By Katie Leimkuehler
Shhh..I’m going to share with you the brutal and honest truth about social media, you may not like it, but its better you know what you are getting into before you hop on every social media channel and then wonder why you haven’t sold a million products yet.
Social media often seems like a math problem to a lot of people. They have the basics, but they don’t know how to implement effectively and they often have a very misinterpreted idea of what it takes to be successful on social media. I’m going to share with you the social media secrets no one is telling you and how to make them work for you.
1. It will take time and possibly, a long time, for your social media to build. The truth is that it depends how much effort and time you want to put into it. You will not be an overnight success. You need to devote time to it and you need to be patient. Social media is based on a few simple principles:
- Excellent content – Shared by you and re-shared by you that others post.
- Creating relationships – Between your fans, followers and key influencers.
- Consistency – It’s like working out, you might not always want to do it, but you are always glad you did. Post often, reply more often and keep that network flowing.
My advice: If you don’t have the time to do social media well or hire someone who can–skip it all together until you have the resources. Since social media is constant, your business on social media needs to be as well, it looks worse to have an inactive page with 3 likes than to not have one at all.
2. You will be on a never-ending search for great content. High-valued content is what will set you apart from everyone else and finding it or creating it is no easy feat! It takes time digging and discovering the really awesome websites, writers, bloggers and companies in your field who consistently deliver and even more time to staying on top of the new ones that pop up. And yes, you can share content multiple times, but that doesn’t mean the search stops. As a social media manager, you need to be a content ninja with a journalism-style research technique who knows how to connect with huge influencers and make your marketing impactful.
3. The biggest secret of all: social media isn’t about you—it’s about everyone else. (Click to Tweet!) You must be a conversationalist. Seriously. You can post all day links to your blog or website, but why would anyone read them if you haven’t formed a connection past a surface level? They won’t. Ask questions! Get to know people. What are they passionate about? What do they care about? How can you help them? People join social networks for the same reason they join sports teams and volunteer groups—because they want a true connection and to belong to something. If you can facilitate that feeling with your fans and followers, you will be unstoppable. That’s why we post photos on Facebook and Instagram so we can share our experiences with our family and friends. It’s all about the connection.
Need help building your social media or want an analysis on your current social media approach? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katie Leimkuehler, the founder and CEO of Leimkuehler Media, is an expert social media consultant and coach who advises and empowers business and individuals on the best social media strategies and demonstrates how to take their social media to the next level. She has over seven years of experience coaching corporations and showing them how to implement a winning social media strategy by providing the tools and techniques to launch, grow and manage their social media presence. She has spoken at Chicago Social Media 2013, Coldwell Banker, KI’s NeoCon Social Media Webinar, among others.
Katie oversees and manages the social media for International Studies Abroad including the #ISAWorldWideAlert system for students, has led successful social campaigns including new Twitter Chats, #ISAchat, and manages the company’s 40+ student blogger program. She was also the Manager of Social Media and Communications at the International Interior Design Association and prior to that was a Journalist and Community Manager at the Chicago Tribune. She has been a contributing writer for several publications including Social Media Today, Built in Colorado, and Technori, Lifehack, The Sun Times, and Networlding.
Specialties: writing, media relations, social media, marketing, editing, creative marketing communications strategies, public relations, content management, blogging, training, teaching, educational management