Social media: It’s not all about YOU!

Social media: It's not all about you

Ok, so you are sick of hearing about social media?

Me too.

But we have to get beyond that, because it’s here to stay, one way or another.

Also here to stay, sadly, are the social media, ‘gurus’, ‘mavens’, ‘legends’ and ‘ninjas’, (why do these clowns talk about themselves like that?), few of whom have any qualifications to give themselves these grandiose titles, and often no experience of building a social media presence, whatsoever.

I am no ‘social media expert’ myself, but I do have a bit of a social track record personally, and with my business Firebrand (now sold), and more recently with other businesses I co-own, such as people2people.

And to witness what some people are doing on social media is like watching a car crash, in slow motion. It is a disaster.

So here is a fundamental truth that I never hear anyone talking about, but to me is as plain as the ever-expanding big nose on my face.

It’s not social MEdia. It’s social THEMdia

Yes, you read that right. Your social media activity is never about you, how good you are, or what great stuff you peddle. Or to be precise, it shouldn’t be. It’s always about the community you are trying to target. It’s about them!

So many social media wannabes are naive in the extreme. Social media is not for ‘advertising’ ladies and gentlemen, where you are trying to get people to ‘buy’. Social media is not even public relations, where you are trying to spin a point of view. It’s not even marketing in any sense we have used that word before. Not at it’s core anyway. It’s subtler than that. It’s more authentic than that.

Social media is, well, how can I put this? It’s social!

So the savage truth is you need to build your social media activities around a philosophy based on what you give, not what you get. This is not misguided altruism. This is the commercial imperative.

Your blogs, updates, and tweets must comprise what’s interesting to your target market, not you.

So we need to build a social media plan based on sharing information, giving away insights, engagement, helping, and generosity. Not pumping out job vacancies, stuff about how great we are, and data on our services.

We need to use the basic premise of ‘manners maketh the plan’ in our social media behaviour. Thanking, sharing, helping, mentoring, engaging, and simply being polite.

Whether you are an individual wanting to build a brand in your niche, or a giant company, using social media to drive your global profile, in social media, you have got to give to get. And give a lot. For a long time.

Social media is a long game. Short-term tactics do not work, and will never work.

I already told you. Mark me well.

It’s social THEMdia. Not social MEdia

More reading:

3 reasons why you can’t avoid social media (even if you wanted to)
6 damaging myths about social media and the truth behind them
How to build a ‘village of support’ for your personal brand


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Award-winning Australian recruitment agency, Firebrand Talent, ignites the careers of digital, marketing, creative, communications, advertising, & media talent. If you are looking for your next career move, check out the jobs we currently have on in Sydney & Melbourne.


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