We find ourselves educating our customers on social media many times. It has a lot of meaning and promises for different people. But ultimately, it is a channel of distribution. It is an important place to broadcast your message and participate where it makes sense.
But you have to remember a few things that are true:
It’s not your content
What you post belongs to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+. You are using their platform. They own it. Violate a policy for example and see what happens to your account and your content.
You don’t own those systems. But the more you participate and are encouraged to post helps them out a great deal. It’s their system.
Your messages rely on luck
People are not watching their Facebook feeds or Twitter stream all the time. When they tune in, the timing of your messages is important.
What happens if you had a world-class thought or post but it was six hours ago? Oh well, you were missed by a portion of people. Maybe next time.
Timing, pertinence and relevance continues to shift. We don’t like to read a week old newspaper. It’s irrelevant. We read what is fresh.
It’s a give and take
If all you do is take, then you won’t get attention. Social media is about how much you give. This can come from insights, participation and helping others. It does take investment and the return is not easily measurable. Actually, such business expectations can become frustrated.
Social media is a place of chance and opportunity if you work it with the right touches, frequency and timing.
The long haul matters
If you are looking for a quick sale, then I’m not so sure social media will meet your expectations. It takes time to build a relationship, an audience and trust. You have to respect the channels and earn it through consistency over time.
Ultimately, your own content that you own on your own assets is the hub that creates more intimacy with strangers. Keeping channels of interaction open on social media is a great way to increase the odds of attracting more fans.
It’s hard for someone who is looking for the gimmick or shortcut to get this. But that’s because their lens of what social media is has been contaminated. They are not seeing that it is a value adding place, not a high pressure sales place.
Keep figuring out how provide thought leadership and value and remember the advantages and limitations of social media systems. The better strategies emerge as a result over time.