Ed’s note: This post was written by guest editor Tess Robinson of Smack Bang Designs.
She’s got the booty, the beau and the beb. She’s also got 50 million followers on Twitter. That’s more than McDonald’s, Nike, Coca-Cola and Donald Trump combined. Say what you will about her or her extravagant reality empire, Kim Kardashian is a powerhouse in the social media realm.
But it’s not just Kimmy K monopolising the social media landscape. Her family is doing a fairly good job of upholding the celebrity status too, with Twitter followings all in the millions. Kylie Jenner is rolling not far behind in the follower stakes. You cannot deny the Kardashians have done a bloody good job of branding themselves. So much so that they’re as ubiquitous as Netflix and Trump Memes.
It’s obvious that the Kardashian’s know how to make social media work for them, but what if you and I aren’t as perversely forward as them? Let’s face it, the Kardashian’s are about as introverted as my LinkedIn is free of random invitations. For the rest of us mere mortals, social media land can often be an awkward place fraught with perplexing captions, failed one-liners and clumsy connections. It’s a minefield!
Marketing gurus simplify the equation: exposure equals followers and social media input equals dedicated follower output. Seemingly easier said than done if you’re the type of person who’d prefer to spend Saturday night at home with your Netflix and chill than face a voracious crowd of gyrating humanoids bobbing on the dancefloor. For introverts, social media can feel like torture.
“Remember, no-one is asking you to share it all. Particularly in business, social media is most successful when we use it as a form of self-expression, rather than self-promotion.”
The thing is, people know their products and services inside out. And they are often very good at what they do. They can jump on a call and explain why people would love their product. But when it comes to explaining and engaging with people on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, their fingers freeze up, their brain turns to creamed corn and they run around the office screaming, “I DON’T KNOW HOW TO SPEAK ENGLISH”.
And that’s because ‘socialising’ from behind a screen is weird. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever done before and that’s why people get awkward and muck it up.
Unfortunately, though, if there’s one thing that we can put money on (aside from Trump’s presidency actually being a real thing, not just another reality TV show), is that Social Media is not a fad. It’s here to stay people. So, how do we deal with simultaneously wanting to only speak to our goldfish for the next 10 years, and running a business successfully with social media fans pouring out of the heavens? Let’s break it down and create our own little Kimmy content phenomenon.
Real, authentic, genuine, etc, etc
Social media isn’t about numbers, it’s about people. Fun fact for the day: it’s called ‘Social’ for a reason. Leave your fears and insecurities about the number of followers, number of likes, number of screens watching you and simply work the feed with real people in mind. Connecting with other real people is about showing up, letting yourself be seen, heard and remembered by other real people.
Your own terms
Being available on social media doesn’t mean you have to be on all the platforms at all hours of the day. In fact, all it means is that you need to be on the right platforms at the right times of day and responding to your interactions consistently. You don’t need to reply to every poke, tweet or like at every minute of the day! It’s about scheduling in time that suits you to get on there, doing your thing and then logging back out to the safety of the real world.
“You don’t need to reply to every poke, tweet or like at every minute of the day! It’s about scheduling in time that suits you.”
Raise your voice
A picture may speak a thousand words, but your words and language further illustrate the story. A unique tone of voice will not only create consistency that your fans can relate to, but will make it easier for you to express yourself without feeling like that dream where you showed up to school naked. If you nail your tone of voice and have it written down as a guide, then each time you go to post you won’t have to write, re-write, cull, edit or tweak the copy.
Set and forget (your posts)
Expressing yourself in a carefully-composed Tweet or finding the right caption for your Instagram post can be hugely time-consuming – particularly if you’re unsure and not as confident as Kimmy K in this arena. We find it helps if you sit down and schedule your weekly posts all at once. By batch-loading your posts, you can find your flow and get into the groove of writing like a pro. If you’re posting on the fly there’s a good chance that you will become inconsistent and botch things up for fear of sounding awkward. Just set your posts in one go and then forget about them until you wanna check how much lovin’ they’re bringing you!
Keep it to yourself
Social media is an amazing tool that can facilitate and amplify word-of-mouth marketing like never before. But that doesn’t mean that we care what you ate for breakfast (well, we might). Some people work the feed like an after-hours school disco. They slip on that guise, flash a cheesy grin and share everything from their morning toenail clipping session to the evening’s rave with more drunken slurring than anyone cares to see. For the introvert, this is absolutely, hands-down a no-go zone. But remember, no-one is asking you to share it all. Particularly in business, social media is most successful when we use it as a form of self-expression, rather than self-promotion.
Image via LifeHack