Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

3 powerful social media channels you already know how to use

When people hear the term social media, they usually think . . . platforms. I used to think this, too. But this isn’t the only way to understand social media.

If you’re anything like me, you want to know what the latest social media platforms are and how people are using them. They can have a tremendous effect on your business. Social media can provide connections, valuable real-time feedback, and an easy way to get the word out about your work.

Right now, for instance, live streaming is gaining traction. Users are figuring out the best ways to host live feeds and provide great content. But even with these platforms & features, it’s easy to forget about BASIC social media channels.

What is basic social media?

BASIC” social media is a term I’m using to describe methods you already know how to use. These ‘channels’ or ‘methods’ have the same features as Facebook and Instagram because they allow others to comment, share, and ‘like’ your stuff.

If we limit our understanding of social media to platforms—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Periscope, YouTube, Yelp, Foursquare—we’re ignoring the BASIC ways we can spread the word about our work. The 3 powerful social media channels I’m going to unpack are…

  1. Conversations
  2. Texting
  3. Emailing

1. Social media = conversations

Have you ever considered a face-to-face conversation “social media?” I didn’t until I read Jonah Berger’s book Contagious. He argues that conversations are the original social media. When we share stories with other humans, we’re being social. When we share enough stories or conversations, we make friends or decide to get married. We trust our friends. We want to hear their stories—usually 🙂.

This is a powerful way to spread the word about something.

When we talk, we’re being social. When we answer questions, we use the medium of a conversation (going back and forth) to communicate. Medium is the singular of media. So quite simply, conversations are social media.

In conversation, you learn what movies to watch, which restaurants to try, and more importantly—what you should avoid. You hear about success, failure, and what’s happening NOW.

If more people did things in real life to facilitate conversations, they would be more successful in their social media efforts. Ditch the “platform posting calendar” and brainstorm ways you be “conversation worthy” outside of the Internet. If it spreads naturally offline, it will be more likely to spread online.

Questions to consider:

  1. Is your project conversation-worthy?
  2. What tweak could you make so someone would want to have a conversation about your work?
  3. Do you need to add something surprising or ‘purple cowish’ to get their attention?

2. Social media = texting

If my friend texts me about an awesome coffee shop, is that social media? If my brother tells me to avoid the mechanic down the street, is that social media? I’m engaging with a friend (social) and using the medium of phones (media)—so I argue yes.

Notice these scenarios directly affect the success of each business. I am MORE likely to try a coffee shop my friend recommends—especially if he takes the time to text me about it. If it’s really good, I’m likely to tell my friends and become a repeat customer.

And if my brother tells me to avoid Joe, the Ripoff Mechanic, I’m going to tell my friends to avoid that place because I heard a bad story from someone I trust (my brother).

Doing things that are “worthy of texting a friend” is a better way to “do social.” But this takes effort and thinking.

Questions to consider:

  1. What could we do or say that would make someone want to text a friend?
  2. What visual or scenery could we create to encourage people to take photos?
  3. How can we learn more about what our customers are already TEXTing, so we can do stuff that’s worth texting about?

3. Social media = email

Our email inbox is one of the most important and most personal places on our computer. It’s a place of importance. It’s a place where work gets done and bills get paid. When you email someone something important, they’re likely to do MORE than just open it. They’re probably going to respond, engage, and provide you with more information. (Sadly, open rates are what most email campaigns focus on.)

Seth Godin calls email ‘the home delivery service.’ With email, you have the power to deliver a personalized, hand-crafted message right to someone’s screen for them to personally encounter. I don’t know about you, but I NEVER read my inbox with friends. I read by myself. It’s a personal experience.

How often do you engage with email content that isn’t written especially for you? (Probably almost never!) Using email with a personal, conversational style is a more effective way to “do social media.”

Questions to consider:

  1. How can our email strategy be more personal?
  2. Can we afford a tool like MailChimp to insert First Names more intentionally?
  3. How can we use email to share more stories instead of BLASTING people?

Social media doesn’t mean it MUST be posted

To close, I want to encourage you to think about ways you can have more people talk, text, and email about your work. If it happens to get talked about on Facebook or Twitter, cool. But that’s not the goal. Your goal is to create content and deliver such a great experience for others that it begs to be shared. Not necessarily online... just in general. When you’re able to craft experiences worthy of being shared without the aide of Facebook, usually the platforms will take care of themselves.

Have do consider email, texting, or conversations “social media?”

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

How social media forces businesses to be content creators

Creating content has become a pretty important skill for businesses these days. Companies know they need a social media presence because that’s what millions of people see daily.…

What happens when the computers go down at Shake Shack?

When the computers go down at Shake Shack, you might be in the middle of placing your order for the first time. The grill is still hot...the meat…

Why is there so much mediocre content?

There’s a lot of content on the web right now. Even though there’s enough to watch and read for weeks, new content is guaranteed to show up in…

4 unrealistic expectations most businesses believe about social media

Many business owners and social media “experts” have it all wrong. They want to see success on social media produce big results for their business. While this isn’t…

Businesses, You’re Not Seinfeld! Why I Hate "Storytelling"

Don’t get me wrong—sharing stories is important for businesses. I’ve written a lot about it. But honestly, I hate the word storytelling. Read more

Introducing the newest ideas in storytelling

Have you ever noticed how often digital platforms encourage you to share your story? You’ll find it everywhere. But are people really empty vessels waiting to be poured…

Do you struggle with being easy-to-understand?

Have you ever been confused when someone is talking? Have you thought, their lips are moving, but I don’t understand anything they’re saying! Like you, I’ve had my…

4 myths most people believe about storytelling

Effective, well-framed storytelling is a powerful force for businesses and organizations. However, in school, they don’t tell you everything you need to know about stories. Read more

Sharing your personal story to earn trust

If I asked you to tell me your story right now, you’d probably have something to say. Right? But how often do you purposefully share your story to…

The secret power stories have on our understanding

Honestly, the last place I thought I’d hear a good story was on IRS’s website. Did you know they’re pretty effective a using stories? Read more

So you want to make a video, huh?

So, you want to make a video for your website or social media? Great! You’ve recognized that video content on the web is one of the best ways…

See how easily you can tell and receive better stories with this one simple trick

Think for a second about the stories you hear and tell at work. They’re all around you—in email messages, letters, conversations, and meetings. Sometimes they’re awful. Sometimes they’re…