Before you post, read my 12 tips for social media

I see brands trying to use social media for marketing, and sadly wasting their effort and their content. I see them trying so hard, and getting nowhere.

I say, no more! No more posting into a void where no one reads what you write, you post too much, you post in the middle of the night when no one is reading, you aim for viral and will always fail, and you devalue the relationships with your audience that you already have. 

Let these 12 tips for social media be a checklist, a guide, a light on your social media marketing path. Comments and corrections welcome. 

1.       Take a photo, write a caption that’s relevant to your own brand, and tag someone, a place, or a business that’s relevant to the photo. Then, hold on for a minute.

2.       Ask yourself, “Would a real person talk this way?” Edit accordingly.

3.       Next, ask yourself, “Do my clients, customers, or community care about this?” Edit accordingly.

4.       If your community doesn’t care about it, then don’t post it. It’s that simple.

5.       If it’s a weekday between 9 AM and 5 PM in your time zone, share it now.

6.       If it’s before 9 AM, after 5 PM, or the weekend, save it for later. Don’t waste your content by posting it at times when no one will read it.

7.       Post that photo with caption and tags on all of your social media accounts. Yes, all of your social media accounts.

8.       Don’t worry about posting the same thing everywhere--the people who follow all of your accounts are your biggest fans, your best friends, and/or your stalkers. They want to hear more from you, so give them what they want.

9.       Unless you’re live-tweeting an event, spread out your posts through the day or week.

10.   Give up on going viral.

11.   Be satisfied with building relationships among your followers. Those relationships are no small accomplishment. And relationships, in whatever form, are still the reasons we all buy things.

12.   Every fifth post should promote yourself or your brand. No more, no less. Provide value and delight most of the time, and you earn the right to promote yourself. If you don’t earn the right for my attention, I take my attention elsewhere.