Social Media Success; Learn how to use Trends, Hashtags & Yourself and have Real Conversations

All people, in business and personal life, prefer to be talked to than at. Live interactions can define your reputation as a friend, foe, pro or troll to your communities far more so than the scheduled content you create and distribute across your “strategic #social channels.”

Want to use social media to grow your online presence?

Be a “friendly professional,” someone who has all the answers and others want to use as a resource, but don’t forget to also just be human.

#Marketers and other communications specialist use countless strategies, tools and working hours trying to start “human conversations” when real conversations are happening at a rate of +/- 10,000 tweets/minute, all day, every day.

#TBH –  I am an opinionated person, but most of what I share from my public accounts  is non-combative.

#SocialMedia is a huge part of my personal #brand and I make a concerted effort to reduce spamming my social #networks. I used to believe an objective, quantified tone helps combat the stigmas that all #WomenInBiz, tech, #finance, etc., face, and that if I showed human emotion, somehow humans would like me less.

But that changed a few nights weeks months ago (ah the joys of personal #blogging). I was scrolling through my social feeds when, percolating through the #software community, a newly trending hashtag caught my eye.

It was a #poetry challenge. Comical, casual and lacking any real reward besides community #BrowniePoints. The contributions coming in from other users inspired me.

He said

He said “quick,” and I was. Getting in on the trend early is important for maximizing the impressions and engagements you receive. Also, being the early bird to a trending worm makes you seem totally on top of your industry/topic’s game.

Their off-the-cuff #haiku[s] legitimately made me #LOL and helped inspire the oh-so-clever ideas (#imho) in my head that demanded to be written, shared and smirked at – at least I thought so.

A few ideas popped into my head right away, one of them actually exited my fingers and appeared in my #twitter text box. The #tweet was ready to be sent to strangers and appreciated by new friends. I took a quick glance for typos and without any further consideration hit send. I’d done it, I’d shared my own #DevOpsHaiku and tagged an #IndustryLeader or two I hoped (without expectation) I could stir a chuckle from.

I just couldn't stay away. I had the taste for a trend and my personal brand was getting unprecedented awareness through the mentions, retweets and replies of those far highter up the social latter than I.

I just couldn’t stay away. I had the taste for a trend and my personal brand was getting great awareness through the mentions, retweets and replies of those far higher up the social ladder than I – for making them laugh.

The rewards for actually drafting and responding publicly with my own #creative content, without first suffocating myself in doubt and revisions, blew away my expectations

I almost immediately found myself engaging with two of the very personalities I, plus tens-of-thousands of others in the #SoftwareDelivery/#Development world, avidly follow – @joshcorman & @RealGeneKim. Not only them, but C-levels from my #PR clients engaged with my posts positively and we were able to humanize each other a bit more – something that can be difficult when in #B2B relationships separated by time zones.

Restricting yourself to strictly content creation and distribution may allow you to reach the customers you’re targeting but not the humans want to talk to.

TL;DR: Find a trending hashtag that interest you, explore the conversation and speak up when you’re inspired to: Throughout this blog post I provided several #hashtags, hyperlinked for your convenience. There are also a variety of tools available for tracking current trends.

If you want to get social on social media, don’t blindly use keywords, hashtags or #SEO strategies to get placed into conversations you’re not present in. You’re perceived as legitimate when you provide a unique, individualized perspective. It may be as simple as hashtagging your location (e.g. #SanFrancisco, #Austin & #Boulder) and joining the local chatter happening around you; attending a live event and using its hashtag to connect with others there, or contributing to an online #TwitterChat.

Entering any conversation is the first step to leading it.

 “I Thought You’d be older” – Life as a Career Driven Millennial

I manage the internship program that I was once a student of at the office I work. I put a lot of effort into the program and invest a lot of time in my interns – often who are older than me.

“I thought you’d be older,” were the first words uttered by one of my previous interns when they first met me in person (we ran the interviews over the phone because she was coming from out of state for the summer).

I shrugged it off with a laugh and a handshake, but the interaction has stuck with me now months later. What I should have responded with was, “nope, I’m just more driven than you thought.”

Since I was accepted into the Journalism school at CU Boulder, a career that allowed me to write and communicate complex messages was my objective. Now that I have the career, my focus has not changed – It’s still on my career.

