Master The Art of Social Media, Now!

 

“Follow me, I will follow you” – Wrong!

This is a rich article that will help you harness the social media game.

Some people have thousands of followers. It’s crazy when you look at it. Truth is, they can’t even engage properly with one.

If you care about the hype and appearances, you might think they have something interesting to say.

Then you start adding them to your network and the next thing you know is that your timeline is invaded by topics you don’t care about. That’s the mistake I made in my early beginnings on LinkedIn: my articles catered to the corporate world, not mentioning any art form. I felt bored and lost. Then I stopped writing to finally speak about what I really love. I engaged with people who showed the same interest in culture and arts.

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As I was scrolling through my Linkedin messages yesterday I realized how much opportunities I missed because I was too busy or everywhere on the map. Change is good.

I use Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram a lot. Being proactive on social media is sharing a work that carries all my emotions and feelings. A few days ago, someone asked me in a tweet reply: How big is social media for artists, should he or she care?That’s a very good question and today I will break it down for you, based on my own experience.

When a music label signs an artist they want to know if it’s worth the ride because… artists are crazy. They want to know how many followers, subscribers, likes you have. Numbers make you bankable. It’s not about quality anymore. It’s really scary. Maybe that’s why we have shitty music everywhere, but that’s another story.

LINKEDIN:

One thing I hate about Linkedin is its lack of messaging power. You need to get to the point quickly. People are busy, it’s hype to be busy. Sometimes the first message I get Is a person wishing me a great day and signing off even before the conversation has started. Duh!

Another thing I don’t get is why people are throwing emojis out like rice when they just met a person who wants to know them. A “Thumbs up” makes you look lazy and rude. Please don’t send emojis, have some conversation.

Ladies, I know your profile pic is the best ever and you know you look amazing, but don’t get an attitude for this. LinkedIn is not a dating site when someone like me shoots you a message it is on professional grounds only. I want to know more about what you do, not how you look.

Patience is everything. Post an article like this one, the first comments and likes will start popping later in a week or two. We artists are not well known to be patient creatures. It’s a thing you learn as you practice the medium.

I get zero return from LinkedIn groups. I don’t know why I keep posting my articles there. I am optimistic by nature I guess.

On the bright side, if someone likes your content it will make it visible to all his followers. When you comment on an article, it’s showing in your activity, increasing your exposure. Comment on others’ content, it’s paramount, you will then have a good reason to message them. You will have their undivided attention.

People want to know why they interest you so much. Don’t think that, just because a person is on LinkedIn, he uses it often. Check his profile, if he has zero activity: likes, comments. You are going to have dry conversations. I promise you. Why sending an invitation when you know the outcomes?

TWITTER:

Twitter is the paradise of written content. I use it to get traction to my blog. My images only help me illustrate my point. Making the post more visual and increase the click rate.

I know visual artists who are not that big on Twitter but go check their Instagram…

SoundCloud integration on Twitter is perfect for musicians and producers.

I always ask my Linkedin contacts if they have a Twitter account so I can follow their real thoughts and reactions.

You should also use Twitter lists feature. For example, you can create a list of influencers in your industry and reply to their tweets, their followers will notice you.

Don’t follow back for the sake of it. I see an account with 30k followers and the same numbers in following. How do you manage these numbers of the tweet in your timeline? Just follow when you know you’ll engage. Forget about messages on Twitter, get their Linkedin or Facebook for that.

Don’t follow people before checking their activities. Same rule on Linkedin.

Being “verified” don’t mean anything. You can have 400 followers and have that status. What matters is: what do you have to say?

Consistency is also key on Twitter, you don’t have to post every day but if you post things off topics you will lose followers. I use Buffer to do the work of posting my articles, for other tweets I’d rather be as authentic as possible.

INSTAGRAM:

I love the “gram”, it’s so visual! I get most of my clients from it. I post a painting and I get the likes. I turn them into conversations and invite my contacts to like my Facebook art page where they will find my store.

I always reply to comments about my work and I make sure to return the favor. The Same viral effect, when you comment a pic you gain traction to your Instagram and also get new followers.

I also like tons of pictures every day, using them later as an inspiration source for my next paintings.

Again, all the videos giving you tips on how to get followers fast are ridiculous. Following 100 people a day and using tools to get rid of those who don’t follow back. How low can we go?

Send a message as to why you don’t follow back or just start chatting. It’s simple.

FACEBOOK:

I don’t understand why my friends on Facebook don’t get my art. I stopped posting on my personal account. Your friends or cousins, family want to see pics of you holding cats, not your craft. It’s better to keep things separate, because as your reputation grows your inbox will be saturated by trolls or bots messages.

Don’t invite your friends to like your page it doesn’t make sense.

