From the moment I joined Twitter in April 2008 I saw the power and potential of social media. I’ve tweeted over 42,300 times, earned around 27,000 followers and have followed over 17,300 people, just from my personal account on Twitter. I also have accounts on LinkedIn, Google Plus, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, YouTube, and have dabbled with countless other social media platforms.
Over the past ten years I have conducted countless social media experiments, managed many other accounts, and used what I’ve learned to help large consumer brands to solo entrepreneurs leverage social media to expand the reach of their brand, increase visibility on search engines, amplify PR campaigns, launch promotions, generate revenue, and build loyal followers.
I’ve gleaned some very distinct insights about what works (and what doesn’t) from the first 10 years of social media.
Ten Things I’ve Learned About Social Media Over the Past 10 Years
1.Vanity Metrics Are Worthless. Having over 100,000 followers or a million followers might make someone look like a rock star, but fake accounts are worthless.
2.Audiences Are Essential. If you don’t have an audience, or know how to optimize updates to reach target audiences, you are essentially talking to yourself.
- Online adults aged 18-34 are most likely follow a brand via social networking (95%)
3.You Can’t Buy Love. Buying friends (followers, likes, connections, etc.) never works on social media, or in life. Friendship is earned.
4.Words Have Power. Choose them carefully.
5.Words Connect People. Words are how people search and identify the people and brands they connect with.
6.Hashtags Are Powerful! I believe that hashtags are “the most powerful people-connector in the digital age”. Add a #hashtag to a word and you immediately create a path to connect with people. (Many people have asked me how to do this, so I’m working on a way to share my secrets, stay tuned! : )
7.Social Media is Worthless Unless You Are Social. Go ahead and sprinkle in business, brand and promotion in your social media communication, but don’t forget to connect and ENGAGE with your audience. Otherwise, you are simply broadcasting.
- 75% consumers expect a consistent experience wherever they engage (e.g., website, social media, mobile, in person).
- 64% consumers want personalized offers from retail brands.
- 56% consumers willing to share data to receive faster and more convenient service.
8.Lurkers Are People Too. Up to 90% of the people on social media platforms “lurk”, and never post or engage…so your audience is almost always bigger than you think.
- 96% of people that discuss brands online do not follow those brands’ owned profiles.
9.You Never Know Who is Watching. I can’t tell you how many times clients, attendees of my speaking engagements, or readers of my book, media contacts, and others have referenced something I’ve posted on social media. Before that moment, I never knew they were paying attention. What you post is out there forever, and everyone from your employees, investors, customers and competitors are watching.
10.You Can’t Be Effective Every Social Channel. Choose social media platforms that align best with how you communicate with your audience, where you get the best engagement, and feels most natural for you to interact with your audience. Build a social media strategy, and execute it!
- Top brands on Instagram enjoy a per-follower engagement rate of 4.21%
That is 58 times higher then Facebook and 120 times higher then Twitter
BONUS SOCIAL MEDIA INSIGHT:
Last, but hardly least, over the past ten years I have learned that Social Media is a Conversation.
Sometimes you speak, sometimes you listen.
Social media is all about give and take. If you value your followers, validate them.
Follow back, like, and interact with them if you want or expect them to engage with you and your content. Reciprocity is essential!
I’m About to Share Some of My Most POWERFUL Social Media Secrets
Want to learn some of the secrets I’ve learned about how to build an audience on social media (REALLY FAST!), how to leverage social media for better search engine visibility, and how social media can support your immediate and long-term goals?
Sign up below to be put on my priority list for my social media webinars and training (coming soon!)
Go be social! ; )