Social Media is an extension of in-person marketing, meetings and more. From recommending a good book - to a business meeting - to sharing your thoughts on the latest this or that and more, think about it as how you would interact in person and translate your behavior online. The same thing applies to business. You are trying to communicate personally to your audience or customers. You are in their space. The question is, what are you doing to do with the space and moment?
Many of us feel so connected and also so disconnected at times in social media, especially as it changes at a rapid fire pace. It's hard to figure out which social media platform is for business, which one is for personal use and quite frankly which platforms to be on (or not!). Your company or industry may place restrictions as well. I know our kids recently encouraged me to be on Snapchat and quite frankly I just can't seem to get my new found fuzzy ears, funky glasses and cute nose and whiskers quite centered on my face properly. However, in business, we may miss an entire generation of engaging an age group by not being present and engaging in certain platforms deemed overly personal. Presenting ourselves across the various platforms appropriately is a must.
My goal, whether you are participating in social media for personal or business purposes or as a brand or marketing department, is to help you be your best and help you build a network of trust. I believe it is important to participate in social media on behalf of the brand called you and to be your most positive, best-self in doing so. So if fuzzy Snapchat ears are your favorite thing and you are the CEO of a major company, in this social media climate, you might just be a huge success!
Even with the best of intentions, social media can also present emotional challenges. It could be tough, for example, to be in the middle of a negative degree day or a ice storm and suddenly see someone's beach post. It can be rough to see someone's new promotion when you aren't so thrilled in your current job. It's important to remember that social media is for sharing and that not everyone is in the exact same place at the exact same time and moment. If we get stuck in the comparison game, it can surely become frustrating and we block gratitude in these moments. Your moments matter. Living your life with gratitude matters. Whether personal and professional, I strongly encourage people learning and using social media to stay focused on their own positives and their own moments, but to also remember to give that same energy to others in a positive, helpful way. When people post in social media of any kind, it is so you see it, like it, share it, pass it on, learn from it and more. That beach post may inspire you to take a new vacation or maybe even move - who knows!! You may reach out to that person newly promoted, congratulate them and ask them to keep their eyes open for opportunities for you as well. In other words, your frozen-self may need every ounce of energy to click "like" on that beach post, but do it anyway and share the love... Your toasted-self may need every ounce of energy to click "like" on the frozen icy post, but do it in support and positive energy. More and more people are using social media also for business. It's a platform and brand booster! Social media is an incredibly inexpensive and highly engaging, effective way to boost a platform in the making. Here are ten ways you can build a network of trust in social media. 1. Like someone's fanpage in Facebook and share it with others. Do you know how important you are to someone who is branding themselves, selling a product, starting a business or so forth online or otherwise? Your like is very meaningful and appreciated. It can be an additional step forward to not only like the page, but to also share it in your own social media so others see it.
2. Like and/or share a post in Facebook or LinkedIn or retweet a tweet. This is the power of social media and how things get passed around on the internet. This is very similar to telling someone in person about a new product, book, place to eat, movie you liked, etc... When you like, share or retweet, your whole audience sees that now also. Without your engagement and awareness, only the original crowd will ever see the post or tweet. Visit other peoples' pages and tweets in your social media often and share their posts with your audience. It also builds trust within your social media circles and you'll soon find others will do the same with your posts and tweets. Build a network of trust. If you want to live quietly and unseen, social media is not the place for you. 3. Place a comment on a blog and social media posts. How often do you write a post and say to yourself, "I wonder if people will actually read this?" We do this a lot. How often do we, as the comment creators hesitate to post a comment? If you have time, it is also very meaningful to others to place comments on blogs and other social media posts. The rule is to refrain from being negative or offensive. Stay positive. Comment positively on blogs and social media posts when you can. It keeps the posts active in social media so others see them. 4. Share a blog in social media. Most blogs these days have social media share buttons on them. This means you can share a blog in your social media or forward the post to a friend via email. You can also comment on the posts (see #3 above.) This is a very common way that blogs are passed around on the internet, especially for blogs that are not syndicated on larger sites. Read, share and love blogs - energy and thought go into them. If you are the blog owner, moderate comments and approve before they posted. This will prevent spam and negativity. If you are a business, invite others to guest blog. This is great influencer marketing and can help your blog be seen by an expanded audience. 