Three Social Media Rules to Live By

Posted by Ceci Dadisman On October - 5 - 2011

1.  Be Authentic
The point of social media is not to bang people over the head with announcements about your performances. It is a way to communicate and engage people on a personal level. People can tell when someone is not being authentic.

You know when you are at a networking event and there is a skeevy salesperson there that everyone steers clear of because they don’t want to be pitched to? Don’t be that person on social media.

If you’ve ever read my blog or seen me speak live, you know about my 80/20 rule for social media. Ideally, 80% of your posts should be engagement and 20% should be broadcasting. In short, 80% of what you are saying on social media should not be about the show you are about to do or the event that you want to sell tickets to.

Here are some things to think about to help you be more authentic:

  1. Don’t auto-tweet. If you have your Facebook page set up to tweet each post directly, turn it off immediately. People can tell immediately when something is automated.
  2. Remember that Facebook and Twitter are two different mediums and require a slightly different voice.
  3. Change your social media avatars to a photo instead of your logo. Seeing tweets from a logo isn’t very authentic.
  4. Allow the person (or people) who manages your social media to have their own voice. Post in the sidebar of your Facebook page or in the description of your Twitter profile the name of the person who is responsible to give them an identity.

2.  Quality Is More Important Than Quantity
Don’t do more than you can handle. Don’t feel pressure to have a presence on every social media site that is out there. Choose the ones that make sense for you and be really good at those. If that means that you only use Facebook and Twitter, that is fine.

You may hear about other sites like Tumblr or Flickr but don’t feel pressure to start using them unless it really makes sense for you. There is nothing worse than a blank social media profile.

3.  Monitor Your Stats
Social media is far along enough now that you should absolutely be monitoring your stats. Be sure that you are looking at how many people are being referred to your website from your social media profiles. (If you don’t have access to your website stats, get access immediately and look at the analytics at least once a week.)

Make sure that you are looking at your Facebook page insights to see how many people are viewing your page and the content that they are interacting with. When you are posting links that aren’t going to your website, use a URL shortener that allows you to track clicks such as goo.gl or bit.ly or HootSuite’s ow.ly (if you use HootSuite).

There are also some sites out there that make it really easy to view your data; most of which are quite expensive and are designed for large corporations. There has recently come a new option for nonprofits: SproutSocial.com. They have a 30-day free trial that doesn’t require a credit card so there is no excuse not to have a look. There is a cost to use SproutSocial but they offer a nonprofit rate of only $4.95 per month, which is very doable for even the smallest companies.

Do you have any others to add to my social media rules?

2 Responses to “Three Social Media Rules to Live By”

  1. Marcus W says:

    Did you see Chris Brogan’s article about “authenticity”. From reading his blog and putting it in conversation with the arts—”being authentic” is like “being organic” we know what you mean but it’s often abused. What do you think?

    Check out the full article here: http://www.chrisbrogan.com/i-am-not-authentic/

    • Marcus,
      Yes, I have read that article. This article was intended as an overview of things to remember when doing social media for an arts organization. Unfortunately, in my experience, most organizations need a lot of help in this area so I decided to use the word “authentic” because it is the most basic of attributes necessary. One must be authentic in order to be organic on social media. My goal is to impress upon people that tweeting like a machine or with a corporate voice isn’t going to get the result that is desired.
      Thanks so much for your comment!
      -Ceci

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