This month I've been thinking a lot about social media.
It's incredible. It's invaluable for people who want to be social today. People can (and many do) make a living from nothing but social media by being influencers, running social media accounts for businesses, or sharing what they love with the world (among other methods).
Some successful brands, people, and businesses don't even have their own websites anymore, only social media accounts.
It's magic. It's the discovery of electricity and the invention of the internet all over again. I've said it before and I'll say it again: we are living in the best time to be alive on Earth, and a lot of it has to do with social media.
And if you think social media is making us antisocial, you've been seriously misguided and you've focused too much on the negative.
I've watched videos of people who, for whatever reason, poured their heart out after a divorce on TikTok, having never posted a video to the internet before... and found hundreds of comments offering nothing but support and love to them. I literally couldn't find a single negative comment.
I follow numerous creators like Jimmy Darts that collect money e.g. during live streams and then go out and donate it to random people on the street, just to spread positivity and goodwill.
There is an endless source of positivity in social media. You just have to seek it.
Unlike public media, which has tons of gatekeepers and possible ulterior motives, social media has the power to be just us. Anyone can post just about anything and millions of people might see it in a matter of hours. That's extremely powerful, and that hasn't happened in human history before now.
My current relationship with social media
I regularly check out the best guides for posting on any given platform and try to remember best practices in my head, but considering my beliefs in how amazing and useful social media is, I want to start taking social media management more seriously. So this month I started compiling a list of best practices across the most popular platforms of today.
I'll probably post that list in the near future (when I finish it), but for now I want to touch on the overarching social media strategies I employ.
The best habits and fundamentals of a good social media strategy
Truly, my strategy for every social media account I run is very long term and evergreen. I strive to detach myself and all the accounts I run from the mercy of platforms and algorithms as much as possible.
I believe social media is just a tool for creating a community of people. I believe it should be used as an extension of yourself, your company, and/or your brand. It's where you meet people, show them what you have to offer, teach them what you know, and learn from them.
Forget "social media". Behind all the social media platforms, algorithms, and strategies... are just people. You are trying to reach people. Social media is nothing more than an incredible medium by which you can reach people.
I think that is the most fundamental and important strategy you can employ in social media... remember you are just one real human person (or group of people) trying to reach other real people. You're not trying to please an algorithm or get a big number of likes.
But here are some tactical methods to make the best of today's social media landscape to make that strategy happen:
Make lots of content (probably much more than you think you should)
There is such a thing as too much content, of course, but unless you are a spam bot or a team of Zigerian (with a "Z") scammers, you probably can't make enough to consider it "too much", so make lots of content.
Most businesses and brands on social media do not post enough.
Overall, a couple of posts a day should be considered a minimum.
Don't be a perfectionist. You can make the occasional "big time hollywood production" to itch a perfectionist scratch you might have, but the people that like you want to see you goofing around at the office, shot from a shaky, handheld smart phone. They want to see you talk about how you package your products; just because you think it's boring, doesn't mean everybody does.
As a matter of fact, anyone who likes you even a little bit would probably love to watch a 1 minute video of you talking about how
Are you the type of person that wonders why people post pictures of the food they're about to eat to Instagram? Or how reality shows get so many views? Well open your mind good human, because there's one very simple reason for these things: it's because people want to see it.
Not all boring content will be loved and received well, but don't restrict yourself. Post lots of things, even things that you think nobody will like. Let everyone else be the judge of what they like.
Reply to all your comments BEFORE you do anything else.
Before posting anything, make sure you have responded to every single comment/question given to you on your previous post(s).
Not only will this help you in the eyes of just about every single social media platform algorithm (they love to see you engaging with your followers), above all else, IT'S THE RIGHT RIGHT THING TO DO.
Remember: this is social media. "Social" is literally in the name. You aren't here to spew content at people faces and become an overnight sensation because of how awesome you are, you're here TO BE SOCIAL!
People are following you probably because they like you and/or want to get to know you better. The least you can do is respond to them and/or answer their questions!
Don't get things mixed up my good friend, taking care of the people that like you right now is way more important that catering the people that don't like you yet.
Plus, if you're not responding to people that took time out of their day to look at and reply to your posts — even if it was to insult you — and you have the audacity to think you deserve more followers... check yourself, my friend. Check yourself good!
Socialize on popular (and unpopular) posts in your industry
After you respond to all the comments/replies/questions for your business, explore other people's content which is relevant to your industry and engage with it!
This is another thing that just about every social media platform openly says they look at favorably.
And again: this is social media (remember my rant from the previous point?)
Answer people's questions, follow promising creator's accounts, leave comments on other people's content...
Look at me.
Leave comments on other people's content, ABOUT THEIR CONTENT. Do not go around other people posts and say "come check out my awesome account/business/new product!"
