029: Building a Following Through Social Media with Wes Pinkston

Wes Pinkston shares his best tips for communicating effectively with your followers and potential followers using social media.

Social Media strategiest Wes Pinkston and I had a good conversation about the best ways to leverage social media to make the most out of it for your brand and your business. The first thing we discussed was messaging. One thing that a lot of people are doing wrong, according to Wes, is they are sending the wrong messages to their audience because they don’t know what their message is. They are all over the place and haven’t clearly defined what their brand stands for.

For your message to be clear to your audience it must first be clear to you.  If you don’t know your own message you can’t expect anyone one else to know it. You should be clear on what your brand is, what it stands for and why your audience should care. All other messaging should center around this central message.

Make Real Connections

To take this further, Wes said social media is all about connecting people and not just posting content for content sake. You need to use it to make real connections and have real conversations with people that they will want to engage in. You can start out by sending someone a message that frequently posts articles and says “hey, I love this articles you posted, check out one of mine”.

Also be focused on creating conversations similar to one you would have with someone in the real world. You can post things that are conversation starters.  Wes said people love cute animals and motivational quotes and timely quote such as around the holidays.

Building Your Brand

As great of a tool as social media is Wes advised against building your entire brand on social media. He advised that you use social media to bring followers to your blog but don’t build your brand solely on social media. This is because you don’t own the platform and if that platform changes or dies so does your brand.

You can also use social media to get ideas for your own social posts and for blog post. Check out whats trending and what your followers like or are talking about and craft content around current hot conversations.

Getting engagement is one of the hardest things to accomplish on social media but it works the same way in online conversations as it does in offline conversations. Ask people questions just like you would in the real world. Post interesting things relevent to your brand and ask what your audience thinks or what they would do in a particular situation.

Social Media Automation 

Many people want and have put their social media accounts on autopilot. There are apps such as Buffer, Hootsuite and Meet Edgar that allow you to write out posts ahead of time a schedule them to be posted to your various social media accounts at specific times throughout the day.

Although these apps can be a huge time saver, Wes wasn’t too big a fan of them. Wes said if you automate too much you lose the personal feel and can’t really build a relationship with people. It like a robot trying spark up a conversation or those robo calling services that ask you to press 1 to speak to a representative. How often do you actually press 1? 

I think Wes definitely has a point here. I use automation in my social media accounts but everything isn’t automated. I think it’s important to find the right balance that works for you and your business but keep in mind that the goal is to have as many real conversations as possible.

Once you’re a mega celebritiy like Kim Kardashian and you have an audience that hangs on your every word conversations won’t be as important. Until then, conversations are key.

Make the Most of Your Posts

Social Media can be a great way to build an audience, grow an audience or get in front of an existing audience. One of the things that sets you apart from everyone else is your personality and individual take on certain issues and topics. Wes said we need to stop being so self conscious about what we are going to post and how it will be perceived. People respond best when you’re just being yourself. 

When you try too hard to be ultra polished and careful and are trying think of the perfect 140 characters to blow your audience away you can come across as insincere and robotic. That doesn’t mean you have to throw caution to the wind and say wild and crazy things. It just means you need to interact with people as you would if you were at a social event with a group a friends. Maybe not that group of friends from your freshman year at college but possibly depending on the way you want to come across to your audience.

It’s less about putting so much time and effort into your great tweet but just saying what you want to say that’s relevant to your audience.

Click the play button below to hear to full interview with Wes.



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