Social media – How to get it right?

Now you may have stumbled across this post and be thinking, wow, this is what I have been looking for. Someone is going to tell me how I use social media well and get lots of interaction.

Well I am going to start off by disappointing you. I am really asking the question not giving an answer. The reason for this being that social media is a mystery to me really.

The main platforms that I use are this blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and to a lesser extent Facebook. With Twitter I have multiple accounts, and I use them for different purposes. The others I have only one account, Facebook is purely personal, LinkedIn my online professional face, Instagram where I share pics I take and like. This blog is me just putting thoughts out there.

Sometimes I will take a while to think through what I want to say, more so on LinkedIn as I try and keep that focussed, professional, relevant and on point. I offer commentary on situations, observations from my working life. Sometimes some deep insight, others just passing comment.

These posts can be popular, I regularly get between 250 and 750 hits. When I post links to my blog with insights, I can sometimes have up to 950 hits on a post, especially when I use some good, on point hashtags to get interest (or when a popular person in my network likes or shares the post).

This is where I prove that I know nothing about Social Media. One day I was looking through my photos and came across one of me on holiday. I was in a slightly less serious mood, so I thought I would post it.

So came about my most successful LinkedIn post ever. As I say sometimes I do something deep and meaningful, this wasn’t one of them! It was a picture of me, looking really goofy with happiness sitting in a space shuttle mock up.

There you have it 2,225 views of a picture of me, grinning like a fool, in a space shuttle telling to aim high. Now I hit a high on that day. Positivity and motivation were what people wanted.

In my real life day to day (current as this post was written) role I am lucky to work in a Brand, Digital, Marketing team with some brilliant professionals. Their skills, experience and passion are limitless. They inspire me often.

Within the team are campaign and social media experts. I listen to them when they talk, at first, I thought I could learn from them and I could be a social media sensation (not really but I did hope to learn).

What I learned is that to be highly successful at social media you have to work very hard, have lots of commitment, put in a LOT of effort and planning. You need contacts, you need to work them, you must be able to grab and hold attention to keep those engagement levels high.

So for schmucks like me who just want to write something, take a picture and share it, or generally just download rubbish from their brains, there is no real key. If you want to be successful then ride a wave, do the effort, be targeted etc.

I do have some cautionary notes though. They are mainly around the pressure that we can sometimes put upon ourselves and about influencers.

When we set ourselves a goal or objective, we can focus really heavily on it and we try all we can to make it. If that goal is to be successful on social media, we need to be careful the pressure we apply.

Actually, I was joking earlier, I don’t set out to be successful. All of my social media is very selfish, I post what I want, when I want to, I don’t worry about hits and engagement, I don’t need to I am just a middle-aged man sharing whatever comes into his head. But there are lots of people out there who do add pressure chasing that success.

There was a story online recently of a social media fashion poster who used to get up at 5 am to be able to do her hair and make up tutorials, she would then edit and post these before jumping in the shower and getting ready to go to work. She would do research and shopping in the evening, sometimes more tutorials/editorials also. She would be spending hours a day in her room doing her hair and make up on camera.

This impacted not just her social life but her mental health and wellbeing also when she thought that she needed to look 100% her best all of the time. Something which for most of us is unachievable.

Also I have seen stories of younger people (for the most part) who see influencers, or TV/Music stars on social media, and want to replicate their lifestyle. A lot of these people have worked hard or have been lucky enough to have money to live from and survive on. In many cases they are given products, cars, holidays, phones, watches, jewellery, nights out, the list goes on.

As such, to the majority of us who pay for the things we wear, use and buy, this is also an unachievable lifestyle and ambition.

So, if you came looking for answers on how to make social media work for you, sorry they aren’t here. This is just the ramblings of a middle aged man and a small warning.

But if you ever do work out the secret to making social media work, you will let me know, won’t you?

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