Building your profile on social media – 5 basic tips

Everyone loves a listicle! Dave Allen shares his top five tips for social media success, and encourages you to share your top tips in return.

My article last week on the BrandPie experiment with social media got such a good response (500+ views and 27% like so far) I thought I would have a go at writing 5 basic tips to help others build their profiles. It looks from the responses so far that there are plenty of people like me trying to figure how much time to invest in this stuff. Maybe together we can get to a list of 10 good tips?

The really exciting news (for me anyway) is that we have now been able to add an 'Our conversations' page to the BrandPie website as a result of this experiment - because we have created content we know people either like or don't like. So this form of publishing is now acting as a quality filter for what gets on - I hadn't seen that one coming as a benefit. All we have to do now is ensure we stay active and maintain our aim of trying to be 'intelligent' in our approach.

To remind everyone the BrandPie experiment was initiated because of data we saw in the USA that showed an embryonic correlation between the winning of consulting contracts to the quality of the online profile the lead partner had built. Basically before clients award a contract they are searching you online to see what you say and how you think. A sort of 'wow' moment for me.

So here are my tips. I have focused on the use of comments, shares and articles as I still haven't figured out how best to use 'Dave recommends'.

1. Do more than just comment or share

Commenting or sharing is great but don't overdo it Tweet this. I notice it when someone is too active and I am sure others do. It is easy to go from being witty and intelligent to being seen as over communicating and turning into a 'look at me, me, me' type person. Writing an article takes less time than you think. Identifying an interesting topic is the hard bit. Sometimes it is the simplest of ideas that catch hold - I was surprised how many people were interested in learning how to use LinkedIn articles. Bounce ideas of your colleagues, get conversations going and make it active. It has to become cultural and you can't be lazy!

2. Experiment and find your style

Finding your style takes experimentation and an acceptance by you that you will make mistakes Tweet this. Don't worry about it and learn from them. I have tried everything from humour to detailed analysis. I have clearly written some well liked articles and some crap. They all work in my mind but some clearly work better than others. It is only by trying different approaches that you will find what works for you and your company. The more you experiment the more you will learn. Ask people what they think before you publish to help build your confidence.

3. Don't talk about yourself too much

From the outset I decided I would help others by either giving hints and tips, making people think or by providing a moment of light relief. This approach definitely gets both noticed and applauded. I for one hate the self publicising 'I am so clever' pieces you read ( I could be alone) - particularly by the folks who have written a below average book! But credit to them they always seem to get a lot of reads - though I notice their likes tend to be very very low as a percentage of their views. For me this is all about helping people to develop and grow and not about self publicity. Easy to say but hard to achieve.

4. Publish on a Tuesday or Wednesday

This is interesting. On looking at viewing patterns it is clear there is little point publishing on a Friday or over the week-end. It is good to see that most people still switch off - views over the week end drop dramatically. An article published on a Friday seems to get less than one third of the views of those published on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Timing also seems important. People clearly read these things on their journey into or out of work - makes sense. So an 8am or 6pm time can help lift views.

5. Mobilise your team to 'share and like'

This took me a long time to accept. At the outset I thought it was really naff (a very British word meaning  'uncool') for the folks at BrandPie to like or share something I had written. It felt it was a bit sycophantic and I really didn't like how it made me feel. I have now got over it and understand it is an important first step in the process of getting the article out there to as many people as possible. If you are genuinely trying to help others grow and think then doing this is key. The more it is 'shared and liked' the more it is read and hopefully the more useful it is - if that is how the Algorithm works then use it Tweet this.

That's my first attempt at some really basic tips and I hope you find it useful. If anyone wants to add or has figured out how to use recommendations intelligently then please do. If we can get it to a good list of 10 we will pop it on our website for anyone to download.

Collectively we could make LinkedIn and other social media sites much more interesting and much more useful - we might even make them more money. (Maybe one day the leaders in social media will adopt a revenue sharing model and pay a tiny weeny fee per view for really good well-written material that people like? Maybe not...)

Go think. Go write.