As social media evolves, the search continues to determine who is doing social media “the right way.” Unfortunately and fortunately, there is no “right way.” As someone who is seasoned in the digital space and who has connected with business owners, influencers, brands and friends, what works for some people doesn’t necessarily work for the next. Don’t get me wrong, I feel there are definitely “best practices” when it comes to Social Media but ultimately it comes down to what you are trying to accomplish and what you are trying to get out of being present online. If we look at questions that help determine what your long term goal is, only then can one recommend “best practices” in order to grow your presence online. We must all remember that no everyone is trying to achieve the same thing. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Do you use social media solely as a news source? If so, you aren’t alone. Over half of online users use Twitter, Facebook and other sites purely to gather important breaking news topics and issues each day. In fact, these people are the very same people that appear invisible or hardly ever post.
- Are you present only to see photos and pictures of your friends and family? That’s OK. One of the number one reasons people love Facebook in particular is because it brings them closer to family they may have not otherwise been in touch with if it weren’t for social media.
- Do you crave humor and memes? Some people do. In fact, quotes, funny pictures, and inspiring photos still rank high in likes and engagement. Why? Because they are visual and touch on emotion.
- Are you looking to increase your personal brand online? Many compete in this space and this is where I see the most competitiveness. It’s easy to criticize others for not doing things necessarily the way you would do them, but that’s not fair. What works for others, may not work for you. Many factors contribute to this depending on your niche, time allotment, audience, etc. When is the last time you rolled your eyes as you saw another quote in your news feed? Probably recently. However, for that person, perhaps the majority of their audience responds to quotes, etc. and therefore is the right thing to do.
In order to properly assess if you are actually using social media to its full potential and possibly doing things correctly, it’s important to look at your end goal. I personally, like to be known as a “thought leader” in the digital space and therefore mix up my content which include cutting edge information, funny pics, inspirational quotes, great photography and thought provoking text posts. In addition, it all depends on my audience and on which network I am posting. I don’t find gaming numbers is an attractive nor valuable thing to do, so everything I have built on my networks has been organic. If you are one of those individuals that doesn’t really care about your personal brand, followers, or impact that you have then you have it a bit easier. In conclusion, I encourage people to be less judgmental and think about how the other person in your feed may have an entirely different set of goals, audience and ambitions when it comes to social media. We are not all the same.