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Ask the Readers: What’s YOUR Social Media Secret?

questions-cardYou may have noticed that the Mirasee team has started being a little more active on Twitter lately, thanks in large part to Stephanie Montreuile, the social media expert who helped us plan our strategy and who I had the pleasure of interviewing for our podcast earlier this week.

I’m not going to lie – not everyone was as excited about it as I was.

Even I can admit it – Twitter is weird.

Come to think of it – ALL of social media is weird.

We check into locations on 4Square.

We Pin pictures of things we can’t afford and crafts we’ll never do (*cough*) on Pinterest.

We take pictures of food before we eat it on Instagram.

And there’s a good reason for all of it – it helps us build relationships, and learn about your customers and promote our wares – but it’s a little overwhelming before you understand the individual conventions of each platform.

And there’s just so many of them.

You learn pretty quickly that it’s a good idea to start with just one, get familiar with it, and then move on to another, and as you master a few different platforms, you start to realize just how different engagement is on each of them.

It differs by platform, by audience, by industry and by goals, and there’s no one single right or wrong way to do it. A case can be made for just about every method, technique, strategy and trick.

For me, the best way to learn and start to enjoy Twitter, was just to start doing it. I logged ona couple of times a day, and retweeted or favorited a couple of posts, maybe tweeted a thought or a blog post I liked, and followed bloggers cartoonists and other folks who interested me.

It felt REALLY forced for awhile – but then people started engaging back with me. We asked each other questions, shared resources and laughs… we started to really engage with each other.

As soon as that started, I was hooked. Now I have to limit my Twitter time so I can still get other things done. 🙂

All of this makes me wonder – what do you do?

Are you dedicated to one platform? Do you have a strategy you follow, or do you go with the flow? Do you wish you were more in touch with social media, or do you just want to avoid the whole thing?

Let us know in the comments!

About Megan Dougherty

Megan Dougherty is an alumnus of Mirasee and is passionate about online education, small business and making a difference in the world. You can find out what she's up to and how side-hustles will take over the world at PayingforLife.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MeganTwoCents.

23 comments

  1. I had a good laugh when I read the line about photographing food and posting on Instagram before eating. My visiting brother-in-law did something similar with his SmartPhone and posted to Facebook which the rest of the family found irritating. To each his own, I guess. 🙂

    Coming back to the topic, LinkedIn is by far my favorite. Twitter and Facebook and now Pinterest are dangerous for time management unless you use an egg-timer to limit your surfing there.

    From a work perspective, I have found it useful to set my goal for each of the social media platforms that I engage with. Sometimes there is overlapping content but one has to remember the audience in each. Ir helps to stop just before pressing the button, “if I were reading this post, would I find it relevant or say ‘so what?’ “

  2. David Wilson says:

    Using LinkedIn Groups to reach my target audience has been my main SM (Social Media or sadomasochism?) activity until recently.

    I discovered Firepole Marketing six weeks ago and Danny’s constant stream of great ideas has got me moving on Twitter and seeking guest blogging opportunities.

    Reading the above comments has opened up a few more possibilities, thank you all for that. However, I think Anne Marie has a good point when she says “it’s better to do a few things well than a lot of things badly.”

  3. Buxrr says:

    Facebook and Twitter are by far the best of the bunch. Google plus seems like it was released too early and its image never really recovered. Youtube is great too, but not everyone has great video content to share.

  4. Jackie Ulmer says:

    I use several and for different things. I blog, and I do consider that Social Media, since it is a two way street!

    I LOVE Facebook and probably generate 40-50% of my online business there, as well as have fun and reconnect with old people from the past, and new people!

    I use Youtube, and it accounts for the bulk of the rest of my lead generation.

    LinkedIn, yes, and not quite so much, but have several groups there I enjoy; and Twitter – well, I am the same – didn’t get Twitter for a while, and now I get it better, and use it several times a day, but don’t have as much fun there!

    Google+ is still new, but using it some.

    And, I have a podcast on iTunes, which I love doing.

    Social Media is the heart and soul of my business and it changed everything for me.

    And, I had to get disciplined and avoid drama and mindless pitfalls online, ha ha!

    EXPECT Success!