You can use Facebook ads to boost a great post and invite the people who like it to like your page without adding them as friends. That’s awesome.

2 billion users on Facebook, if you are not into it, you better change your mind.

Create a professional page and post there.

Groups are very active, I always post my work into groups. In return I get likes and you already know the drill about likes.

Your page comes with all the information about your blog, site, and store. Growing your page’s likes should be your top priority.

Have your links ready to share.

SNAPCHAT:

I don’t use it! I think it’s for people who really like selfies and their facial features at every hour of the day. Plus it’s so complicated to use. I tried so many times to jump in. I gave up.

SOCIAL MEDIA RULES:

Start a blog. Write often. Everybody can write. You will spend 20% of your time crafting stuff and 80% marketing it. So many artists don’t write and it’s a shame because it’s a wonderful way of expression and your audience wants to know the reason you are doing that sorcery.

Be proactive. Content needs action. Share a lot. Repetition is okay, by posting the same old content you make sure everyone sees it. Trust me they will see it! Don’t stop because you think they don’t. You’d be surprised. Someone asked me about a drawing I posted years ago to ask me if it was on sale.

“500 is a huge number” as Pharell Williams stated in an interview. Imagine yourself performing in front of 500 people! Why do you want 100k people, if you can’t satisfy 500?

People ALWAYS have time for things they are interested in which is why I always give value first. Value is your content: articles, images, videos, links etc.

Don’t get mad if they don’t respond to your messages or emails, people have their lives. Sometimes they go into a lot and they will never tell you. Be patient and don’t ignore them, they need you, they don’t know it.

Be frank, messages can get twisted if a person is rude to you address the situation say how you feel. Stay polite, but don’t get fooled around too long. It will happen soon enough when you will ask the sale.

Ask every day but don’t ask for money, show the value! Ask for your work to be shared, ask if it has been seen, ask how it inspired people. Money is important but relationships matters. Make friends “god damn it!”

Don’t sell yourself short. People will not buy from you because you are expensive. People buy expensive sh*t every day, sh*t you don’t even craft. Don’t compete on the price, compete on the value! You don’t sell to someone who wants your art for $5 when you have spent nights crafting it and he tells you he’s on the first class flight to his next conference. Why wasting your time convincing such a person? Your work is great, you are great! Some people just don’t see the VALUE! Show them.

Be yourself! Thank your unfollowers because they remind you not wasting your time trying to please everyone. If I write nonsense and my English language is “good enough to put me in trouble” – as one copywriter once told me-, I will get this content off my chest anyway and introduce it to the person who cares. See how it flies, adjust and the next will be better.

Don’t buy followers, you are not that low standards.

You only need ONE like. That’s all you need. Cherish that like and start a conversation, you never know where new opportunities come from.

Drop me a comment in the section below. I’m Lionel Thomas, I make beautiful music for the eyes and I’m curious to know more about you. Tell me your story! Follow my blog, like my Facebook page. I’m also on Instagram and Twitter.

Make Friends, Not Clients

Bullshit: Facebook and WhatsApp are for friends and family only. 

Good news: Social “selling” is happening everywhere these days especially on your smartphone.

This message (picture) from a client means the world. It resonates, because clients always have dreams and vision; your role is to HELP them get there.
Heard the stories about door-to-door salesmen being rejected? People getting scammed online? Just reflexes. Genuine conversations  instill the trust process.
Clients can become your friends, no matter where they from, I believe it’s the ultimate goal!
Please remember 2 things: People buy from their friends first. Money keeps the lights on, but great relationships are everything

3 Things You Are Doing Wrong On LinkedIN

There was a time, not so long ago, before the invention of the internet or  e-mail, when we used to write letters. We used to sit down and write with passion and strong empathy, because we knew that it would take weeks before our correspondents get that mail. When it will arrive? Will they get it? How will they feel when they’ll read it?  The anxiety was real. These are the common things most people do and that will undermine your success on LinkedIN.


Sending too much (not personal) invitations.


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Ever asked your contact to introduce you to another contact and as an answer you got: “I absolutely have no idea who that is!” Social media is not about the numbers it’s about great conversations. I used to think that the more connections I could get, the better. I was totally wrong. People have absolutely no reason to accept your invitation just for the sake of accepting it, the only question they are asking is: will you solve my problem?

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Don’t connect yet!

There are easy steps you can take to maximize your chances of interaction on LinkedIN:
1-Go read their profile: don’t scan it. Read from top to bottom where their interests are.
2-Always send a personal invitation: introduce yourself, the reason you are contacting them, use “you” instead of “I”, add humor in your message, make it short. The next time you see a profile and that blue button “connect” which is screaming for a click, don’t. You have the choice in the app and website to custom your invitation, use it.
3-Say thank you! A person stopped his activity to accept your request, it’s an opportunity to engage. Be thankful!

