Confession: If there’s one thing I love more than social media, it’s craft beer.
Not everyone loves craft beer or regular beer for that matter, but it’s there and not going away anytime soon. Likewise, social media is constantly evolving. There’s something to be learned or tested every day. I definitely have my favorite craft beers, but I thoroughly enjoy continuously expanding my taste and knowledge for it. You don’t have to embrace every brand, style, feature or consume so much you feel like you’re going to be sick, but there’s nothing to be afraid of by stepping outside your comfort zone.
I just recently realized my dedicated consumption of beer has taught me a lot about the consumption of social media. I’ll go ahead and skip the obvious (the more you drink, the more likely you are to mobile upload a picture of you making awful unattractive faces with your other intoxicated friends), and present to you what I’ve learned from the greatest drink in all of the land: beer.
Drink Too Much, and You’ll Make Other People Uncomfortable
“But it’s just so good. And I’m much more likely to converse freely after having a few drinks.” You’re right, for the most part. You know the guy at the party shoving cold pizza in his face and wearing an empty 30 rack on his head as a hat? You don’t want to be THAT guy of social media. Limit yourself to a few drinks, or rather posts, and let the natural buzz kick in. Get a Retweet? Awesome. A few people shared the image you posted on Facebook? Even better.
Post every 10 minutes about your brand, its’ product and why you’re better than your competitors and you’ve just labeled yourself as the most annoying person at the party…and don’t expect to be invited back. With Facebook’s current algorithm and average lifetime of a post, you’ll maximize engagement and traffic by limiting yourself to a Facebook post once every three hours. So slow it down and spread your content out over time. No need to have your own personal Power Hour on Facebook. Oh, and take that stupid box off your head.
The More Hops, The Better
I’m a huge fan of India Pale Ale’s, therefore I like my beer with plenty of hops and a bit heavier than your average light lager. It’s not for everyone, but this advice is. DON’T be dull on social media platforms. There’s nothing worse than scrolling through a Timeline or Twitter feed with super serious posts (and a million pictures of engagement rings and baby announcements). Feel free to share a funny image or viral video that is somehow relatable to your business: a popular meme, a picture of an office prank, or crack a joke in a blog post. I’m just going out on a whim and guessing your company isn’t comprised of robots and neither is your target audience. Be human. Apply humor. It’s okay to experiment. You don’t ALWAYS have to drink cheap, boring beer.
I have no shame in admitting that I will frequent my local watering hole and sit at the bar alone. Why wouldn’t you when it has 12 Michigan microbrews on tap? It’s relaxing, I don’t have to impress anyone, and I can play Word With Friends on my phone without any interruptions. I never miss out on the opportunity, however, to strike up a conversation with someone nearby, especially if they’re deciding which nectar they’d like to fill their pint glass with. Most likely they’ll have something interesting to say, but if they stare at you in silence, it’s nothing to stress out about. Don’t be afraid to reach out and create dialogue via social networks even if you don’t get a response back. We’re all there, so why not party together?
Use the search feature on Twitter to find people talking about topics related to your brand and don’t be afraid to send them a tweet. Sports blogger looking for a new team of followers? Search “sports,” “sports blog,” “basketball,” “sports journalism” for potential fans. Instead of bombarding them with your newest infographic, contest or product, be friendly and start with conversation. You never know, they just might be your next best customer. No one likes a pushy bartender or being forced to drink a pint of something they don’t enjoy, so toss them a little info and let the consumer be the judge.
Sacrifice For Better Quality
If you’re still in college, paying back student loans or any other average American adult, trust me. I hear your cries. When it comes to selecting which leisure beer I’d like to enjoy on a week night or leisure beers (plural) on a weekend, I’d rather pick something more flavorful than carbonated water. Sure, I could probably buy a 30 pack of Natty Light for the same price as a 6-pack of my favorite IPA, but that just makes me look stupid and the queen of Frat Alley. Do you WANT to look like you have bad taste? No. The answer is no.
Something I hear a lot from clients is wanting to get more followers and fans. My job is to make that happen, but it’s important to remember quality over quantity. Of course, you look more reliable when you have 5,000 Facebook fans opposed to 140, or 500 Twitter followers opposed to 212, but if half those fans and followers are Spambots and Pornbots speaking Russian, what’s the point? Make sure your fan base is comprised of your target audience. Will @LovePorn88 buy your small business’ cutlery set? Probably not, so clean out your dorm room fridge and stock it with some quality brew.
Take a few risks, delete some crazy foreign porn stars, save yourself from content overload and while you’re at it, crack open a cold one and join the party because we’re all here together. And seriously, take that stupid box off your head.