The problem with status updates
I think one of the biggest problems I have with social media is status updates, specifically how much people get fixated on status updates and think that posting them guarantees that they are being active on social media. Don’t get me wrong, status updates are an important ingredient in your social media marketing, but I also think that for many people social media starts and stops with status updates. They don’t necessarily take the time to explore other features of the site that should also be an important part of their social media presence.
Status updates are useful for keeping people current on what you are doing, or posting about a class that’s upcoming, but interacting with people requires more than just a status update. And even though all social media sites do allow you to comment on or reply to status updates, which can prompt some conversation, it doesn’t guarantee that there will be responses. Businesses and people need to take a holistic approach to social media, using all of the features in order to capitalize on the connections and conversation that are going on.
For example, Q and A forums provide viable opportunities for interacting with people by answering questions and otherwise participating in conversation around those questions. Groups also perform a similar function within social media. Both of these features should be used regularly, but aren’t necessarily used because they get overlooked in the focus on doing status updates.
On Facebook business pages I typically see lots of status updates, but little use made of pictures or video. Pictures and video add a component that text only updates can’t provide, namely visual details, but lots of business don’t think to use these services. What they miss out on providing is an interactive experience that captures people’s interests. They miss out on showing people something significant, namely the personality of the business. Personality is what captures people’s interest more than a service or product.
In fact, bearing that principle in mind it’s important to actually inject some personality into your status updates. Don’t just make lots of offers. Tell people something interesting about yourself or your business, provide a tip or otherwise be helpful without expectation of getting something from people. If you can do that your status updates will likely get responses and that will lead to conversations that can help you convert people from casual interest to real fans who support your work and believe in you.
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