If you caught me off guard and I wasn't really thinking, I'd probably say I don't truly believe in social media. That's probably because I care deeply about very few brands. I don't really want to socialize with them.
Further, I regard my social media feeds as private. I don't want anyone in my lap unless I invite them there.
That said, bastardizing the words of the great Chico Escuela, social media has been bery bery good to me.
I've been thinking of late about why it seems to be working for me (a guy who's essentially anti-social) and conversely why it seems to work for so few brands.
First, I think I understood, somehow, that social media had to have a character, a voice. The writing itself (no matter what form that writing takes) can't be bland and anodyne. You can't be afraid to be who you are. And you can't try too hard to please everyone.
Many brands fail, I think because they don't have a personality. They don't stand for anything.
Second, I didn't expect too much from my social media presence. In fact, when I started this blog, I didn't even know what a social media presence was. I thought I'd get a few readers and that would be that.
Now, 11 years later I'm getting on the order of 30,000 views a week. That's good, I'm content with that. Just as I was happy when I was getting 500 views a week.
Third, and maybe most important, I've been persistent. I've written more than one post a work-week day for more than a decade. Those over 5,000 posts eventually found an audience. An audience I wouldn't have found had I not been dogged.
It seems that every agency and every business today has a blog. If you check some of them out, you'll find many haven't been updated since October, 2013. The only way to do social media is to do.
Finally, I don't follow "best practices," or someone else's rules. I have more than a handful of friends who are successful bloggers and we are each successful in our own ways. We each do our thing in a way that reflects ourselves and our personalities.
Despite what you hear from social media strategists and content practitioners and digital engagement specialists, I think success in social media can come down to following a couple simple thoughts.
1. Have a personality.
2. Manage your own expectations (i.e. don't believe social media hype or that success is easy.)
3. Be active and keep your viewers engaged.
4. Be true to yourself.
I'm sure these rules don't make sense for everyone. But they've worked for me.
And like I said above, social media has been bery bery good to me.