    Jackie Ulmer

  5. Mike says:

    I use primarily Facebook. I have a 300K fan page associated with a blog. I post pics, links and quotes bringing traffic to the blog. I do tweet new posts and post pics on Pinterest.

  6. Ashley Nance says:

    I started with Facebook and just really fell in love with the use of Facebook groups as a community-builder. I decided recently to get into Twitter (I’ve had a mostly-inactive account for about two years) and was surprised how easy it was. I have yet to really conquer Pinterest or eve touch Instagram, but my Twitter has taken off so quickly that I am confident it will be alright for me to wait until I am ready to expand out to them and others. In the mean time, I am pondering how to use Facebook groups to expand the reach of my business.

  7. I hated Twitter at first as well, but I was convinced it would be better for my business than Facebook. (Now that FB has updated their algorithm, it turns out I was right.)

    My Twitter strategy isn’t so much a strategy as common sense: follow people you’re interested in, interact with people when you have something meaningful to tell them, and share links that add value to the conversation for your followers. It’s a low-stress way to think of it because it ensure you won’t OVERthink.

    I’ve been more active on Pinterest lately. Though I use it more for personal than business, I do pin my own blog posts as well as others that may be useful to my audience. I’m also thinking of starting a portfolio board with links to books I’ve edited and my writing around the web.

    LinkedIn is the one that really throws me off. I’ve participated in a few groups there, but after a while, I’ve noticed that all the discussions eventually repeat themselves. There are very few new topics, and my fellow group members are other editors, not authors looking for help with their books.

    Great discussion topic!

  8. Brett says:

    Great Post Danny. Social media is something I am starting to jump in. I’m starting with Twitter and currently going with the flow but dying for some strategy. I’m also looking to LinkedIn but haven’t signed up yet. It’s one of those things for me that social media has never been something I’ve been into but I know it’s essential to the growth of my business. Thanks for the great content and helping me figure it out!

  9. Janis says:

    I think Social Media is a great way to meet people and to market skills and products. I use it in to send my blog to Facebook, Linked in and Twitter and to find content. I promote authors on the Internet so it is a way to meet authors and readers. I love Google + and have many followers on both my public newsfeed and my fan page. I have gotten most of my clients from Linked in. I use Pinterest in a Pinteresting way. I wrote a blog series on how to promote authors and books on Pinterest. For each post I made a board to illustrate the points of each post. I made an About the Author Board and used images from my life. I made a Memoir board and used it to illustrate one of my client’s memoirs. Books I Love is a board to show off my clients books with links to their Amazon’s pages. I have a board for book trailers. Anyone who wants to promote their books are welcome to send me their book cover and Amazon purchase page link, and I will put up their book, book trailer or video interview or review at no cost. I get a lot of help from Social Media both for me and my clients.

    1. Kas Winters says:

      Let’s connect. I represent more than 100 authors and have published 104 books to date. Currently, I’m switching directions and getting back to publishing my own books again. Eighteen of the 104 are mine. The things I write are about raising creative children who think! If you’d like to say “hello” my e-mail is above.
      Nice to meet you through Firepole,
      Kas, The Mother of Family Ideas

  10. Pamela says:

    I use Facebook to supplement my blog and regular newsletters. I’m on LinkedIn but in my line of work, my ideal clients don’t spend much time there. Thinking of dipping my toes into Pinterest!

    Right now, what works for me is nothing surprising: it’s solid content. The way that I get to that, though, is very intuitive. I notice what is going on in my tribe, or what is going on for me that seems to have a greater resonance than just my personal life, and I write to that. I empathize with my tribe and offer free content for vocal or listening practices that are relevant for those wanting to improve their speaking or singing voice, but also have relevance to overall conscious communication in business and relationship. I ask people questions about things that connect with the heart: their favourite poetry or songs, what they would most like their voice to express to the world.

  11. Jason says:

    I use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, G+ & YouTube.

    Every platform is different. LinkedIN & G+ & Twitter being the best for B2B relationships.

    I find them all interesting but I think your right in saying you just need to start doing it & learn on a day to day basis. I have been doing SMO for a couple of years now & I am still learning.

