One of the most common complaints I hear from people reluctant to use social media is, “I never know what to post!”
After you define your personal brand strategy and identify your target audience and its needs, you will need to develop the tactics to leverage your reputation. Likely, this will include building your credibility online using different platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Your goal will be to make yourself findable and relevant to your target audiences online.
To keep your personal brand and reputation visible, and contribute value to the social conversation, here are some suggestions for posts when you can’t think of what to post:
- Share a link to a news article related to your industry, community or specialty. Be sure to read the article first, and make sure it represents something you would be proud to attach your name to and share. When you post the link, add a sentence indicating your thoughts or opinion on the piece, such as, “I think the author makes an excellent point about the need for capital markets to reevaluate priorities…” This helps your audiences learn your viewpoint and see you as a contributor, not just an observer.
- Congratulate and celebrate the successes of others. You likely get daily notifications of your contacts’ birthdays, work anniversaries and job changes. Post a congratulatory note to their LinkedIn status and add a sentiment, such as, “Congratulations on the promotion, Bob. Well-earned for sure!”
- Share a quote that’s meaningful to you. On LinkedIn the quotes should be of a professional nature and always attributed to the author. For example, “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have successfully found 10,000 ways it will not work.” – Thomas Edison
- Instead of writing an update, post a short article, blog or set of comments using the “Create a Post” feature. Be sure to add a photo to make your post more interesting.
- “Like” photos, comments, posts and updates from your friends and contacts. This shows in your News Feed, so others see you are active.
- Since Facebook is a social site, it’s not enough to lurk and just “Like” periodically. Your network wants to hear from you! Update your status with what’s on your mind. For example, “Wondering if anyone else feels Spring Fever?” or “Baseball season starts in 42 days!”
- Ask questions of your network. I recently asked my audiences if they’d won awards and if so, for what. I was delighted to see how many of my friends have received awards and recognitions, some recent and some from over 25 years ago. My Facebook friends thanked me for reminding them of their successes! Some other questions you could ask your network are, “What is your favorite childhood story and why?” or “If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?”
- Share a quote that’s meaningful to you. On Facebook you can steer toward the inspirational or personal, always be sure to credit the author. For instance, “Action is the antidote to despair.” – Joan Baez
- Congratulate others’ success. Be sure they have announced the accomplishment first (don’t announce someone’s pregnancy when they haven’t told their employer!).
Keeping relevant online means being engaged. Social networking requires you show up, contribute and add value to the conversation.