Apple-evangelist-turned-Googler Guy Kawasaki was in Auckland earlier this month, sharing with the Air New Zealand Social Media Breakfast crowd his top tips for enchanting people and winning followers on social networks.
Guy Kawasaki's ten tips for winning more followers on social networks:
1. Start yesterday – start engaging on social media long before you officially launch your product or service.
2. Segment the services – approach each network as a tool for achieving specific things, what you do on Twitter doesn't necessarily translate directly to what you do on Facebook.
3. Make a great profile – pretend you're building an online dating profile for your business. What would attract you to the profile? Use it.
4. Curate and link – find what's interesting and share it with your followers.
5. Cheat – find what's interesting before others do by finding curation sites on the leading edge.
6. Restrain yourself – social media should only be 1:20 self-promotion. Earn the right to promote yourself by providing good content to your followers.
7. Add bling – there should be very few plain text posts. Use imagery and video to your advantage to attract clicks.
8. Respond to comments – don't just broadcast, participate. Have conversations with those in your network.
9. Stay positive or stay silent – Kawasaki says this one he often doesn't listen to himself, but more often than not positivity comes out much better than negativity
10. Repeat, repeat, repeat – Kawasaki says he doesn't buy into the idea that you should never repeat things on social media. He staggers out his Tweets to repeat every eight hours – he finds that the number of clickthroughs remains relatively the same, and he prefers to have three goes at the pie than just one.
For Kawasaki gaining followers is the most important thing to do on social networks, he says those who say otherwise are kidding themselves and their clients. Much of what Kawasaki shared with the audience flies in the face of advice given out by social media and community managers this reporter has spoken to over the past four years – most of whom say engagement and quality beat quantity hands down. While I'm more inclined to be on the quality side of the argument, it was refreshing to hear a de-romanticised view of social media from Kawasaki. He doesn't dismiss the need for quality, but gives numbers more importance.
Social media is a means to an end and perhaps Kawasaki is saying what we're afraid to: numbers do matter.