I do well at work and move up the ladder quickly because I work my ass off. I work my ass off because I care about what I do and take pride in improving myself and impressing my bosses and clients. Working hard is fun for me
and trying new things is a passion – My success is just the side effect of doing both of those things at the same time.

I tell all my interns who ask about how I landed a job at my small PR agency the same thing: “Solve a problem we didn’t know exist.” 

If you have extra time, or 15 minutes till the clock strikes 5 p.m. and nothing to do, don’t waste that opportunity to look beyond what you are asked to do. You see things in a unique way, apply that insight to a solution.

When I was an intern I was constantly sharing ideas and potential solutions to the roadblocks and challenges I saw my supervisors facing. When I became a PR assistant, I did the work of an account coordinator whenever possible. When I was an account coordinator, I volunteered to take on account executive tasks. Now as a account executive, I reflect the actions of senior executives but with my own insights and twist for process improvement.

Always be looking for ways to streamline and improve not only your processes but also those of your coworkers. You should want everyone and everything to be performing as best as possible. Every idea doesn’t always work out, but an attitude like that gets noticed.

I hope that intern, who is just two years older than me, left my internship program with enough experience, intellect and inspiration that she is also greeted with surprise by potential employers who expected someone somehow more “aged” based off the competence she displayed.

Being ahead of the game means you’re one step closer to winning it.

That’s not to say that standing out from the pack doesn’t put a target on your back or sometimes put you in positions you’re unfamiliar with and alone in. I often suffer the infamous “imposter syndrome,” or find myself thinking, “I can’t do that.”

But, it is when you are faced with those feelings of self-doubt that you know you are doing exactly what you should be in that instance. If you think you can or cannot do something shouldn’t matter, know that you are going to give it your all and do your best best. Instead of focusing on the doubts of those whose expectations of you are low, like my intern was of me, ground yourself on the expectations you have for yourself and deliver noteworthy results.

By filling the roles you take, you grow into them. Take risks, see holes you can fill and always search for opportunity. Fear is a sign that you’re doing it right.

A Few of my Favorite Hashtags – Public Relations, Tech and Women Kicking Ass

I follow and use a lot of hashtags, but I’ve noticed a core group of those I find value in
frequently in the different aspects of my social lives plural. All of them are poppin’ on
twitter and other social spheres currently and track awesome conversations and ideas on the topics I am interested in for my job’s sake, my client’s sake and even/especially my own (except maybe , which should be the most so).

I recorded them here for my own brain mapping experiment, but I encourage you to check them out yourself. They all hyperlink to the most popular/current tweets about their topic.

Join the conversation: Favorite an idea you never thought of, retweet an idea you stand behind and/or respond to someone’s idea that inspires your own!

My Industries 
, , , , , , , , , , ,  and .

My Clients’ Industries  –
, , , , ,  ,  and .

My Passions () –
, ,  and .

Invest in the [Unpaid] Intern; See Real ROI on Time Spent Educating.

Inexperienced interns may not produce work worth paying for… yet.  Your experience, time and guidance should get them there, that’s the whole point.

Hands holding map

An internship should serve as a career roadmap. Lead interns through situations and challenges. Guide them to succeed in a paid, entry-level position at your business – whether you plan on hiring any new paid positions or not – and any similar organization in your industry.

The role of the “Unpaid Intern” isn’t glamorous. Often given pain-staking busy work or remedial tasks that a company would never pay for, interns only gain what they are given. On the other side, when managers don’t invest time in those who they don’t invest money, they risk losing talent they can’t be bothered to foster.

I can speak first hand on this, from both points of view: Just last year, January 2014, I started at the public relations (PR) agency that currently employs me as an unpaid intern. I now run our internship program. From hiring, management, and exit reviews, I work to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship between the agency and interns as I was given.

Do whatever you can to make sure your interns know you appreciate them even though you're not paying them. I always enjoyed being sent home with baked goods from meetings.

Do whatever you can to make sure your interns know you appreciate them even though you’re not paying them. I always enjoyed being sent home with baked goods from meetings.

Eager, high-potential applicants can be hard to find when searching for unpaid interns, particularly if you do not operate near a large population of students required to complete internships for credit. At the end of an internship, students often hope to be hired by that business (I clearly did), and rightfully so.

Whether or not you’re hiring, if at the end of three-to-five months working for your agency/brand, an intern does not have the skills you expect from an entry-level position at your company, it’s not they who have failed but you have failed them.-

So if you can’t offer applicants monetary compensation, how do you draw in interns with strong potentials and work ethics?

