Social Media: It’s more than Selfies and Cat Pictures

As the the former resident queen-geek of the University of Nevada’s Reynolds School of Journalism, college wasn’t only about snapping the best pics, but using strategy so they were seen. (Pics or it didn’t happen, am I right?)

Hair salon selfies — always essential.

While my degree in Strategic Communications gave me the basics: how to identify a target audience, how to segment groups, the difference between strategy and tactics, and the importance of caffeine on deadlines — I did learn a few lessons from the school of cat pics and selfies.

It all starts with a mission: what is your goal?

Do you want tell the world about 107 reasons why Leonard Hofstader is the ideal dream man on television? Perhaps sell more of your underwater-basket-weaving creations on Etsy? Or maybe you’re trying to promote your new app, One Less Lonely Guinea. Whatever it may be — figure out your end game.

There are three main types of goals to have in social media: increase brand awareness, increase conversions, and to increase online presence.

For awareness of the brand, we’ll take a look at our future Mrs. Hofstaders. We’re trying to tell everyone about just why Leonard Hofstader is the ideal man. To do so, we’ll be sharing articles on his dreamy four eyes, his undeniably caring ways, or his nerdy charm.

Hello, Dreamy.

If you’re looking to increase conversions from browsing online to purchasing, in the case of our underwater-basket-weaving entrepreneur, we’ll be making it easy for your viewer to go from a Facebook post, to your Etsy shop, as well as using language that helps drive the individual to feel like they need one of your underwater-weaved baskets like, yesterday.

Now, to promote the app, One Less Lonely Guinea, we’ll be wanting to make sure more people have an understanding that the latest and greatest Guinea Pig Dating App does exist. This can be done through scheduling out posts, and relevant content that encourages individuals to “like,” “comment,” and “share.”

How not to be your mother (sorry, Mom).

Ouch, Mom. source: http://bzfd.it/2iHiSlp

We’ve all been victims or at least have seen that mom on Facebook in action. Whether if its by sharing that embarrassing picture from your childhood (#tbt), have your mother comment on a picture of you and your crush, or share 1,001 links on your timeline about how to avoid a hangover, top 20 tricks to toilet cleaning, or to call your grandmother about her hypochondriac ways. Furthermore, that mom really loves click bait, you know articles that start, “20 cats die every minute you don’t read this article,” “10 ways Sandwiches can help you live to 100,” you get the idea. Check the source and what you’re sharing, you won’t believe what happens when you do!

You don’t appreciate these things when your mom tries to do them, so why would you do these things as a brand? I’ve seen too many brands cross the line from caring, to pestering on social media. It just looks awkward. Use your gut — if you’d be embarrassed by it, it’s probably not going to fly.

Which brings me to my next point…

Be YOU!

Social media, in all that it is, is just a further extension of who you are and what your brand represents. Our future Mrs. Hofstaders can post unabashedly about how Leonard makes the perfect husband. Underwater-basket-weavers can connect in the basket-weaving community. And well our One Less Lonely Guinea app creators — keep on sharing the Guinea Pig love thats out there.

Joss Whedon, the screenwriter behind Avengers, Firefly, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, gave the following advice;

“Whatever makes you weird is your greatest asset.”

triathalon-doin’, beer-drinking, animal lovin’, nerd girl — thats me!

That thing about you that’s so weird, that’s what makes you stand out from everyone else.

For me? Its my guinea pigs, fan-girl feels towards Leonard Hofstader (Johnny Galecki), my nerd-girl attitude, and an eyeglasses collection that outnumbers the number of Imelda Marcos’s shoes.

For you, it could be your fuzzy bunny, your love of Harry Potter fan fiction, or country music and barbecues.

Whatever it is, embrace it!

Now get out there and get social!

The best way to learn all these tricks of the trade — is to play!

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Stay tuned to my discussion on the intricacies on the different platforms. How is posting on Facebook different than Twitter, different than LinkedIn, different than SnapChat, different than Instagram? And why the heck should you care?

In the meantime, check out my personal portfolio
Or cyber-stalk me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram.

Erin Mikail Fuss is a freelance digital strategist based in Reno, NV. She’s the proud fur-parent to Penelope and Betty Pig and forever hungry Milo Cat. When she’s not nerding-out on the internet, Erin can be found competing in endurance events.