Let’s say you have something that you do well. One thing. Just one. Next thing you know, you find out about Social Media and all the good things that are now available for everyone to take part in. Before you jump in the pool, consider that you might not be able to swim. Don’t get in over your head with Social Media, because the effect is going to be *YOU* looking unprofessional, AND broadcasting that YOURSELF to the entire world.
Let’s say you’re a football player. Let’s say you have lots of IRL fans and it seems like a good idea to you to start utilizing sites/apps like Twitter, Ustream, Qik, Youtube, Livestream, BlogTV, Tinychat, Tokbox, Facebook, MySpace, etc etc to increase your numbers of “followers” and increase your international visibility. To a degree, this will work for you. If you overdo it, you won’t be able to spend the required amount of time to maintain your position in any or potentially ALL of your endeavors. If you don’t maintain your positions properly, people are going to start recognizing you for SUCKING at Social Media more than they recognize you for playing football.
Of course, this is infinitely worse if you’re supposed to be a Social Media Expert (SME). Do. Not. Get. Caught. Slippin’. in your Social Media if you want someone to pay YOU to handle THEIR SM for them.
Your website is your home base. It either speaks to your ability to create and maintain a site, your vision in what you think makes up an attractive site (since this is supposed to represent YOU), or your ability to reach out to people that know what they’re doing and have them code sites for you. If you have none of these skills and your site looks like GARBAGE, nobody’s going to want to hire you to make a site for them, or do anything for them, actually. If you’re not an SME, but a football player, you MIGHT get some credit, being that you’re not supposed to know how to create your own website anyway. You’re supposed to know how to catch a football and run towards YOUR end zone. However, you still won’t get away with it because you supposedly made enough money during your career to hire someone to make you a decent site.
If you have comments, answer them. People aren’t commenting for their health. They’re attempting to communicate with you. Show them the courtesy of acknowledging that you read what they wrote, appreciate them and thought about their comments. If you don’t have time to do that, hire someone to admin your site. If you can’t do either, you might want to shut off comments entirely.
Don’t let people spam your site either, or else it’ll look like you “live” in a run-down tenement building.
If you’re already a celebrity, you might get over with “I just ate a sandwich” as your Twitter posts. For the most part, nobody cares. Make sure you come up with relevant and current comments to share, or your list of followers is going to be mainly spammers who only followed you hoping that you’d follow them back.
Make sure you monitor your @replies and respond when you can, unless you want to be known as a broadcaster and not part of the actual conversation. The people who claim to follow tens of thousands of people are LIARS because you can’t get that many updates in any of the Twitter apps. They’re MISSING more updates in each refresh than they’re getting. If you’re not paying attention to your @replies either, you’re a tool on this app and people will figure this out relatively quickly.
Stop. Dropping. Names. Nobody cares who you know. Unless you have something CURRENT and RELEVANT to say about someone, save it. “I saw Omar Epps at the supermarket” is a waste of everybody’s time. If you have a link to a preview of something he acted in, let’s have it, and thanks.
Stop acting like your number of followers translates to anything at all. When you can get 80%, 50% or even 20% of your so-called followers to respond to one of your calls to action, THEN you’ll have something impressive. If you have 10,000 followers and you routinely do live streams where 15 people show up while you’re twittering it every 5 minutes, you’re making yourself look worse, not better. Focus on how well your network disseminates information that you send them, NOT how many people clicked “follow” and then never paid attention to you ever again.
Do not make yourself Instant Pariah by hawking your wares 24/7 on Facebook. Do not send people messages every day about your new album that’s coming out. Do not invite people to your group over and over if they’ve declined to join. Do not keep begging people to check out your links or donate to your cause. This is what YOUR stream is for, on YOUR Facebook page. If people are interested in what you’re offering, they will see it on their home page and click on it. They might even visit your page or your group ON THEIR OWN! :O Be careful not to shill away your social capital.
The more you beg people to check out your content, the LESS it looks like ANYBODY’S checking out your content. Capisce? Make it easy for people to subscribe to your pages so they can OPT-IN to getting your updates instead of clicking delete every time they see your name in their inbox because they already know what you’re going to say, because it was the same thing you said yesterday and the day before…
Do NOT live stream stuff that nobody cares about. Are you at the Football Hall of Fame? People want to see that. Are you walking to the store to buy a beer? Nobody cares.
‘Matter of fact, even IF you’re at the Football Hall of Fame… If you’re walking around doing nothing interesting or you have no skillz at verbally hosting a show, save it. Film everything you can all day and see if you can make an interesting video out of it for airing at a later date. Just because something’s LIVE doesn’t make it COOL *OR* GOOD. If you want to be known as the clown that live-streamed an event from the nosebleed seats where the performers looked like Lego blocks and you couldn’t even tell who they were and the camera was shaking around because you didn’t bring a tripod.. Go right ahead. I guarantee you it will detract from your brand’s props way more than it’ll add.
If you’re going to have co-hosts, make sure they know what they’re talking about. Don’t bring people on the screen just so you can drop names, because what’s going to get around is that they didn’t know that whomever was so boring and not worth watching ever again. Make sure you have an agenda and a topic. Most people aren’t any good at talking about stuff on the fly, so make sure they know what they’re coming to talk about and your viewers know what they’re coming to see.
Similar to live streaming.. If you’re going to host a text chat, have a topic. If you create a topic, stick to it. Do. NOT. use “bait & switch” to get people to show up to your chats. Do not promise them one thing and then talk about something totally different when they arrive. The back-channel is alive and well and you will be talked about like a dog. People will know that you’re trying to game the system and cheat people into becoming viewers while duping potential clients that you can actually draw a crowd.
Make sure you can moderate your chat. Make sure you can kick people and ban them if necessary. It’s your party and everyone there is your guest. Act accordingly and regulate. If you have no skillz at being on video and moderating a live chat simultaneously, hire someone else to sit in and moderate your chat from a remote location.
If you run out of topics, shut the chat down. Don’t just sit there like DUHHHHH and turn what would have been a nice, short event into a long, boring event. Learn to recognize when the action peaks, plateaus and then starts falling off. Quit while you’re ahead. This is also why it’s good to set time limits on your chats. You can go longer if it’s still good, but when you hit that time limit, nobody can complain that you took your toys and went home.
Oh……. And if you can’t spell, stick to video.