There are things in my social media career that will always stick with me. The day Jimmy Fallon followed me and sent me a direct message. A conversation I had with William Shatner about being verified on Twitter.
And the day an editor referred to my work as social media magic and asked me to sprinkle some "magic dust" to help promote a project.
When it was happening, it was a slap in the face because it was basically saying that all my hard work wasn't actually hard or even work at all. But now that so much time has passed, I see the day completely differently. I look at it as a validation. Social media is a tool, good social media is a science, and excellent social media is a science and an art.
Before that day and ever since, one thing has never changed and that's my goal of helping anyone interested in doing excellent social media. As Superman said to Lois Lane in "Superman II" way back in 1980, "Now that you know, I think you should know it all."
So here are my top five tips to be excellent at social media — no wands, abracadabras or magic dust required. And one isn't any more important than the other, so no picking and choosing.
5. Fill out your bio.
So important for so many reasons. First off, the bio on any social media platform is your quick introduction. Why with millions and billions of people on social media should I choose to follow you? What's in it for me? In addition to all that, the bio is what search engines see. Trust me, if you are a financial adviser looking to grow an audience, it's crazy important that the major search engines know that.
4. Know your audience.
Think of what your LinkedIn feed looks like, or what your Twitter followers are saying. There's so much stuff. So following in the footsteps of No. 5, what's going to make you stand out so people want to follow you? Because if your plan is to discuss the importance of alternative investments at 11 a.m., post about cryptocurrencies at noon and then share a lasagna recipe at 2, you should have a reason for doing that. You don't want to be so all over the board and hard to pin down that people get bored. If your cryptocurrency shares are spot-on, share them. If no one makes lasagna like you (or your grandma), make sure that comes across.
3. Be trustworthy.
In the age of fake news, it's more important than ever to know that what you are sharing is on the up-and-up. This might be more of an issue in your off time, but you should always use social media as though you are using it at work and representing the firm you work for. There's no work you and after-hours you on social media. There's just one version and it has to be your best version 24-7.
Time gets away from us. You know you should call your family more often than you do and maybe dust the bookshelves. Just as it's easy to let that slide, it's easy to post and walk away. That's one of the worst things you can do in social media. If you post something and someone responds with a question, they deserve an answer. And even if there are no questions, just because you post something doesn't' mean there isn't more to the topic. You can always add comments or more tweets to the original post to get more bang for your buck.
1. Share and post great stuff.
This wraps up almost everything you've been reading for the past few minutes. You just read about how precious our time is. Make sure that if people take the time to follow you and engage with you that you are giving them the best stuff they can find.
If you follow those five things regularly, no matter which platform you are using, you'll improve your social media. No tricks required.
And remember to follow InvestmentNews on Twitter at @newsfromIN.