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Rules for having a great social media presence

January 13, 2012

Ok, so let me qualify this by saying first that I’m no expert. I could do things better than I do, some things I just don’t know about, the things I do know are from experience and I did attend a presentation or two on public relations/social networking for media. I’d also like to add that I am not always good at some of this stuff, but I have done everything on here and it is or was part of my personal plan for Mr. Frights.

Next, let me say that I might be taking my time at getting where I would like to be, but I am getting there and I have been very successful given my own goals.

Now, I’d like to share some of what I know because 1. it’s in my interest to do so. I see a lot of people in my circles making certain repeat faux pas and it bugs me a little and… 2. The people making these mistakes may be doing so unintentionally and end up looking bad for it (If it were me I’d want someone to let me know.) Knowledge is power and this is a very good example of that.

 

  • Make sure you have an account on all the major social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. If something new pops up at least give it a try and if something gets too old or doesn’t work well enough to be worth your time don’t be afraid to cancel your account. Good sense says to let people know before you do that though because you might have followers who only get to interact with you on that site (Myspace is a perfect example of this).

  • Make sure you use the most important of these accounts often enough to make sure people don’t stop following you or forget about you. With some sites you can find services that will automatically post messages for you in creative ways or use social connecting sites like GetGlue of Springform that will post to your Twitter and Facebook accounts when you use them. Something to look out for though would be to not use something that will over post and make sure your posts have something to do with what you’re there to talk about – don’t use games to make auto posts or only post from things like Get Glue for movies or games or topics that have to do with your work (i.e. I only post my horror check-ins from Get Glue even though I check into a lot of other things like Burn Notice).

  • This is a big one for me. If you are promoting yourself by connecting to other people, don’t connect to someone who will promote you and then unfriend or unsubscribe from them. I personally go through my Follow Friday list and remove anyone who has changed their user name, doesn’t exist anymore, or those who have stopped following me. I’m not being bitter, I’m just culling the list because it’s so expansive that I need to tweet only those who are willing to give me their time as well. After all I’m pushing people’s links on Twitter AND on Mr. Frights’ Facebook page and passing on people’s names to a lot of other people. If I’m passing on a name of a person who has lost interest in Mr. Frights then how do I benefit from that networking connection? Lots of other people do benefit from that, so I need to give them that attention.

    1. Also, don’t connect to someone just to promote yourself, connect to them with intent to interact with them. I get a lot of people following me who try to use me to get their projects out there but that’s all they are interested in. I don’t hear from them about their project, we don’t talk about what their goals are, and we don’t chit chat like friends might. It’s called SOCIAL networking for a reason… I expect some interaction when it’s appropriate. I understand people are busy, so if I only hear from you once a year that’s fine as long as it’s a “hey what’s up” and not a “here’s my new project post about it for me”.

 

  • Along with the major social networking sites, you should try to check out message boars type sites like HorrorPunks.com or Get Fanged.com. They are Ning network sites which are pretty popular right now. People make their own social networking site off of this and some of them are very successful and great sources for getting your messages out there and also for meeting new people. Meeting new people is VERY important because you never know if you’ll end up collaborating with them and helping yourself out a ton in the process of helping them out. With Mr. Frights stuff, I “live” off of getting people to promote their projects through me. It’s a win/win situation there.

  • Learn how to use the “audience” setting when posting on Facebook or whomever else uses that kind of thing. When you post updates it goes out to every person you’re friends with unless you make up lists of your friends (i.e. work friend, close friends, horror friends, family…) When I post on my personal Facebook page I am sure to only share specific things with each group of people so as not to bore other friends/followers of my updates. Not just that, but it’s a good way to keep certain information secure so that someone out there in the public doesn’t catch you saying you’re away at a game or concert and then take that as an opportunity to take advantage of that situation in a bad way. Personal stuff should stay personal for the most part and professional stuff can and should be shared with just about everyone.

  • Following that last thought… Don’t use Google+ for professional stuff unless you use your real name to do business. As of the last time I checked, they don’t allow people to use their professional names (i.e. Mr. Frights) as it goes against their naming policy. I was able to skirt the issue for a few months, but then my account got blocked until I submitted a name change (which I never did because it’s a ridiculous rule and goes against every freedom we are supposed to enjoy in this day and age… specifically being who you want to be). If you use Google+ for personal stuff, cool.

  • Use groups. There are a lot of sites that offer groups, such as Facebook, where people can join up on a certain topic (i.e. Domain of Horror) and you can use those groups (with active participation of course) to get some of your info out there. You can slyly (never blatantly – trust me, wait for the right time to do it, don’t just join and post a link right away) post about your site or post about an event your doing to get people’s attention there. That kind of group is all about what you’re into and so why wouldn’t others in that group want to know? You can even make your own group up, but PLEASE don’t just go around adding people against their wishes. Lots of people will not like that, so be sure to ask them first or send an invitation rather than just adding them.

