Alright this is going to be a quick one. Really more of a stream of consciousness than a blog. But I’ll do my best to organize it.
Dropped a blog last week about how every CEO/founder/whatever needs to be on social media. And I still firmly believe that. Don’t worry, I didn’t do a 180 in a week. But it occurred to me that a lot of CEOs and founders aren’t marketers. That is, they aren’t used to creating content, much less being a thought leader. And for someone who isn’t a natural content machine, social media can be extremely daunting. So I put together a few thoughts on how you can be successful on social, whether you’re a CEO or just starting to build your brand.
Again, daunting — I know. But the easiest way to get comfortable with social quickly is to put up daily posts. Regular posting also helps you get better, learn what people react to, and write on days you aren’t in the mood to write.
And your posts don’t have to be some long, drawn out paragraph where you bare your soul about the major turning points in your career. It can be a basic tip about branding, or a quick anecdote from your week, or just whatever the hell you’re thinking at the time. What’s more important is getting your name out there and keeping it on people’s minds (and feeds).
Take this Tweet from Privy founder/my boss, Ben Jabbawy:
A simple, great lesson from a founder and leader who’s been there and done that. Short and to the point — I guarantee that tweet took him about 30 seconds. Remember: it’s social media. No one comes on Twitter to read an essay.
Watch for Engagement
It’s not a vanity metric. It’s real.
Yeah, it’s a nice ego boost if you get a lot of likes, thumbs up, or the coveted crying laughing emoji on a post. But really, engagement is an indicator of how well your content is resonating with your target audience.
If you’ve posted for a week and no one is responding, (comments are your best sign), it’s time to change up the content. It’s also the best way to do some quick message testing. Maybe you posted a tip about a content play that worked for you and it didn’t really generate any buzz. Ok, no problem. The next day, post a picture of the play. Or show the before/after to make it more tangible. Or just change the subject entirely. Keep throwing things at the wall; eventually something will stick.
Find a Niche
Yes, you’re a well-rounded person with a wide range of interests and knowledge on a lot of different things. That’s great. Always be learning. But for the purposes of social media, find a niche and stick to it.
It doesn’t mean you can’t have opinions on things outside of that niche. But as a general rule, posting about a certain topic regularly draws in a crowd of people interested in that topic. I have lots to say about lots of things, but I really only share about marketing on LinkedIn. As a result, I attract an audience of marketers. You can do the same in your niche.
Look at Erik Jacobson’s (Founder, Lemonpie) Twitter bio:
It’s pretty clear what Erik is online for. He helps you figure out podcasting strategies. Now take a look at his feed. You’ll be hard pressed to find many tweets that don’t relate to podcasting/content marketing in some way. Heck, even his banner image is about podcasting (and an homage to Drake). He’s found a niche and he’s great at catering to that audience.
Use Your Experience
Don’t know what to share? Draw from your experiences. I KNOW you have some things to say about your industry. Talk about meetings you had. Trends you’re seeing. Challenges you’re having. Challenges your customers are having. Lessons you’ve learned. Observations you’ve made.
Sara Pion (Sr. Marketing Manager, Alyce) and former Drift superstar has a great LinkedIn game. She sheds light on common problems and situations that young marketers encounter in startup life. How does she know about these problems, you ask? BECAUSE SHE EXPERIENCES THEM FIRSTHAND. Her content is relatable because she draws on her experience to inform the conversation and offer guidance to people in similar situations.
It doesn’t matter where you sit on the corporate totem pole — you have some thoughts on your space, startup life, office culture, something. And if you’re a founder or executive, even better. You’ve seen it all. Share a story from 10 years ago when you were coming up and compare it to how things are now. Or relate a problem that you once had that young marketers still experience. People want that wisdom and guidance.
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Have a good one.