There has been a reoccurring question/statement lately regarding social media updates – i.e. Status Updates or the relevance of Twitter. It usually goes like this “Ok, so I understand Facebook and friends and all that stuff – but seriously, what’s up with Twitter – who cares what you had for breakfast. I don’t get it”
My new canned response is this – you are following boring people. What I mean by this is boring people offline will most likely be boring people online. It is always the goal not to be boring/trivial/mundane/commonplace with your messages.
Then – the follow up question is usually asked – “OK, so then what am I supposed to post on Twitter to not be boring or “salesy”? I have a message that I want to get out there but don’t want to be that guy”
And that is the question of the day.
Easy answer – don’t be like the parents in this Verizon commercial:
In fact – I struggle with is well. It is always my goal to write something that will get a response, be commented on , shared or retweeted.
Without dumping too much theory – let’s just look a few prime examples.
You are in real estate – you want people to know that you sell homes – you want to update your Facebook status or send out a tweet to tell the world.
Here is the lazy way: Are you thinking about buying a home? I have 3 great homes ready right now.
With this phrasing – the shields go up and everyone will go into defense mode right? No one likes to be sold. Especially in their social network “safe zone”
Now here is the creative way to say the same thing, for example: Another happy family just moved in to The Oaks – this community is filling up with great people. I love it.
Some choose to wish people good morning and tell them goodnight via twitter. Some people update their status and talk about the sandwich they are eating for lunch or what they are cooking for dinner. Some people tell others why it is so good to do business with them or their company.
No matter what you decide to post – you need to run it through the “Does anyone care what I am saying” filter and ask yourself these questions:
- Is this trivial? If I said this to someone in real life, would they look at me funny?
- Does this matter to my network of people – whether it is personal or professional.
- Will this be retweeted? Is cool enough content to be spread?
- Is this something negative, should I even be saying it?
- Will this encourage someone or give value to my network?
- If it is trivial – is it at least funny (guess it would have a humor value then, right?)
- If it has to do with a meal I am eating – is that because I am a professional chef, cooking is a passion for me, or there is some lesson others can learn from my food choice? I.E. “3rd time I was food poisoned by Asian Chef – stay away.”
Usually, if you have to justify what you are saying – then you probably should nix it or find a more creative way to say it.
Again – I am basing this on the goal of enriching and increasing your professional life. There is nothing wrong with positing updates with no significance on Twitter or Facebook if you don’t expect an outcome or results. This is just advice if you actually want an audience to notice you – in a good way, not the high school drama queen way.
Keep in mind, your digital personality is an extension of your actual personality. Just as boring people are boring offline – so are talkative people, mean people, sarcastic people, “debbie-downers” etc.
The bottom line is this. All these new digital tools are just a method of connection and communication. Those who take the time to develop valuable content and give more back to their network will always be noticed/followed/friended/retweeted/shared.
Now, I say a lot of stuff that never gets retweeted – but I do try to take my own medicine and always work to give value and entertain.
What are your thoughts – what types of messages have worked well for you? Please share in the comments below.