5. If there are ads on a website you like, click them if you like the ad and are genuinely interested in the company. It is not good internet form to just go clicking on ads to earn income. However, be aware that the site owners get revenue for your click or purchase via the ad on their site. Did you know that when someone has ads posted on their site, they get small amounts of revenue when you click on the ads or purchase something from the ads? Think of it like a newspaper ad or magazine ad only on the internet. Also, some ads are good and some ads you wish would go away. The sites sometimes run entirely by this revenue or are the advertiser has placed the ad on the site and is monitoring it for how well it is going by clicks. 6. If someone posts or does something you disagree with, refrain from any negative comments or posts. The internet goes round and round with this as some people and companies thrive in this mode of getting you to talk and post and perhaps even argue. In reality, seldom do oodles of negative comments do anyone any good. This includes posts created to tell someone about an injustice you feel, the behavior of another person and so forth. Negative posts serve a very good purpose when warning us about something genuinely harmful, etc... Know the difference between that and bashing, harassing or bullying. If you don't have something positive to say, don't say it or if you wouldn't say it to the person directly don't say it. Take responsibility for your words and actions. Also if you do post something negative, sign your name. Love is there somewhere. You may need to look to find the love and gratitude. Consider speaking with the person directly by phone or in person. 7. Send out a tweet and include others using the @ function and check your @Connect /Notifications function. Being on Twitter isn't very useful if you are just posting and not engaging anyone else. If you look at someone's twitter feed and they do not retweet or mention anyone else, it's best to steer clear of the account. It might be linked up to a facebook account that is just posting information and not really being used interactively. With that said, check your @Connect/Notifications function often and to include people in your tweets so they see it in their @Connect/Notifications function, use @Username (@BestEverYou or @Compliancefour) for example. 8. Go the extra step and include new people. Make an introduction. In social media, it is important to connect the dots. If you know someone who might like the information someone else is sharing, introduce them to each other. In Facebook and LinkedIn you can easily tag others and in Twitter you can use the @Username/(@Connect/Notifications) functions. Hashtags(#) are a great way to also find like-minded people. Search #topic on Twitter and you will see others tweeting about the topic. Twitter also has trending topics (#s). You can create your own hashtag and consistently use that with each social media post. For example, mine are #BestEverYou, #TipstoBeYourBest and #Compliance4. Keep in mind, at this time, people do not own their hashtags. 9. Tell 10 people about someone or something you saw in social media and ask them to tell 5-10 other people. Word of mouth is so helpful. Ask people to help pass along the information to others by sharing it in their social media and then asking those reached to share it in their social media. It's how things go viral. it's how information is passed along. 10. Subscribe to someone's mailing list. I'm not a big fan of being bombarded and blasted by email after email from someone's website, blog or otherwise unless it is a special event and something I'm genuinely interested in. Subscribing to someone's newsletter and clicking on a few of the links can be very meaningful and a very huge gesture to the creator of the item. What may seem like a 'no big deal' to you, is a very big deal to someone else.
About Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino
Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino is a 20-year veteran of the financial services and regulatory compliance training industry. Also, a recognized leader in personal development, Elizabeth is an author with Hay House and her best-selling book PERCOLATE - Let Your Best Self Filter Through continues to percolate around the globe. Elizabeth is the founder and CEO of The Best Ever You Network, a brand with more than one million followers in social media and over two million radio downloads on The Best Ever You Show. In 2017, blending her financial services and Best Ever You marketing experience and knowledge, Elizabeth launched Compliance4. Elizabeth sees an increasing need for social media consulting, training and effective use of electronic platforms by the financial services industry. With her deep experience and understanding of SEC rules, Elizabeth helps companies implement a positive on-line presence and position the company and develop their brand appropriately and ethically in social media. An expert in mentoring people to market their strengths and achieve brand excellence, she works with clients worldwide to illuminate their light within, develop their best life and become their Best Ever You with gratitude-based behavior and belief systems. Elizabeth’s book PERCOLATE – Let Your Best Self Filter Through (Hay House, 2014) has been called “charming” by Publisher’s Weekly, with “an ingenious extended coffee metaphor.” Guarino also ranks consistently as one of the top 40 social CEOs on Twitter and was just named a favorite by Oxford Said Business School. Her hashtags #BestEverYou and #TipstoBeYourBest are widely circulated. Elizabeth attended the University of Iowa and is an honors graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. Elizabeth and her husband Peter R. Guarino live in Maine with their four sons.