To answer that, I will explain what attracted me to apply to my agency’s unpaid internship a year ago. These three concepts have become commandments I strive to provide “my” interns (also sometimes lovingly referred to as “my ducklings”):

  1. Guarantee real, applicable work experience
    – The research they conduct, the relationships they build and the content they create are all essential to our clients’ campaigns and interns know their contributions are acknowledged, appreciated and acted on.
  2. Make clear that intern’s feedback is sought after
    – Even on first interviews interns are introduced to, and engage with, the agency’s principal(s) and account execs. From the very start, they are encouraged to ask every question and share every idea.
  3. Dedicate consistent and frequent time to one-on-one training and education
    – While I do look for interns that can work independently with confidence, it’s recognized that that confidence must be curated through thorough explanations, constructive training, reinforcement and two-way communication.
It is important to sit down and

It is important to sit down and “chat” with your interns. Make sure they know that you appreciate their help and you’re genuinely intent on making it as rewarding as possible. Both intern and employer will only get out of each other what they are willing to put in.

It’s the third point that I am most concerned with as I write today. Training and then challenging those whose only goal is to learn isn’t typically difficult, especially when -as I mentioned before- they hope to become an irreplaceable asset and secure a paid position at the end of the internship.

If I am following through on No.1 in that list – Guarantee real, applicable work experience –  I’m requesting interns to complete tasks that can range anywhere from intuitive to incomprehensible.

As an intern, being abandoned and to accomplish something you never have before can be overwhelming and ultimately a negative experience that results in sub-par, often unusable, work. However, it’s managements fault for tasking an individual who’s never tread water to essentially swim upriver.

Don’t like the work you’re getting from your interns? Instead of going back to correct, edit or completely redo a task that, up until that point, has essentially been a waste of everyone’s time, show them what to do and be clear on what is expected from them – format, deadline, strategy, style etc.

Don’t just spend time on the “how,” but also the “why” behind what you are asking your interns to do. Knowing the motive and final objective of a task brings it up, out of the weeds and provides a much higher level of understanding, which in turn produces better results for the entire team.

Trust me, the more time you spend teaching and working with each other, the less time either you or your intern will waste.


I remember my own internship and the first time I was asked to “write a few tweets” to be published by a brand (/any profile that wasn’t personally mine). I had something like 22 followers; only +/-40 sent tweets over the entire three years I’d had my handle and no idea how to craft a tweet that had a purpose. Instead of leaving me to flail in the wind, time was taken by those who asked something of me to explain how to do it best.

Now, I have over 1,800 followers, constantly tweet about the tech industry and can eyeball 140 characters from across a room. I use my followers as a resource for my clients and to increase my own online presence and industry savvy.

The me that “didn’t understand the point of Twitter” and thought social media’s only value in PR was in B2C is gone. I unknowingly buried that naivety in tweets or retweets in an organic, yet orchestrated effort to build myself and reputation in a new field – all while simultaneously managing numerous different clients’ entire social media campaigns.

If I’d spent my internship making copies, transcribing webinars and running out for coffee, instead of diving headfirst into real PR/social media work, I wouldn’t be followed by top reporters and analyst in my clients’ markets, or have developed the passion for digital engagement strategy that fuels me at work.

That’s great for me, sure, but even better for the agency that helped me create it.

By using the time I was unpaid, untrained but inspired to teach me the skills they pay employees for, my learning curve cost the company $0.00 in paid training and my supervisors were able to mold a dream account team member (if I do say so myself) how they wanted. The very first day they paid me, I was already familiar with their clients, the agency’s roles/organization and an established social media persona.


Too cool for school(ing) from me? Never, but soon my interns will be able to fly solo!

Too cool for school(ing) from me? Never, but soon my interns will be able to fly solo!

So now, as my ducklings complete their first month (eight whole days) in the office, I realize I may have to stop [secretly] calling them such. I was more than happy to let them follow me around, copying my methods to understand more about the work someone in my position does. I’ve spent the majority of my Tuesdays and Thursdays working with them versus my own assignments and soon that investment will pay out. They are becoming increasingly self-sufficient, eager-to-impress assets to the agency. Both well on their ways to become highly employable, PR/social media professionals, I’m confident in mine and the agency’s commitment to the interns we bring in. That very role launched my career and I enjoy giving others the same opportunity.

