If you saved money on your car insurance in 15 minutes, congratulations. I needed at least a half-hour, but car insurance is not my specialty.
Social media is my specialty, and when I say I can help you be better at it in 15 minutes or less, I mean it. Grab your laptop — and your stopwatch if you want — and I'll show you how to get it done. (Bonus: You don't even have to do them in order, and I even keep track of how long it should take).
Be outgoing. Treat social media like a conversation with a client in your office. You wouldn't sit there stone-faced without making eye contact, would you? Of course not. You'd be amazed how many people share a link and wait for instant popularity. It's not going to happen without some effort on your part. Just as simple things such as offering a client a cup of water create favorable impressions, a quick good morning or thank you go a long way online. (2 minutes)
Double-check everything before hitting post. Doesn't matter if you're in a LinkedIn group with hundreds of colleagues or on Facebook talking about the weather with friends. Take 60 seconds and re-read what you are about to post. Some platforms let you edit, but some don't. And there's nothing worse besides anchovies on pizza than having a misspelled word hanging at the top of your feed. My power-tip for double-checking? Read it out loud, even in your office. When people see and hear me reading aloud, they know exactly what I'm doing. (1 minute)
Follow and connect with the right people. What you don't want to do is follow anyone back who follows you — you end up with an unwieldy and messy feed to navigate. But do make sure you follow people back — just make sure they're the right people for the right reasons. A potential client? Absolutely. A colleague in another city? Probably. Power-tip: These days, there's this trend on LinkedIn where quantity of connections outweighs quality of posts. People believe the faster they grow their following, the more influential they become. That's true, but only in some cases. Following the right people can make you influential. Blogging about topics you're an expert in can make you influential. But following for the sake of following will set you back. (5 minutes)
Do not post the same content on different networks. You may have read differently in columns on this very website, but trust me when I tell you that cross-posting backfires. Twitter is not Facebook or LinkedIn and LinkedIn isn't Twitter. Sharing something on more than one network is OK; sharing it word-for-word is what you want to avoid. I estimate it will take you three minutes to rewrite a tweet for use on LinkedIn or vice versa. The second or third time your followers see the same content in two places, they're going to unfollow you because you just told them that it's OK to choose a network versus follow you on all of them. Your goal is to get people to follow you everywhere and to accomplish that you need to make it worth their while. (3 minutes)
Don't be generic. When it comes to your icon or profile pic or whatever it's called on the network of your choice, don't be an egg or gray head and shoulders or two discombobulated-looking circles (Twitter). That photo is an opportunity to show who you are and people become familiar when they see it repeatedly in their feed. So make it a professional photo or your company logo. Skipping the step, like posting the same content on different networks, makes you look lazy when of course you aren't. (3 minutes)
Share this column. Turns out, all of the above should take about 14 minutes. Sharing this column could make social media better for someone else. (1 minute)
And there you have it. Better social media in less time than it takes to get that pizza without anchovies delivered.
If you have a social media question or an idea for a column topic, or if you have thoughts about this column or any previous ones, please let me know. Tweet them to me with the hashtag #socialmediaadviser or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And remember to follow me on Twitter at @scottkleinberg.
Thanks for reading Social Media Adviser.