This post covers the 10 observations & tips shared by Guy Kawasaki this week at the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center. As someone who’s been in the tech world since the inception of Apple, he comes across as a funny and friendly laid back surfer dude who just happens to have helped some of the world’s most well-known brands get noticed. He’s certainly a huge advocate of using social media to your advantage - labeling it “God’s greatest gift to entrepreneurs” because it’s fast, free and ubiquitous. So use it! Here’s how.
Guy’s Top 10 Observations & Tips as told by the social media guru himself
1. Perfect Your Perspective
Step one is get your head straight about how people consume social media. Social media is like Tinder - users constantly make rapid fire decisions on whether to swipe, like, read, comment, follow, etc. Too many people agonize about perfecting their writing or posts, spending far too much time on their content before posting (attention that no one on social media is going to give them). You’ve got about one second to get someone to pay attention and odd’s are they aren’t going to, so don’t waste time on perfection.
2. Perfect Your Profile
Because of this Tinder-like social media behavior, your profile pic is extremely important. You have to prove to people in one quick glance that you’re likable, trustworthy & competent. Don’t try to make yourself look “interesting.” Use photos that are just of your face, asymmetric & front lit. And most importantly, use the same *high-quality* photo for all of your social media accounts for consistency!
If you’re a brand, make sure you don’t have too much white space in the small square that pops up on your feeds. It’s hard to see and doesn’t look good (see example in Porsche's FB timeline). Also, light on dark is a good color combo for sticking out (see Mercedes logo).
Use cover photos to tell your story, add flair and personality. Make it interesting. Darker photos are better (not really sure the reasoning behind this). For example, Guy’s cover photo on LinkedIn is of him speaking in front of thousands of people on the topic of Enchantment. This tells a story that he’s a good public speaker, is knowledgeable and interested in a variety of topics, that people show up to listen to him talk.
3. Post Good Shit (And yes, Guy requested that we quote him verbatim on this)
The key to social media is to post good shit. It’s that simple. There’s so much awful content on the web that if you take the time to share or create quality content, people will pay attention and SEO algorithms will reward you.
4. Take a Stand
Don’t be afraid to assert your opinion. Stand up for something you care about and talk about it. Guy loves to post articles about how terrible Trump is but also concedes that he doesn’t have any plans to look for a job at any point in the future so be cognizant about what you say, especially on LinkedIn, if you think it might negatively impact your job prospects.
5. Don’t Turn Social Accounts Over to Interns or an Agency
Social media, and your brand, is too important to outsource. You need to be in control of it.
6. Add a photo to every post (except LinkedIn)
People like photos. It catches their attention. Except on LinkedIn where it seems to have the opposite effect based on Guy’s experiments he’s run. Also, if you’re posting a video to FB, make sure you use a photo in the post as well.
7. Focus on Facebook and LinkedIn
Facebook has extreme marketing potential because of it’s targeting capabilities and number of users. If your website is like a stand alone store, being on Facebook is like having a storefront in a good mall - lots of foot traffic.
LinkedIn has the highest probability of users who are actually real. Even though people use it to network and find jobs, it’s still just another social media platform and you should use it as such. Use caution about what you say on LinkedIn though since that’s where employers and HR people hangout and can see what you say/post.
Guy doesn’t focus on Twitter because he doesn’t think most of its users are real, plus there’s just too much noise on there (although he does use it). As for Instagram, he uses it but only for purely personal reasons - to share joyful experiences.
8. Behold or Beware of the Elephant
Pay attention to what content medium the major platforms are pushing because you’ll be rewarded for using it. Guy uses the example of Mark Zuckerberg saying that he wanted to enable the use of Live Video on the platform. Guy immediately started using it. Bottom line - if the elephant says do something, do it.
Now that Facebook has announced that feeds are going to start becoming more personal and filled with friends and family, brands are going to have a harder time reaching people organically without having to pay. The best way to get around this is to have people bookmark your page, not like or follow it, so that they’ll actually see what you post.
9. Repeat Your Posts
Guy repeats all of this posts on Twitter (and sometimes LinkedIn) at least twice, if not more. Every time you post it you’ll get more action. He doesn’t care if anyone notices. There’s such a small subset of people who are seeing your posts each time you send them out into social media universe so don’t worry about it. Guy uses bit.ly links to measure each post.
10. Embrace the NPR model - add value
Just like NPR does everyday, each of your posts should add value to your audience. You have to earn the right to promote your products & services. If you’ve been creating value for free for a long period of time, people are much more open and tolerant of you asking something of them because they’ll feel like they should contribute.
Guy's Social Media Strategy
Guy wrapped up his talk by walking us through his social media strategy. He’s a curator, not a creator, meaning that he just posts other people’s stuff. Everyday, he’ll look through Smart News, Google News and Apple News and saves all the articles he wants to share in Google Keep. He uses a virtual assistant to post those articles throughout the day, removing them from the queue once they’re posted. He then copies and pastes the exact post from Facebook to LinkedIn (delete pic), Google + and Twitter. Sometimes he uses SocialChamp to schedule his posts. He blasts out posts all day, every day, so you can be sure to have a curated, news filled feed if you follow Guy. And of course, he uses Canva for any design needs he might have.
A few other random things - he finds great joy in blocking social media trolls, he believes that the closest person alive to Steve Jobs is Elon Musk and his daughter is a big wave surfer which is pretty awesome!
So there you go - 10 tips for dominating social media from Guy Kawasaki.