I was compelled to write this post on behalf of all the unfortunate, inevitably broke interns getting little-to-nothing out of the wasted hours spent as subservient afterthoughts. I remember what it’s like to be the almost-too-motivated, unpaid intern, working feverishly to simultaneously display their value and construct it at the same time. That was made possible for me by approachable supervision, a collaborative work culture and mutual respect throughout the organization.

If you can’t offer interns money, offer them everything else possible. Imagine regularly coming into a workplace where you are assigned grunt work, receiving zero compensation, feedback or applicable experience and gaining zero real work experience or professional relationships – That ain’t right.

Ultimately, if you have no empathy for interns and plan on milking the free-labor tit with no intention to further interns’ professional skills, I can’t stop you. However; the Feds can and will. It’s federally mandated that any unpaid internship provide educational value to the student that outweighs any advantage the business reaps.

Six Legal Requirements for Legal Unpaid Internships:

  1. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment.
  2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern.
  3. The intern does not displace regular employees but works under close supervision of existing staff.
  4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion, its operations may actually be impeded.
  5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship.
  6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

For more information on the legalities of unpaid internships turn to Forbes here.

 

How To Live Tweet at an Industry Conference – Five Key Considerations

Prepare images ahead of time if you have certain messages you know you want to convey throughout an event. I created this image for my agency's blog post on its involvement in the conference.

Prepare images ahead of time if you have certain messages you know you want to convey throughout an event. I created this image for my agency’s blog post on its involvment in the conference.

Studying the results of last year’s efforts and what I have learned since, I came up with five basic considerations to always keep in mind when sharing for/from/about an industry event similar to DOES.

  1. What topics and ideas is your audience most interested in?
    First and foremost, you want to share what people care about. Share tweetable tidbits from conference sessions, behind the scenes photos and secrets, trends you notice and other personal observations that provide your audience access/visibility to the event in some way they wouldn’t have without your help.Don’t tweet: “So-and-so is taking the stage to discuss [insert session title from conference pamphlet]”
    Tweet: “Loved @SoandSo’s take on______ ! “[insert quote from speaker]”Dont tweet: “There is a post-conference happy hour happening in the main lobby now.”
    Tweet: “Any hour w/the awesome folks at [insert event hashtag] is a happy hour. Come say hi to me in the main lobby now!”

    Don’t tweet: “The main stage is set up and ready to host the brilliant minds at [insert event name].”
    Tweet: Can’t wait to hear all the geniuses that will take the [insert event hashtag]’s awesome main stage” + an actual photo you took of the stage.

  2. What topics and ideas are your client/boss most interested in promoting?Maybe you are just at an event for yourself, or because your company sent you to learn and absorb what you desire to.
    More likely, there is some sort of objective. Whether you are tweeting on behalf of an event (as I do), on behalf of someone else (a thought leadership strategy), or as a representative of a company present at an event (think sponsors), you must strongly consider what is it that those paying for you to be at an event care most about publicizing.At DOES there are several breakout sessions every day, that means four or more amazing sessions compete against each other at the same time, multiple times a day. While there may be topics you’re personally drawn to and want to cover, you must keep in mind what topics are most relevant your objective.Is anyone from the organization you are representing speaking at the event? – You gotta be there. 

    Are any of your client’s customers/partners present at the event? – You should be talking about that.

    What statements being made directly relate to the fields your client is involved in?
    – Have a reaction that is inline with organizational messaging and objectives.

  3. Is what you are about to share a coherent thought, understandable to someone not in the room?
    One of the most valuable aspects of sharing live updates and content via social media at an in-person event is that participants no longer have to be “in person.” To see what is going on at an event and involve themselves in happening conversations, all users need to do is log into twitter, facebook, instagram etc.
    But remember, that is all they are doing. They do not have the same visibility as you and they likely don’t have access into the information being shared that doesn’t make it to their social feed. If you are trying to drive involvement, don’t share content that is illogical from an outsider’s perspective.Include as much context as possible and try to ensure that what you’re sharing is a complete thought and could stand on it’s own

    Dont tweet: “Holy crap what a great session.”
    Tweet: “Holy crap, the entire [insert event hashtag] crowd just lost it when @[insert speaker handle/name] shared their results: [insert useful soundbite, shared stats, ect.]”

