Hi there, business or important person! I couldn't help but notice that your social media sucks! Here are six reasons why:
1. You Still Think It's a Novelty
Hey, cool! Your coffee shop is on Twitter! Facebook! And YouTube!
And... that's it. Sorry, but your mere presence on these platforms doesn't put you ahead of the curve. Your competitors are already there, and your customers increasingly expect you there, too.
Indoor plumbing was a novelty once, too. Not so much anymore.
2. You're Too Boring
Social media is like the world's largest cocktail party. Everyone's there, and everyone else is going to be there soon. There are a million billion conversations happening all at once.
Do you really think a few stilted snippets from your press releases will make anyone's ears perk up?
3. You're Broadcasting, Not Conversing
This is social media -- so socialize. When your fans talk to you, talk back to them. Quickly. Like they're regular people. What do you think this is, your customer service phone line?
In O Brother, Where Art Thou, Governor Pappy O'Daniel prefers "mass communicatin'" to direct "one-at-a-timin'" conversations with voters. With social media, you have to do both.
4. You Focus on Tools Over Content
Buying an awesome paintbrush won't make you a great artist.
The Internet is flooded with data-driven tools that analyze and optimize your social media footprint on every possible channel. But computers still can't tell you what to tweet. Flaunt your human superiority while you still can.
5. You Blindly Delegated It To An Intern / Nephew / Girl Scout
Yes, the kids today are hip to the Facebooks and the Twitters. Do they also know how to effectively communicate the essence of your brand to an engaged audience of your most loyal fans?
I sure hope so.
6. You Don't Experiment
Social media is new. Try new things.
The first few videos on my YouTube channel were really bad. I just kept posting, trying different formats until I figured out what worked (pencil puppets, it turns out).
Eventually, I started to analyze what presidential candidates were doing on YouTube. I figured no one else was doing it, so no one could say I was wrong. A few months later The Economist said I was "probably the world's foremost expert" on the subject.
Experiment. Don't miss the best thing about social media -- the chance to make your own rules.
Follow James Kotecki on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JamesKotecki