Now It’s Getting Personal — Using Social Media As A Public Figure
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Business and politics, organisations, institutions, and schools all have a direct link to individuals in their homes all over the world. Over half of the planet is online and the majority of these people are regular social media users. The big three, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are the “holy trinity” of social media in which we can reach a large section of society in just a few actions. Other sites such as TikTok, Instagram, Medium, and many more are also essential for people who want to communicate in particular ways. To provide a modern public service, a social media presence is essential. It’s the new high-street store-front for many modern entities which serves to promote, welcome, and inform with continual high-level input.
Recommended Read: The Social Media Revolution by Tony Whittingham
Social Media As A Service
The way we consume social media content is by scrolling. Our content is provided alongside everyone else’s in a system that rewards interaction. If no one interacts with our content then the system will not publish it to as many feeds. This means our content will stop being shown relatively quickly once it’s been posted unless someone informs the system that it’s worthwhile. Therefore we must consider this when designing our posts in order to stand out from the main stream and encourage people to acknowledge the content. Thinking about the kind of people we want to attract and the type of people who are online with the platform and at the time of day, we can make good judgements as to how we go about inspiring interaction.
A Call To Action
The elements of social media for growth and outreach are based on content and action. The content ideally will benefit your overall message and encourage people to bond with your brand of thought. The content needs to be simple and fast, only a small paragraph is usually sufficient. It’s about getting attention, putting information out there, and being remembered. The majority of social media posts include an image. Sometimes the whole content is the image. Translators are not as automatic when the text is within an image so it’s always a good idea to write it in the content section too so that readers in other countries know what you’re saying. The action element is in the hands of the person who reads the message. The standard actions are the react functions, shares, comments, and link clicks. These are easy to do and are most likely to be used. Longer actions must be described in listed detail and are much less likely to be followed. Incentives are helpful in these cases.
It’s unlikely someone is looking for you directly. This means that your content needs to encourage a person to stop and look at you. Providing this in simple and easy text with highly visible images will work better than camouflaged and long-winded excerpts of writing. Unless you are particularly good at telling a story, a long post will be off-putting to readers. If you remember that social media users are in a mental flow state where one post after another runs a continual stream of semi-random thought influences, we want to be able to add our sound to the beat without sounding out of place. On the other hand, our composition must be interesting and well-written so that others hear it above all the other instruments.
The Service Mentality
It’s up to you to inspire, your friends and family owe you nothing. Your followers do not have an instant desire to buy everything you sell. If you try to use social media to manage people like a bullying boss then they’ll unfollow you. People use the service to relax and find interesting things, not to be instructed to do the ‘right thing’ by overbearing colleagues. When we’re in the right mood and the content is provided in the right tone, we usually are glad to do our bit for our friends and family. Followers want to see their favourite brands and people do good things and provide new experiences for them to enjoy. The entire outlook must be one of a service person doing the social media as an equal, not as a teacher or a line manager.
Communicate Your Intentions
Most people out there have no idea who you are. Unless you represent a global long-term brand such as Coca-Cola, you can’t expect people to have heard of you or have any idea what you do. In the public figure sense, you are on social media as a service. You might sell things or provide information, you might do both. Whatever you do, people who find your page want to know what it is you can do for them. We need to give people every reason to want to connect. This means that we have to fill out all the information and write it with a focus on what we do for others. Imagine you are another person who knows nothing about you and then write what they need to be told in as simple a way as possible. This means that your very presence is education about your personal brand and what you represent.