  4. Are You Fast and Focused?
    When sharing content live, there is always a rush. You are moving fast trying to listen, type and read at the same time. This is when serious mistakes get made. If you are halfway through writing a tweet and you can’t remember with certainty what was said, don’t tweet it – certainly don’t attribute it to anyone who may resent being misquoted.You have to focus on what was said while listening to what is being said. If a speaker starts a phrase like “The one thing you must consider when…” and then ends up on a tangent, never completing the thought, never complete the tweet.

    People are very aware of their social media profiles and presence, if you misquote someone badly enough to change their meaning you risk being called out on social media yourself – something one only enjoys in a positive light.

  5. How can you drive the most engagement from your micro content?
    Just because you are moving fast, doesn’t mean you have to move dumb. As always, you want to drive your content to as many relevant people as well. As with regular social sharing, this is greatly aided by the use of proper hashtags and handles.More often than not these days, conferences will have an official hashtag and publicize that at least somewhere in a program – if not more flagrantly. USE IT. Sending a tweet from a conference without its official hashtag sends the tweet to your followers, not those specifically interested in following the event.

    Also, if a speaker is worth his weight in stage time, they will have a social media presence and twitter handle. Find those ahead of time. Often an event’s program may include speaker handles, however this is not always the case. Come prepared with handles and hashtags identified and ready for use.

Writing a Blog is Hard… Not Writing is Harder

I am going to talk unabashedly about how this empty WordPress box makes me feel in this exact moment: Stressed.

Often, I’d rather just pet my cat and ignore the turmoil in my mind that persists until expressed. Much like my gym membership, this blog can be more a source of personal guilt than fulfillment.

My cat can't read, she prefers pets versus blog post from me.

My cat can’t read, she prefers pets versus blog posts from me.

It’s unfortunately easy for me to ignore this blog. The internal nag to become more selfaware through writing is something I’ve grown accustomed to pretending I can’t hear. I spend all day in the minds of my clients and their publics, articulating through text what they can’t effectively. Specifically avoiding my own voice and biases, I isolate myself from the process, making it much easier to churn out writing. I don’t get overwhelmed articulating the specifically requested ideas of others like I do when it’s just me, my mind and an insatiable need to write.

Currently sitting in this blog’s “drafts” folder, are at least five blog posts that I would consider about 50% complete. Each contains 500+ words of carefully considered semantics that have been derailed by unattainable standards. No matter how long I stare at any paragraph, on any post on this blog, I will always find words to change, ideas I’d like to expand on or tangents to remove.

– If you read my first blog post, you know that was never what I wanted for this blog.

Knowing I will never be completely satisfied with how I express myself is the largest source of backlog and inactivity on this site (unlike the closure I receive on work completed for work and by clients). Working myself up only makes it more difficult to articulate exactly what it is I am trying to say.

shade

Being concise and compelling requires digging into and slicing away at my mind. Tossing out what I later see as irrelevant begins to feels contrived. After 30 minutes on a headline and hours more on a blog post that doesn’t end up talking about that original idea anyway, I doubt why I started writing to begin with.

So, what am I gonna do about it? This. I am going to publish this post immediately after I finish it.

Already as I am writing this now, I am running through this post in my head, wondering if I have even said anything, questioning why I would ever think people would bother reading this. Have I just repeated myself incessantly? What will people think of me as a professional writer if I’m telling them I struggle sometimes? Why would any stranger on the internet care?

In order to bring myself to hit publish, I have to change the way I think about what it is I am doing:

I write because I have to. I’m compelled to do it from a source within myself. I must write what spills out of me, but people must not like it. That’s ok. If I cater too much to what I think people want to hear, versus what I want to say, this blog becomes another PR campaign and not the repository of reflections on working in social media, journalism and marketing that I intended – it becomes work. 

When I scrutinize myself with impossible expectations, the fear of my own criticism keeps me from success. If I were more relaxed with myself and the words that already come naturally, this blog would be much further along. However, like making it to the gym, with each post I do “complete” and surrender to the public, my motivation to do so grows.

There’s No Value in Disingenuous Social Media

When people talk about social media used for branding/PR/marketing, you always hear that it’s finally a chance for organizations to “have a voice, and open a dialog with their audiences.” Yet, as I scroll through my endless feeds on countless profiles, all I see are strategies that clearly view people as stats, never look beyond their own proliferation and entirely miss the unique value offered by social media.

Hamlet Quotes

So what’s the point?

