I always wanted to be the Red Power Ranger. Forget the utterly “girly” Pink or the “just sorta there” Yellow, I had to be the Red. I longed to be the strongest. Being a child of the ever nostalgic 90’s, I was a huge fan of the show that teamed up five teenagers in skin tight suits and pitted them against destructive monsters who they would in turn save the world from. The Red Ranger was the leader of the team, had the most powerful weapons and was the main character. Social Media is the Red Ranger in this new world of Internet marketing, blogging and online reputation management. If you want to be successful you need to have the Social Media equivalent of a Red Ranger on your side instead of an out of control monster destroying the city (see: Lindsay Lohan).
I have worked at Thunder SEO for coming up on one year (happy anniversary all) and in my short amount of time optimizing clients web pages, writing Press Releases, deciphering exactly what SEO means (took me a few months), figuring out how to find the best keywords and learning how to tweet “effectively” rather than annoyingly (I admit to being an overzealous tweeter in the past), I have learned the most from blogging and bloggers on social media websites.
I run my own music blog for fun and have seen it grow from four views a day (my mom, my best friend, my dad and my dog) to over two hundred unique views a day since March. I have noticed a drastic growth change in the last two months when I started incorporating more smart social media practices into my own blogging. Social media proves to be the Red Power Ranger in my draw for an audience and saved the day bringing me more and more credibility. Instead of tweeting lazily and writing about myself all the time, I started interacting with other music bloggers. I also started building relationships with bands and retweeting quality content.
Put the “Social” back into Social Media
I have also learned a lot from the Red Power Ranger marketing incarnate Scott Stratten (author of UnMarketing). Scott believes that in order to be an effective marketer, you must stop being a surface level social media user and start engaging with your audience. What he says makes perfect sense and also seems rather straightforward, but sometimes in the act of social media engagement individuals tend to drift towards the narcissistic side of things.
For example: How many times have you noticed that the only thing a person retweets is a tweet that mentions their name somewhere in the content? I have seen entire twitter pages full of retweets like this and immediately I am turned off from following said offender. The page looks like a regurgitation of self assuring tweets. “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and dog-gone it, people like me.” (via Stuart Smalley) We get it. You are fabulous, but it makes an individual seem uninteresting and self obsessed when the only thing they push out is content about themselves (or their blogs). Who would want to follow someone like that? Not me.
Oh, that was an Overshare!
Another thing I have learned from embracing The Red Ranger social media strategy, is that you should not be too personal when it comes to Twitter, your blog or businesses Facebook page or in general online.
Do not get me wrong, I believe wholeheartedly that an individual needs to have a presence online and it is imperative for said individual to have a distinctive voice, but there is a line. Instead of tweeting about how you love rainbows or about your last clinical exam, focus more on the aspects of yourself that are interesting and compelling. I learned not to go too deep, keep the “emo” under control, not to discuss which blogger really bothers me or talk about what my dog ate for breakfast (it is O so tempting). It is just not interesting and people tend to unfollow quickly.
No, I don’t know the obscure indie band “L” from Iceland and I am “OK” with that
One of the most valuable lessons I have learned diving into the realm of “music blogger” is that if I don’t happen to know everything about every indie band from Brooklyn or the latest EP from the hottest new artist from Iceland, I should not pretend like I do. The same goes for SEO. I am a “noob” and therefore I am not going to try to tell you how to use the latest SEOMoz pro tool and I would not be very good to talk to about QR codes or 7-packs. That is just not my strength and thankfully I work for an amazing company that uses every employees strength to their fullest potential and mine is writing.
Your audience knows when you are pulling wool over their eyes and they can easily tell when you are faking it. Stick to your strengths just like the Red Ranger. He was the leader and in his full power he could destroy everything in his path but he was bulky and slow so The Pink Ranger would leap and distract their foes while the Red raged through. Don’t fool yourself, write what you know or else you are sure to get a full section of blog comments filled with trolls telling you how much you suck.
Okay! Let’s bring em’ together team!
There is a lot I have learned from seeing how effectively or at times ineffectively social media activity has impacted my blog and the blogs of our clients, but it took me effort, time and practice to feel comfortable in my new techniques (and I am learning more and more every day).
Take social media best practices one day at time and check out Scott Stratten’s blog for more tips. If you are over zealous and ranty one day on Twitter/Facebook, take a deep breathe and a step back and see how it impacted you. Embrace social media as a Red Ranger and let it help you. Let the change take over your online presence. As our favorite Ranger leader would say “It’s Morphin’ Time!”