Social media is the ‘shiny new thing’ of marketing. Everyone seems to want one, whatever it is, and everyone has a view.

There is plenty of advice around on how to do it, I just put the term ‘How to manage social media’ into Google and got 54.5 million responses in a millisecond.

At the risk of adding to the dog-pile, after a conversation a couple of weeks ago with a so called expert who clearly had only picking pockets on her mind, I thought I would add to the list, and try and keep it sufficiently simple to be of use.

Be original.

Pretty hard when there is so much already out there, but so much of it is the same, just in a different dress. Being able to throw a light into a dark corner is always useful. I am reminded of my kids soccer games when they were little. 10 kids all around the ball, kicking it at the same time, with 95% of the field empty. Commentary on Social media is similar, everyone follows the ball, is in the one place, but there is so much space elsewhere, that seeing it for what it is, opportunity rather than barren space is useful.

Be focused.

 Knowing who you are writing for, and speaking to them about things they are worrying about, see as threats or opportunities, and speaking in their language, in the first person, in an individual way, makes a huge difference to the results you will get.

Writing quality.

Pretty obvious, nobody will willingly read crap, so follow the rules of grammar, be interesting, entertaining, remove bullshit and weasel words, and deliver ideas worth sharing. This applies irrespective of the medium. A written blog post, video, email, twitter post, whatever it is, make it quality to suit the medium.

Eye-catching layouts.

 We are visual animals, blocks of text are not attractive, and not how we scan material. Have a good header photo or illustration, a headline that demands more attention, paragraph headers, and plenty of white space. As a test, go into your local newsagent and look at the magazines on display. These guys are the experts at this stuff, those that have survived are very good at grabbing and keeping your attention, and leading you to a purchase.


As you build a library of content, it makes sense to link it in relevant places to post you have written in the past, and other places you may have posted. It is also vital to build credibility by linking to good content others post, and in time some of them may link back to posts you write, which gives your google rankings a real goosing. When a so called ‘influencer’ links to something you have posted, some of their google cred rubs off on you, and that is gold.

Cross posting.

This is as essential as linking, as it enables a wider audience to have the chance of finding your content. Much of this can now be automated, but it also pays to personalise and tailor the content to the platform to which you are cross posting to better suit the way that platform interacts with its users. In my case, there are hundreds of people who have subscribed to my blog posts, not a lot by some standards, but plenty by mine as they are a pretty selective bunch, and there are hundreds more who see the posts via LinkedIn, and there are very few multiples, those who are both blog subscribers and subscribers to the LinkedIn posts.

Be observant.

I can only go by my experience here. When I started, 1500 posts ago, I wondered where the next one would come from, but they just started to flow as I looked at the world through a different lens. I also found it necessary to keep a log of ideas, post drafts, links, and all the other supporting stuff, which I do in a huge file on One Note, an essential tool to record being observant.

Be patient.

There are millions of blog posts published every day, 60 hours of video uploaded onto YouTube every minute, just being seen is a major achievement. Believing it can happen overnight as promised by many with a product to sell is delusional, it takes time, effort, and persistence, on top of those elements above.

Never steal.

There is so much stuff out there, who would ever know?? Everyone. It is obvious pretty quickly when you just plagiarise, and there are multiple software solutions that crawl the web looking for copied material, so you will be found out, However, more importantly, being original, genuine, authentic, whatever you choose to call it, is essential to success. The exception is attribution, but that is not stealing, just the opposite, it is acknowledging the expertise of others, and you may find tnhat they in turn will acknowledge yours. More google gold.

Tell me what works for you.