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Custom it

Wrong answer to endorsements.
Endorsement are powerful on LinkedIN as they validate your expertise, and they are free! But why this is what I get 90% of the time I endorse someone: “Thanks for endorsing me for _________”. That’s it. End of conversation.  Can you do better?


Saying congratulations or well wishes to strangers.
My agency celebrated its 10th anniversary a month ago. That day was fun, I was overwhelmed by the number of messages I received. Thank you! Unfortunately, they were almost all the same: “Congrats on the anniversary, I hope you are doing well.” and I’d go like “Well that’s very nice of you, I’m well thanks! How’s your day/activity going?” Aaannnnd…no answer. Please don’t spam the “Congrats” button if you are not keen to engage with someone. It’s like showing up at birthday party -without a gift 🙂 – and leave in the minute. LinkedIN placed that button for you to use it very carefully.


One more thing: remove some connections.
You can’t please everyone, thank God! Learn to ditch -politely-  your LinkedIN connections. Let them know that you’re still open to conversation by leaving your email for example. Don’t chase people: send one message, wait and set a follow up reminder. If
at the second message they still don’t respond, send them an email apologizing and reminding them that you tried to contact them. After that, don’t be a pest let them go and move on. LinkedIN is about motion.

Of course this is a short list, I can’t wait to learn from you. How do you deal with your social interactions and engagement?  Let me know in the comment section below.
Have a blessed day my friend!

16 Best Practices To Increase Your Social Media Engagement (Part II)

* Read about the ’16 Best Practices To Increase Your Social Media Engagement (Part I)’ in a new tab first


12-Master the hashtags
Hashtag rule Instagram and Twitter. Find what hashtags are running in your niche, and add them to your posts. Don’t put more than two or three hashtags, at the risk of sounding like a presenter on The Shopping Channel.
13-Ask politely
Great appraisals on your work i.e. testimonials, heartwarming messages will come your way. And you’ll want to use them in your social media marketing materials. Nothing wrong about that but ask the person’s permission first. Make sure to hide his/her name and profile pic if you are not really sure of the outcome. It’s common to quote people on Twitter, but not that easy on Facebook.


14-Get those emails
An email is personal, it’s like a phone number. People will stay away from social media for a while but how long can they avoid their mailbox? You need emails to build your list, send invitations, or just say hello. Your marketing depends on it: ask for the emails.


15-You have something to say
Social media is a lot about trials and errors. I think everybody got something interesting to say, I’m a big fan of great stories, so are you. Don’t belittle yourself


16-Pick your poison, to each his own
I don’t like Snapchat, it took me a week to test it and I uninstalled it right after. The app was opening on my face every time, and I always had to shut down the camera to get down to the chat part. My thoughts afterwards: “this is an app for people with big ego”. Maybe I’m wrong. Pinterest? It’s a huge source of inspiration for me and a great mood board. Pick your favorite platform and stick to it.

 

In conclusion, no matter what you do, it’s vital nowadays to keep the conversations going and using the same courtesy rules of the real world on social media. When you’ll stop communicating, you’ll lose your mojo. I like to stay organized and track my discussions by using Nimble. It’s a CRM which keeps all your social media conversations in one place. A great follow up tool!
Your share! Let me know about your tips to leverage your conversations and keep an high engagement level in your social media strategy


About the author:
Lionel Thomas is the founder of KILIFORI, a creative agency dedicated to helping businesses from both Africa and further afield to meet their marketing goals by telling their stories in a simple, uncluttered way that allows the most important elements to rise to the surface. His approach is distinguished by a passion for stories, drawing, photography, design and interactive media. 

5 Reasons Why The LinkedIn Mobile Experience Is Ugly

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People are not buying devices just because they are shiny, it’s all about the experience. How the apps make us feel and how convenient they are. For example, I write a ten lines comment and, as I hide the keyboard to check the previous post I’m answering to, my sentences are…all…gone…disappeared. Oh no! Don’t make me start it all over again! I’m sure the same thing happened to you. Did you find yourself selecting all your comment, hit copy and repeat the same process to every five or ten words you add?

There are 5 things that, according to me, make LinkedIn a painful experience on mobile and tablet:

Updates issues (tablet)
If you want to post an update on your time line, you have to go to the “Home” section -or hit the LinkedIn logo- and you’ll find a speech bubble (tablet) or a pen surrounded by a square (smartphone). Why are they different? I don’t know. Here’s another problem, you can’t attach a picture to your post (tablet) -as if tablets didn’t sport a camera nowadays -you can’t copy and paste in a pic from your camera roll as well-. Let’s say you lack of inspiration, and maybe want to save an update as a draft, and come back at it later. You can’t.