Would you bust into a local mom & pop bakery shop and scream "stop what you're doing, ignore these stupid bakers, and come buy my awesome new textured crafting tape!" at the top of your lungs? No? Then don't do it on other people's content on social media.
Don't worry about numbers.
Don't ever worry about how many followers, subscribers, likes, shares or anything else you have.
10 dedicated, loyal, die hard fans that will go to any event you put up and buy any product you put out are worth infinitely more than 10 million followers that don't even look at any of the content you post.
I get it. Lots of people care about those numbers. Big numbers are associated with legitimacy and success, but ask anybody... they'd
Do not buy followers.
Just don't buy followers. Buying followers is bad. When you think "buy followers" you should immediately think "vomit frosting on a moldy cupcake".
Just don't even think about it. If the thought of buying followers gently breezes into your mind: firmly clamp it in your hands, throw it to the ground, stomp it into pieces, pick them up, stuff them into a canon, and shoot them violently into the sun.
First of all, if you get popular enough, people will find out you did it. It is not hard to tell who bought followers (either by looking at their public analytics or just by looking at how many followers they have compared to how little engagement their posts get). And in the best case scenario: that will make you look bad. In a worse scenario: it will make people who love you, no longer like or trust you. That would be sad.
Second of all, social media platforms are getting better at detecting who buys followers... and guess what: they don't like it. They will happily ban your account or limit your reach.
Third of all, it's just wrong. Don't be scummy. Don't waste your money. Don't buy followers. When you buy followers, you're just paying a click farm to follow you with a buttload of fake accounts... and those those fake accounts don't interact with your posts and they eventually get detected and deleted by the platform, so you will lose them as followers sooner or later one way or another.
The Most Valuable Social Media Platforms Today
TikTok. Just TikTok. I've already done an entire post dedicated to how amazing TikTok is. Here's a summary, speaking from experience:
If I post something on Instagram, some of my friends/followers will see it.
If I post something on TikTok, all my friends and followers will see it, and in many cases, so will about 100–2,000 strangers I've never met.
TikTok is the place to be for any rising star, or anyone who wants strangers to see their content.
TikTok is not just for kids. There are tons of 20, 30, 40+ year olds on TikTok. TONS. Literally tons. Over 30% of TikTok users in the US are 40 and older. That's over 21 million people in the US alone. And those statistics are based only on people who use Android phones.
I had to double take just looking those statistics up right now.
Tens of millions of adults. ADULTS. Fully grown human beings with credit cards. These people are at your finger tips. All it takes is posting as little as 1 video from the phone you're holding in your hand (or that's by your side).
... Is this getting through to you?
You can literally reach millions of people around the world at any age in any niche.
Don't have a business? You can make friends on TikTok just by posting a video.
Found a lost wallet on a public beach? You can probably find the owner by posting a video on TikTok.
Don't know who to follow on TIkTok. Here's a link to my profile.
OMG, are you seriously not on TikTok yet!? EARTH TO YOU. YOU ARE SLEEPING AT THE WHEEL. YOU NEED TO BE ON TIKTOK TODAY.
I've heard great things about Pinterest from all the marketing world insiders. I haven't used the platform practically at all, but it's a big one on my radar. And behind TikTok, it's probably the best platform to grow on today from what I can tell. But again, I haven't used it.
I've also heard great things about the organic reach of LinkedIn. And I have to admit, I've been sleeping on LinkedIn as well. I understand the dynamic of TikTok very well, but LinkedIn is a little bit of a mystery to me.
I do use LinkedIn, but to this day it feels like an even less intuitive Facebook to me (I'm not personally a big fan of Facebook (the social media platform, I love the company, I am a shareholder)), but that's just my opinion. And you should not let your opinion influence whether or not you use a platform.
I'm going to put more time into learning LInkedIn.
My friend Rick Carabba knows a lot about LinkedIn. He's a great guy. You should check him out.
Assuming it doesn't crash and burn for some reason, YouTube is a great platform for long term growth. It's very good at monetizing it's viewers and it's very fair in how it compensates its content creators. I love YouTube.
All Other Platforms
Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, these are all platforms you should be on, but at this time they are generally oversaturated. You cannot explode on any of these like you can on e.g. TikTok.
Play around with these, have well a well-groomed profile (nice profile picture, cover photo, description, links to other profiles, etc), but I do not recommend putting a lot of your time into posting on these platforms... unless you are a celebrity.
Thank you so much for reading this post, friend. It's probably one of my favorite that I've ever written. I think social media is severely misunderstood and undervalued today by many people. I believe if we focus on the positive we can overpower the negative. Stay positive and use social media my friends! ❤️