What’s the secret sauce of social media? Well, it’s not just one recipe. After all, far too many apps, sites and tools exist for there to be a definitive source of success on social media. But it seems the pros share some common habits.
They all do these 12 things:
It doesn’t matter whether they have 1,000 followers or 100,000, social media pros often help others. If it could be harnessed, the karma flying around the Twittersphere (and on G+ and Pinterest and so on) might just be sufficient to advance all humanity closer to world peace.
2. Share fairly
The pros never steal. They don’t have to because they’ve figured out that it’s not actually content that’s king. It is the creators of content that rule the kingdom. Social media stars create amazing content. And they also share content liberally, crediting generously as they press the words: publish, pin or post.
The smoothest social media folks are also among the kindest. Just check out the Twitter streams of those with hordes of followers eager to sop up the social savvy. Tweets from the pros often contain thanks and kind words for others.
To have an effective social presence, you need to be mindful of others. Social media pros remember what it was like not to know that RT stood for ReTweet (or to not know what retweet meant!) I think it is, in part, their own memory of feeling like a newbie that keeps the social media pros so generous with their tips and advice.
5. Don’t patronize
The pros don’t talk down to their audience. And they also aren’t afraid to admit if they don’t know something and need to double check before answering. I’ve listened to more than one webinar where presenters had to give a best guess to a question. Being so comfortable with their competence that they exude authenticity only underscores their social media chops.
In many, if not most cases, they follow back.
7. Have conversations
They have a lovely way with the back and forth, but also know when to take it offline or move to direct messages. Social media is simply not one-way or performance art. Not when done well, anyway.
8. Make time for social media
They also know how hollow this comment is: “I don’t have time for social media.” So many tools help with scheduling posts, keeping track of mentions and chats or monitoring various aspects of social presence that makes this excuse just that — an excuse. Social media pros find ways to find time.
It’s nigh impossible to be effective with, on and around social media without blogging. This is a vital way to stay engaged with your audience and to maintain and build a social presence. Pros blog. Period.
10. Are present
Sure, everyone needs to take some time off and seek downtime. Social media mavens are no exception. But generally, the pros are present. They ask, respond, reach out and chat with many others. That’s one of the ways they hone their skills. They’re there, doing it. They don’t fake it.
11. Show their personality
Personality draws followers. It’s what lures readers to blogs, viewers to webinars and eyeballs to shared content. The best on the web all have a personality that pops.
12. Can laugh at themselves
We’re all learning on social media. So much is new that it’s impossible to have mastered everything. But the most effective social media types keep a sense of humor about it all. They can, and do, laugh at the funny things that crop up so often online. They don’t take themselves too seriously. That’s one of the things that make them so effective, and so fun to follow.
This list avoided any social media rules, such as having a detailed editorial calendar or using specific sites or tools. Those guidelines are great. But I think these are the attributes that set apart the social pros from the rest of us.
What do you think?