It sounds like an empty truism, but it’s an important reminder. With increasing numbers of artists, nonprofits, and small businesses using social media for promotional reasons, it’s easy to turn one’s timeline into a series of blatant advertisements, which isn’t what anyone wants to see when they log on. People use Facebook, twitter, Instagram and Snapchat to hang out with friends, connect with like-minded peers, and see and share content that is of genuine interest. In other words: to be social. To effectively use social media promotionally, you’ve gotta be social, too.
What does that mean if you’re not looking to make friends and are only on a platform to spread the word about your show, web series, or crowdfunding campaign? Well, unless you already have a huge audience of fans waiting to click your every link, it probably means changing your attitude. Stop thinking in terms of pushing your wares, and start thinking in terms of connecting with people who will be legitimately interested in those wares. Poke around on similar accounts. Join relevant hashtag conversations on twitter and groups on Facebook. Follow people. Like. Share. Comment. Engage. Build your audience through making friends. Let people get to know you (or some version of you, or your brand) through your account. Post funny anecdotes, links to projects you enjoy that are not your own. Generally speaking, be a real person and a good neighbor, and make sure your explicitly promotional content is less frequent than your non-promotional content, or promotion of OPP (You know…Other People’s Projects. #ImOld)
The most important key to social media success is that you find a way to enjoy it. Don’t be cynical about the audience you want to build, be enthusiastic about the like-minded folks with whom you’re networking. You’ll get back what you put in–which doesn’t mean you need to spend all day online, it just means you need to be smart, open, and genuine.
Need some assistance tailoring a social media strategy to your needs that’ll be enjoyable, feasible and effective? Hit us up here at 4MC. We’re here to help.