Showing up to social media without a clear plan is like showing up to work without your clothes. By all means, go for it …But I wouldn’t recommend. For more reasons than the apparent – you clearly left your brain at home, too.
Now that we’re all imagining ourselves naked in front of our bosses, let’s get down and dirty with the real point.
The point? Your social media is POINTLESS without a plan. Your brand suffers without clear action.
For most, my observation leads me to believe brands jump on the social media bandwagon, because they want to go to the social media party too. Who doesn’t?!
But if you’ve ever gone unprepared to a party …in a speedo …alone… without your “byob”, or a side dish to share, things at this point are beyond awkward, non-enjoyable and now, a place you don’t want to show your face – ever again.
I guess at that rate, it’s better to be prepared for a party then to even show up at all.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t a social media siren that went off warning us of the potential it was about to have. It stormed cities like Godzilla’s atomic takeover with motivations likewise, changing as frequently as Facebook’s algorithms.
Today? We can say social media is characterized as “good”, but when we don’t use it properly, it can be scary. And man when something scares us …we crawl in a hole, run away from it, call it “bad”, and say “this isn’t for me”.
I want to caution you though: Don’t throw something away just because you don’t see it working. Don’t stay in on a Friday night just because last Friday’s party was an EPIC fail. (And don’t run away either, showing up to work naked was a dream) …Work with me here…
So let’s say you’re on social. You don’t get it. Or you’re doing it, but there’s no return. You’re thinking to yourself “I made a kick-ass social bio, I hired a social media ‘guru’, they write content, we’re THERE… but now what? It seems pointless…”
My point exactly.
There IS no point if that’s all you’ve done. There IS no return. There IS no, nor will there ever be, a Godzilla-sized legend left behind if your brand doesn’t plan for civilization on social media.
Here’s what you CAN do though… first, you can STOP doing all the things that have no real method. After all, you can’t be legendary Emily Dickinson without a rhyme or reason.
Stop Sleeping Around On Social
Would you want to get in bed with someone who has slept with the entire world? My point? Don’t Follow or Like the world on social media until you fully understand your audience.
Remember, you’re a very special brand, and the idea is to build relationships with special people who will make your brand better.
On social media, we do not have one-night stands. Ask yourself if the person or company you’re following/RTing/favoriting would be someone you’re interested in a second date with.
Be careful out there too. Careless connections make you look unprofessional and could lead to accidental competitor Retweets you wouldn’t want on your own profile.
Look for unhealthy tweet count to follower ratios. Does the twitter profile have low engagement, or promise massive followers back? Yea…use your head and avoid this type of stuff.
Stop Trying to be Someone You’re Not
What’s worse than showing up to work naked …or to a party in a speedo? Showing up to a formal work event in a speedo. I will applaud you! IF that’s your thing …but if it’s not, why in the hell are you doing it?
You’ve probably heard the phrase, it’s not about what it is you’re doing, it’s why you do what you do. And if you have no clue, then stop while you’re ahead.
If Trump’s entire campaign was: “I am running for President,” we would all be wondering …Why? Most of us are anyway…wait, that’s another topic.
We would DEFINITELY be wondering why he was showing up to a debate in a speedo… telling us “I am running for President” …maybe not. Maybe that’s his thing, too.
But if it’s not, he’d basically be telling the world he has no clue “WHAT” he’s really doing in the first place.
What’s your brand voice? What’s your brand wardrobe? If it isn’t clear now, stop. Button up. Rethink your “why” and define your brand.
Stop Chasing Social Media Squirrels
Stick to the game plan (if you even have one) and don’t lose focus. Ask yourself why you’re using… Oh! Look! A squirrel!!
…Start over. Seriously. Ask yourself why you’re using social media in the first place.
Is it to drive traffic to your website? Build a personal brand? Sell a new product? Check yourself weekly to make sure you’re on track.
If you’re telling me you’re on social just because “everybody else is…” you could honestly chase squirrels all day for all I care. No more social for you… until you’ve got a game plan.
Don’t have one? Don’t hire someone… yet.
Done doing dumb things?
If you’re answer is yes and you’ve decided to quit old habits, let me know your thoughts and strategy in the comments below.
If you’re answer is no but you love Godzilla and you occasionally show up to work naked, we at least have one thing in common. Go on ahead and follow me, then: @dananford
Until next time, where I’ll go over “How to Plan for your Social Media Strategy”, be cool…not weird.