Social media cardinal rules

The networking, educational and sheer entertainment benefits of social media are indisputable. However, to be successful in this medium, you need to be willing to put in a lot of work, while being both consistent and flexible.  It’s easy to run out of steam if you don’t pace yourself.  Here are five rules to help you be productive and engaging without running out of steam:

1. Develop a good content strategy.

You will need this if you want to reach – and make an impact on – your audience.  In terms of usage, social media sites are no different from TV channels, so change it up and make it new and exciting for your viewers (readers).

No one wants to see the same post across your different channels, so change the photo when you share a quote or a story across your various pages.  Your social channels should be visually appealing in much the same way as your website.

By the same token, you should be reading your comments and interacting with your audience as much as possible.  It can help you with writing ideas and allow you to give them more of what they enjoy.

2. Put a little time aside each morning for a planning session.

While planning may seem like a waste of time, it can give you focus and takes the guesswork out of the rest of the day.

3. Surround yourself with the right people.

You can’t do it alone, so make sure you’re working with a team of people you trust.  It can be hard to find genuine people who work together well, but it is possible.  Trust what your gut tells you and remember that people will give back in kind if you take care of them properly, so make sure you do this.

4. Use the resources available.

There are many tools to help you measure your impact online.  HootSuite is one example of a tool that allows you to schedule your social updates.  Don’t automate too much, however, as you don’t want to lose that human touch.  Again, try to respond to your audience when they interact with you online.

Scheduling is important because it’s bad news for your accounts to be inactive for too long.  Share articles and posts about your successes, knowledge and lessons you’ve learned, and tweet quotes by insightful people.  Every now and again, couple the quote with a bright, eye-catching picture.

5. Disconnect.

It may seem counter-intuitive when social media channels are always “on”, but it’s important for you to unplug every now and again, as this helps you recharge your social media drive and passion.

These rules may seem simple, but it takes dedication to follow them over the long term.  As you go along and work out what works best for each platform, you’ll need to change and tweak each brand or social media channel slightly. This world moves fast, so being able to be flexible and adaptable on a constant basis is a must.

Rules for Social Media