If you’re trying to humanize your brand, what kind of person would your brand be based on the content you tweet and the practices you keep? We all have that friend (or those friends) that only talks about themself, is blatantly uninterested in what anyone else has to say, and worse, is always repeating the same, played-out stories.

Don’t be that person, but…do be a person. 

Automation and social technologies are key and necessary evils  lifeboats when managing large and/or multiple brands on social media. Social content’s shelf life is seconds-to-minutes max. In order to reach more of your audience, whenever they may choose to check their feeds, it’s necessary to schedule out evergreen content at a multitude and variety of times.

Big Data and analytics are a huge help when trying to optimize and guide your social strategy. When managing highly active social profiles that demand almost constant proliferation to meet business goals, tools that recommend and aggregate content can help drastically cut down the time. However, there should always be a human touch to your accounts.

I use countless tools for a variety of tasks: Content generation/aggregation, social listening, social media management and scheduling, analytics, competitor monitoring, influencer relations etc.

I’m not saying don’t follow back those who follow you. I’m saying follow back those you encounter who share things of value to you and your brand. Personally, I follow about 65% of those that follow me on Twitter. Once a person follows me, I check out what they’ve tweeted recently. If something catches my eye, I’ll follow.

Don’t follow blindly, your twitter feed should be a resource to you, an aggregation of thoughts/ideas/news that you have deemed relevant to the conversations you want to be a part of.

Also, don’t follow someone only in the hope that they will follow you back. I once had a client ask me, “is a week-long enough to wait before unfollowing those that didn’t follow us back?”

… … … no. Again, be genuine.

Follow those who share interests with your brand. If they don’t follow you back, that’s fine. All your “follows” need not be requited.

If you blindly follow back all those who follow you, or like pages and posts in an irreverent land grab of impressions, you lose sight of the new value social media offers. 

What’s 10,000 impressions on an audience that has no interest in you or what your brand has to say vs. 1,000 impressions that followed you organically and will actually digest, react and potentially “buy in” to what you’re saying?

Build more than an audience, but a community. Be a voice to your brand's customers, partners, fans  and employees and listen to what they have to say back. Don't worry about reaching those that add nothing to this dynamic.

Build more than an audience, but a community. Be a voice to your brand’s customers, partners, fans and employees and listen to what they have to say back. Don’t worry about reaching those that add nothing to this dynamic.

…It’s like a man drowning of thirst opting for an ocean of salt water vs. a small, fresh-water creek…

Sure you have all these followers and your impression number is up, but you’re hard-thought content is being ignored by those who see it and unseen by those would have found the most value in what you have to share.

If you do successfully develop a community of followers genuinely interested in what your brand has to share, don’t punish them with endless self-promotional content. Your following has already “liked” (“followed”/”1+’d”/”connected”/ etc.) your profile, reward them by having something of use or entertaining for them in return.

Before you post: “Will this content be appreciated by my targeted audience(s) and is it inline with the campaign’s overall objective(s)?”

Yes, each of your posts, on any given platform will should immediately increase your profile’s impression count, but if your audience feels spammed, you’ve made the wrong impression.

Large followings of randomly construed interest groups and scatter-shooting dull, lead-generation posts may give you the numbers you (your board/investors/bosses) want to see, but through content no one else wants to be shown. Personally, I am far more concerned with stats like “engagement rating” and clicks than I am impressions. Getting content in front of someone is easy, making them care is the challenge.

Look at the brands you follow. What compelled you to do so in the first place? If it wasn’t just an attempt to cajole the brand into following you, identify what type of content attracted you. In general, (consumer) audiences are likely to start following a brand’s social profile in order to be in the know of company updates, discounts and promotions, thought-leadership in your areas of expertise and/or my personal favorite strategy, because you “surprised them with delight.”

Give your brand a real personality. In the virtual world, just as in the physical world, no one likes a fake.

Give your brand a real personality. In the virtual world, just as in the physical world, no one likes a fake.

Chances are if you’re not having fun creating the content, no one’s having fun reading it.

If you know there’s no value in what you put out, your readership will too. If even you’re bored reposting the same, dull lead generation posts, your audience probably tuned you out a while ago. If you disingenuously follow(back) profiles with no intention of listening to what they have to say, you’ve become the egotistical, attempt.

Having digested my thoughts spelling them out here, it’s clear to me what the no.1 guiding commandment for using social media in brand PR/marketing is: The Golden Rule.

Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.

Optimize not only your following’s experience, but that of your brand’s by listening closely and engaging thoughtfully.