  • Make sure you keep your information up to date. If you had a website but it was closed or moved then remember to update your link wherever it is posted. When someone follows me on Twitter I always check out their profile to see if they are someone I would like to follow back. I’m usually looking for a link to a website of some kind even if it’s just a Facebook page and when the link takes me to that “this website does not exist” thing it instantly puts me off. You’re out there to promote your work, personal or professional, and you couldn’t be bothered to update the link on your profile? Not a big confidence builder and I’m not likely to follow back. If it’s just temporary then update it to that or put something there to let people know.

  • If you have something you’re working on that you would like people to check out, no matter how big or small, you HAVE to let people know it’s there. You can not depend on others to do all the work for you. The best way to get people to know you’ve got something going on is to tell them about it. Post updates about your work, post links to where people can see your work – and not just once, post it multiple times across all your sites.

    Post on Twitter once a day for three different days (as in days you choose like Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) at three different times of the day to be sure to catch people in different time zones or people who check Twitter only once a day. Morning, Noon, and Night.

    The same goes for Facebook. If you have a page (not a profile but a page) then post there, and then get others to like or share the link. Then at another time, share the post on your personal profile (again, if it’s appropriate choose three times) so others who are not “fans” of your page are able to see or maybe someone who is a fan of your page but missed your post gets to see it if they are also a friend or just subscribed to your updates.

    Make sure you post at least once on all the message board sites you use (those Ning sites I talked about before) and of course don’t forget to post updates to your own website/blog/whatever when appropriate (not everything is worth an update).

    If you write for someone who has all these things locked down (their own website, their own FB page, their own Twitter, their own message boards they belong to…) make sure you are promoting as much as they are, and if they are not promoting the way I’m suggesting here then send them a message about it. It could be because they don’t know you presented something new to them. Trust me, it happens.

  • Lastly, make sure you keep track of your progress by using social media tracking sites like Klout.com. I don’t like to give out my secrets, but in this case I’ll put it out there. Using Klout I can see where I need to pick up the pace of my interactions and when I’m influential and where I’m influential. Using Klout helps me to connect to others I wouldn’t normally connect to, get on lists I wouldn’t normally be on, and it helps me to keep track of what topics I am hitting most. It’s a great way to make sure your on track with your message or goals.

 

Now that you know the basics of this stuff I hope I run into a lot less of these mistakes. Nothing erks me more than to have someone coming to me as a kindred soul and then to see them do something [to me especially] that puts me off. I have people who “follow” me, don’t talk to me at all, but then use my name in their posts as if I support their project. I don’t know anything about your project and I like to choose what I support because Mr. Frights has an image I like to maintain even if you’re not aware of it.

I choose the people I promote carefully and I choose the works I promote just as carefully. I choose those who post guest blogs here very carefully. I choose who I tell others to follow just as carefully, for my benefit as well as theirs and those whom I’m passing the names along to.

Marketing and promotion isn’t just a sloppy mess of spam and posting all willy-nilly. When it’s done properly it is done with strategy and careful planning and consistency for the sake of yourself, the people who follow you, the people who you follow, and those who are extensions of each person you interact with.

Final thoughts for you guys… I started with almost nothing as far as people having heard of me. I admit some folks out there knew who “J. Lewis” was from the time I spent making horror shorts with Tempered Zealot and I was able to use those connections to give Mr. Frights’ wheels moving a little. Still, I started with 0 fans, likes, or followers and no one knew what or who Mr. Frights was. I had no connections to any horror celebs at all. Still, I built up a healthy list of interviews with some of my favorite horror personalities, I currently have over 600 followers on Twitter and over 500 on Mr. Frights’ Facebook page. I’ve spent the majority of 2011 with mrfrights.com at the top of two horror website top 100 lists, and when I’m actively involved in Mr. Frights on a daily/weekly basis my Facebook stats are always going up. Also, for those who know what Klout is, I’ve pushed my way into the 50’s and they even sent me some free stuff because of the influence Mr. Frights has based on their calculations.

Those numbers might not be in the thousands like I’d like them to be and of course there is some crossover between the sites and people who follow Mr. Frights everywhere, but coming from nothing to where I am now is something I’m happy with. Also, don’t forget I mentioned at the beginning of this that I had some stuff to learn yet and once I do I expect things to get even better. Oh and even though my set of standards may be holding me back (i.e. not posting partially naked women or delving into the world of the ultra violent content – not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just not the image I want for Mr. Frights right now) I’d rather have my set of standards that set me apart than to be a knockoff of someone else or be a part of the background noise that a lot of people end up becoming.

 

“You stay classy San Diego!”

 

– Mr. Frights

http://about.me

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