How to Be a Social Media Jedi

by Gerry Moran

Do you have the skills to be called a social media Jedi?

How you use the social media force to support your company depends on your social media skills. I’ve recently received a request from a marketer to help them become social media Jedi. Funny ask, huh? Actually, not so amusing. The ask was to enable them to be better at social media. That’s it. 

So, I wanted to put together some first steps to help anyone become a social media Jedi for their company. Most marketers are comfortable using social media on official company channels. Yet, it is another story when it comes to activating their social brand on those same outlets. 

So, what would Yoda do?

It’s critical to help your brand by being a social media advocate. To help extend and humanize the brand. If coworkers posted one weekly social media post, there would be an incredible impact. These posts take simple forms. Sharing a company blog post. Updating a LinkedIn status with a company article. Liking a post on Facebook. Those collective actions would generate millions of incremental impressions. These impressions would help to amplify and extend the brand.

5 Steps to Start Being a Social Media Jedi 

Here are five easy steps to embrace the force to use your social media power to help your company:

1. Have A social media goal

You wouldn’t go on a trip without a destination in mind, so don’t start being social without an objective! I often hear, “I need to start Tweeting” or “I need to start doing social media for my work.” Statements such as those generate my immediate response of “Why?”. And the answer is usually some unclear explanation. There are two simple goals for starting to “do social media.” First, to be an amplifier to extend the reach of your or your company’s message. Second, to be a curator. Delivering a mix of audience-relevant content to help address their needs or interest.

2. Work on the curbside appeal of your social media profiles

Smart Money Magazine indicated that consumers value a landscaped home up to 11.3 percent higher than its base price. The same concept applies to your social brand’s curbside appeal. Spruce up your LinkedIn and Twitter profiles to make sure your curbside appeal makes people want to ‘buy’ your brand. 94% of people only look at the first page of search results. LinkedIn ranks higher than all other profiles. But, if it is not complete, your profile will not rank on the first page of search results. People will check you out after they find and engage with your social media messaging. So, make sure to spruce up your profile to set the right impression for your credibility.

Most marketers are comfortable using social media on official company channels. Yet, it is another story when it comes to activating their personal social brand on those same outlets. 

Gerry Moran

3. Be a stalker, then a talker 

Look before you leap into the conversation. Start by listening. Coworker, client, competition, media, and thought leaders social media channels are great places to start paying attention. Pay attention to the type of words, links and content shared, and then use their messaging as your guide. The rule of thumb for social media content is that 1% create content, 9% modify the content, and 90% read the content. By being a part of the 10% of creators and curators, you can easily make a Jedi difference by amplifying and curating content to reach the 90% of the readers.

4. Master a few social channels first

The average person actively interacts with no more than five brands on social media, reports InSites Consulting. By becoming a “human extension” of your company, you can increase the reach of your company’s content. Even if someone is not following your company, do not try to boil the social media ocean. And, do not focus on only one social media channel. It’s a prominent place: first master LinkedIn, Twitter, and a publishing platform like Hootsuite. Then move on to other channels. Twitter and LinkedIn are two relatively open platforms that will let you listen, engage and reach others who do not follow you. Hootsuite is a client application that will help you manage your listening and messaging.

5. Know the rules of engagement 

Keeping with the Jedi theme, when in Tatooine, do as the Tatooinians do. When on Twitter and LinkedIn, do as the successful users do. Understand the rules of engagement for each of your social media channels. Individuals have different engagement expectations of each social media channel. First, start to use your own social channels to get your messages and content distributed. Then understand the optimal tone, cadence, timing, and styling to make the most significant impact. Sometimes you will need more than one tweet to make a difference. Other times, one LinkedIn status update will do the trick of cutting through the clutter.

3 More Ideas to Help You With Your Social Media Jedi Training

Do you have an interesting or successful way to successfully amplify your company’s message with your personal social network? If so, please comment below. Or, reach out to me directly at gerry@marketingthink.com.

It’s time for your to embrace your social media force. It’s time to take steps to use your powers to help increase your company’s reach, engagement, and conversion. And, if you are ever in doubt about what you can do or how to do it, just ask yourself, WWYD — what would Yoda do? 

May the social media force be with you.

NOTE: This blog post was originally published on May 13, 2013, as Learn to Be a Social Media Jedi in 5 Steps. It was refreshed on February 9, 2021.

Gerry Moran is a social media and content marketing strategist who's worked for large global brands and digital agencies. He's spent significant time in hands-on marketing leadership roles with HBO, IKEA, Ralston Purina, Kodak, and numerous digital agencies. He spent his last ten years working at SAP and Cognizant, where he built their content marketing operating models, developed social media training programs, and helped thousands with their LinkedIn makeovers and personal branding strategies.

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