Social media best practice: be authentic

Interestingly enough my knee jerk reaction was to say either:

  1. if you call it social media you’re doing it wrong, or
  2. just stop trying, FFS.

At least, that’s the way I’ve felt in the recent months. In fact, it’s a new rule for me on twitter. If you’re a self-proclaimed “social media” guru, then you’re not.

That leads me to my point: to be successful in social media (or any media, I believe) you need to be authentic. It goes back to one of my personal favorite posts: my thoughts on transparency and honesty. If someone is extremely active across a variety of services and trying to connect with so many people (Linkedin, twitter, pownce, etc.) it sends the message that you’re convincing me I need to listen to you. It’s like trying to advertise your product after building it and calling that “marketing.” The biggest way to fail is to reach out to as many people as possible just to broadcast to your followship.

Instead, be an authentic person. Just be you and the right people will find you. For instance:

  • Penelope Trunk, although a writer (its her day job to make uninteresting things interesting), is a geniune lady who will bare all and do her best to connect. I consider her the Britney Spears of the internet sometimes but she’s authentic and, thanks in part to that, has a tremendous followship; in both size and passion.
  • Gary** Vaynerchuk**, although a marketer (its his day job to get the message out to everyone), is a geniune guy who will talk to anyone and go out of his way to make them feel important. He’s a busy guy but spends most of his day just talking to people via e-mail, twitter, facebook, and so on. In turn, he’s built up one of the most popular video podcasts about a product that no-one had ever thought to look for online: wine.

There’s my thoughts on how to do social media the right way. Agree / disagree?

*Tag, you’re it: noah kagan, Andrew Chen, Ramit Sethi. (original link)