Messaging issues (tablet / smartphone)
It would be really nice to see the previous messages sent to a contact displayed in a different section. Actually, when you respond you can  see the messages you sent earlier -like in an email conversation-. But what if the conversation’s subject has changed? The ability to search through your entire messaging system is gone, on both platform. This is handy when you only remember a word – or a chain of words- you’ve sent previously to a contact whom you don’t remember the name-or vice versa-.

Sharing issues (tablet / smartphone)
Discussions and debate are the heart of LinkedIn. A topic is great when its comments keep coming even months after its publication. Sometimes they are so good that you wish you shared them to your Twitter, Facebook, Google+ friends as well. Unfortunately, you can only like or comment a group’s discussion. Maybe this is why debates in general have have a short life span on LinkedIn. Debating is sharing.

Following and Mentioning issues (tablet / smartphone)
You can follow a discussion on LinkedIn’s website, but only there. How to unfollow it on your smartphone or tablet? Furthermore, here are the instructions if you want to mention properly someone on LinkedIn website:

  • Begin by typing the name of a connection or a company in your status update box or a comment field on the Homepage.
  • Select someone from the list of your connections that appear in the drop-down, complete your status or comment and post it.
  • The person or company* you mentioned will receive a notification alerting them that they have been mentioned.

Dear LinkedIn, the persons I’m interacting with in a group are not in my connections and no drop-down will pop out as a result. Plus, how do I let them know that I’m talking to them and that they just have to touch a notification alert to fall directly on it?


Invitation issues (tablet)
Somebody has viewed your profile and you want to -have to- make a connection. It is politeness. Bad news: you can’t send a customized invitation to him/her. You just hit the “connect” button and that’s it. We know how important invitations are on LinkedIn, and people are more inclined to respond -positively- when they feel they are approached in a more human way. 

In conclusion, I think that this is maybe the reason why few people are commenting on the time line’s posts, responding to the messages: LinkedIn mobile interface is complicated! It hurts and left so many users sorry and frustrated. Furthermore, the tablet and phone interfaces are on the opposite side of the street. It seems like someone didn’t think about tablet users at all!  If I had to choose, I’d take the smartphone -and would write very long comments on it with my thumbs-. Tablets are wonderful and powerful tools for writing and catching ideas on the fly: don’t have to wait minutes for apps to start, it’s all up and running. Plus we can link Bluetooth keyboards up to them.

I wish I could save the most interesting posts of my connexions to my Pocket application for a later reading. Save a discussion to my Evernote, without bothering asking myself: “Hmm what was this conversation about again? A specific comment caught my interest! Where is it? Do I need to flip trough all the notifications archives to find it? We are not only using LinkedIn, we use the social media venue we are most comfortable with. Facebook felt the need to imitate LinkedIn by launching groups features, Twitter did the same and now you can send messages to group members and they don’t even have to follow you or likewise.

Don’t you think that if the tablets sales figures are plummeting, isn’t it because their apps are getting more and more sophisticated, complicated? What are the features you’d like to see on your LinkedIn app, and which will change the experience for the better?

Update: I’ve noticed today that LinkedIn has redesigned its website UI, and that’s a good news. Can we get some mobile enhancements as well please?

The Problem with LinkedIn Connected App

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Every morning the first thing I do is checking my phone or tablet’s notifications. To my dismay, they are all coming from the same app: LinkedIn Connected. Everyday there’s a special event: someone’s birthday, job promotion or job anniversary. “Great! This is the occasion to say hi” you might say. Well, saying hi to total strangers? 95% of my time spent trying to engage them based on this is motivation will always go down the drain.

I realized that -to make this whole LinkedIn experience a success- you really need to know your contacts.
Some people don’t care to be reminded that they are getting older or don’t like their job at all, do you know their frustrations?

It doesn’t have to be physical connections, because endless great conversations will bring you closer to anyone on Earth or on the Moon. Even if formal introductions hadn’t been made yet, don’t worry, they’ll come. Going trigger happy on the LinkedIn’s “Connect” button is dangerous for you and your personal brand. Yes, we all need attention but only from the people we love and trust. The rest can happily go to hell! Select who you’d like to be connected to carefully, read their bios, check their website out, and follow them on Twitter or like their Facebook page. Show an interest.

LinkedIn Connected isn’t all that bad, it helps my new LinkedIn contacts and phone’s repertoire play nice together. Whenever I want to send an email for reaching out, I don’t have to start a search on LinkedIn’s site. Are you truly engaging with your prospects or clients on a weekly basis before a happy event happen in their life? If not, these LinkedIn Connected’s notifications are here to remind you that you are missing the big picture.