my niche! I want to help you find your niche and reach your platform so that you can scream out too!
Next week I will post 10 Things My Mother Taught Me About Social Media. Beware: it might make you laugh or cry. Hopefully, you will find your niche and a new found passion for social media!
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