    There are some brilliant tools you can use out there for SMO platforms.
    Personally I use Hootsuite.com to schedule Tweets etc for after hours.
    Followerwonk.com Justunfollowme.com Twitonmy.com & Topsy.com are brilliant for Twitter.

    Circlecount & Google ripples are brilliant tools to use for G+

  12. I find that I reach different audiences on the various channels. I haven’t made a lot of use of LinkedIn for audience building because it isn’t a hot spot for my target people. Twitter is where I seem to catch the attention of a wider audience and seems to be helping build my brand. I am very active in sharing other people’s blog posts on Twitter in addition to my own. I believe the fact that I share quality content, even if it’s not my own, makes me attractive to follow.

  13. Sam-Erik Ruttmann says:

    LinkedIn is my primary social media, great way to connect for business. I also subscribe to groups relating to the hotel industry and exchange views within these groups. I had a Twitter and finally after I read a great post on your site, I took the bull by the horn and now starting to get myself involved to tweet. I also use Instagram, Flickr, and starting to post some short videos on Vimeo. I still keep a Facebook account, and mostly reserved for some old friends, but not really active anymore. I am getting more impact with these other SoMe .

  14. Kara ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I use Twitter the most. I like the speed and the influx of information I can get in a short amount of time. Plus, I’ve found it’s a fantastic platform to share my blog posts. If you connect with people on Twitter, they are often more than happy to share some of your blog posts. Then their followers share…and it goes on.

  15. Joyce Kaiser says:

    I use Twitter, FB, and IG heavily. Getting more in to Pinterest. LinkedIn I will utilize more in the near future.

    I have no secret. I simply tailor my posts to each for the venue and audience, even though many of my followers are the same across each platform.

    When I blog, I keep it short – try to stay less than 500 words. If I have a lot to say on a topic, I’ll break it into multiple posts.

    I write conversationally (I hope) as if it’s me and that one person just chatting. Use a lot of white space, no headers (then people only read the headers and not the content), and ask engaging questions. I notice readers don’t answer the questions on the blog post, but will respond in FB or Twitter. Which I find very interesting.

    I go with the flow and write when I’m inspired, but am working to get into a more structured post schedule.

  16. Meg Cook says:

    Interacting on Google + has been the most intuitive platform for me so far. I have found that my content is ignored almost entirely, unless I base it on a specific person, and offer the specific person some sort of help. Because my site is centered on giving blog feedback, this has worked okay. But, I have not figured out how to make one piece of content vastly useful to a large range of people. That said, what is working, at least slightly, is focusing my attention on individuals.

    Also, I have noticed that re-sharing things that have recently been shared many times tends to get a good amount of attention. I suppose if something has been shared already, chances are that if you share it to your group, someone there will like it there too. Thanks, Danny and group;)

  17. Jeannette Paladino ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    LinkedIn is my primary social network, although I’m active on other sites too. I’ve developed some real friendships (and business) on LinkedIn. As always, you need to give first to get.

  18. I use social media to position myself as an expert. It’s easy to do just by sharing content on a routine basis until people begin to recognize your name.

    But my real marketing is done by email (Ben Settle style). And the magic happens when I actively seek out and advocate that people who are on my email list *unsubscribe* from that list IF they cannot see themselves ever doing business with me.

    While my list may be smaller than some others, its not filled with freebie seekers who never engage. Which is ideal IMO.

  19. Howard says:

    I use Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+. But they really all have different, but complimentary purposes.

    My area of biggest emphasis is LinkedIn. I sell B2B so it’s much more relevant to me than most other social media.

    I make sure I get the most out of my blog posts. I announce them on Twitter, and G+. I often have a video component via YT, but my best impact has come via LinkedIn groups.

    I post each blog to various targeted LI groups. This is where my audience is, and I encourage interested readers to opt in on my website so I can follow up.

    Ultimately, the biggest benefit I get is not from social media itself, but from the SEO and authority generated by consistent content creation.

  20. Tami Belt says:

    Social Media is comprised of communities. Knowing how to communicate in each one is part of a strategic communication plan. This is the place to engage in conversations, listen and build relationships. It’s a community, not a commercial.

    Facebook is the mashup of social media to share both personal and professional information.
    Twitter is the sound bite of social media.
    Linked in is strictly business.

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