So, I have a social media account.
… Now what? Well, for starters, scrolling through family and friends’ content can be really fun! Following interesting pages and keeping up to date on events is nice too. Another great thing about social media is that it is a place to meet new connections and get involved in cool projects. Everything about these platforms seems really cool.
The problem is, I don’t know what to do with my profile.
Other people have profiles filled with all sorts of cool stuff – that’s great! Those people have amazing lives. Those people seem worth getting to know. But me? Nah. My life is just average. Sure, I do some projects here and there. Sure, I go on trips sometimes, but they aren’t exotic. Every now and then I have a witty remark to share. But come on, posting a steady stream about myself is pretty conceited, don’t you think? Who would want to read that?
Do you ever feel this way? If so, read on.
Here are 7 things to remember about personal social media engagement.
1,) People follow/friend you because they want to know you!
It’s fun learning about what’s happening in the lives of loved ones and celebrities, right? Seeing status messages and photos is a cool way to keep up with folks. It also saves everyone the time of having to write detailed letters to each other to know what’s going on. Plus, it’s a handy way to get to know new people, too! Realize that others feel the same way about you. If they didn’t want to know what was happening in your life, they wouldn’t have added you in the first place.
2.) Being real is important.
Nobody has a perfect life, so why try to fake it for social media? It’s hard to feel a connection to someone who only posts their highlight reel. What’s worse is that in addition to that disconnect, it can cause people to be jealous. Who wants to be that person that others hate out of jealousy? By all means, post photos of those really cool vacations you take. Just be sure to post an equal or greater share of pictures and statuses of the less-than-perfect times too. We’re all human. We respect that others go through struggles, and seeing those struggles helps us feel less alone in ours.
3.) Be interested in the lives of others.
Don’t just post updates about your own work- ask others what they are up to! People love being invited to share their interests, activities, and projects. Give them that opportunity. Posts like this often get higher rankings in the current Facebook algorithms because they tend to get more audience participation. Not only that, but they provide a great opportunity for people to connect with each other over mutually shared interests! It’s a win all around.
4.) It’s all about interaction.
My friends and family often tell me that they unfollow people and pages because they do not interact with them. If they never comment, message, or post, what’s the point? The people who interact are the people who care. Be one of the people who care! If someone comments on your post, reply. If you see a post from someone that looks interesting, say something! Oh, and in case you are wondering, pressing the “like” button on everything does not count. That is about on par with sending a read receipt instead of a real email reply.
5.) People respect the journey.
Most folks love a good story. If you are posting running updates of a trip, a project, or just a struggle you are going through, people care. It’s fun to watch a project grow from its humble beginning. It is exciting to observe someone’s travel plans unfolding. Seeing a person go through struggles makes you cheer them on all the harder when they have a moment of triumph.
6.) Learn out loud.
Every experience is an opportunity to learn. Slow down and think about what lessons you’ve learned. Then, share those experiences! Don’t be a know-it-all, though. Nobody likes the person who offers unsolicited advice. Simply focus on presenting what happened and what you learned from it. If others wish to apply it to their lives, let them figure out how. Don’t tell them what to do.
7.) Shoot for variety in post styles and topics.
There are a lot of ways to share your story. If possible, try to intermix a variety of methods in your social media presence. Use status messages to write out your thoughts. Share photos so that people can have a window into your world. Record tidbits of video to share something more action-packed, emotion-filled, or as a means of entertainment. Video can also be a great way to go more in-depth if you have completed a really big project because they can encompass pictures, video, audio, and text. If you keep a blog or make a podcast, be sure you share links to your posts.
What stands out to you on social media?
Comment below with what posts please you most! Or, if you have any posting peeves, share those too.