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Social Media Success: It All Begins With A Platform

Social Media Landscape Jane Anderson

Without a platform—something that enables you to get seen and heard — you don’t have a chance. Having an awesome product, an outstanding service, or a compelling cause is no longer enough.”[su_spacer]

– Michael Hyatt

[su_dropcap style=”flat”]T[/su_dropcap]HE TRUTH IS we all have a platform. Unless you are invisible and are without the ability to speak, you have a platform. It isn’t a question of if you have a platform; more to the point, how effective is it and how broad is its reach? There are experts in the field of social media who can teach you how to build your platform from a strategic plan and marketing perspective. This article isn’t about that, but instead invites you into my world where you are the architect of your platform and your followers are the support beams. There are many support beams in a structure and there are many people like me who want to contribute to your success. Here are a few suggestions from the support beam section.

Help us help you build your platform.

The key to building your platform is ease of use and if your content is fun to share, that’s a bonus. Like any system, the easier it is to learn and the more streamlined it is to operate, the more gratifying the experience becomes. That’s how it is for the support beams beneath your platform. If you make it easy for people to follow you and share your content, they will be more inclined to spread your messages. Make it easy. Make it fun.

This is something you can do right away. Embed your identity everywhere. Here’s why.

As I scroll through articles on the Internet, I want to share them. First, it brings attention to the author of the article, which is how platforms grow, and second, it provides an opportunity to educate others. When your Twitter handle and social media identities are quickly accessible, it’s easy to click, tag, and post. For this reason, build your social media identities into your website, blog, newsletters and email.

Most articles today have share buttons. You’ll see a band of icons on the webpage, which readers click to access the network. In my experience, a panel opens with pre-filled text that contains the link to the article. That’s helpful, but I also want to tag the individual to promote them as the author of the content. Most of the time, I need to go find the social media account identity. I am more zealous about sharing, and the author gets more notice, if I can quickly find the Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or other social media identification.

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Websites and Blogs and Email …. Oh my!

If you’re reading this, chances are you have a website and blog. You might think of your website as your platform. Isn’t that where the world gets to know you and isn’t your website a repository of information about the services you provide? Your website is a toolbox for sharing powerful content about your enterprise and growing your platform. Make it easy. Make it fun.

Share-social media

Courtesy of Flckr

Make it easy and fun to share your content. On webpages on your blog in your email and newsletters, strategically insert some shareable images and sharable quotes.

Sharable images

People are geared toward visual allure. We are drawn to images that capture our attention. Pull readers in with a quote from your article or favorite book, couple it with an enticing visual and provide an easy method to share instantly. To pull this off, you will need an application to create sharable images. Buffer has a feature that accesses Pablo where users simply click ‘Create an image’ to add text to an image without leaving the Buffer app. Another popular online application is Canva, but there are several others available, some of which are phone apps.

What you need to do right now is think about gathering appropriate images and quotes that your audience will resonate with. Creating them and adding them to your webpages comes later.

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A Word of Caution

If you use your own images, you have full rights to them and no attribution is required. They belong to you. That isn’t true of images you find on the web. Even images found in Google searches are not a free for all. If you obtain images from any source other than your own camera, you need to respect the photographer or artist and follow the copyright rules. Remember attribution. No maverick behavior allowed. This article is well written and straightforward. It even provides sources where you can find excellent images, some of them at no cost. We’ve used attribution with images in this article.[/message][su_spacer]

Shareable Quotes: Remember the analogy of the support beams to your platform? As a reader of your blog, recipient of your newsletter, and visitor to your website, I want to share your message. Is there a quote or something noteworthy that would attract visitors to your platform? Here’s an open opportunity to assure that what I share is accurate. Within the text of your blog or on your webpage or in your newsletter, pre-write the content you want to be shared most often. If it’s short enough it could become a tweet. For tweets, the text is limited to 140 character including the #hashtag and your Twitter handle. If it’s a bit lengthier, readers can still share easily by copying and pasting into Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, or other network. The key is making it sharable at the click of a button. Make it easy. Make it fun.

Let’s go over that again. On your website or blog and in articles you write, intersperse quotable text that is easy to copy and share. Create a call to action. Maybe you want to invite the public to an event or call attention to a new service or a product upgrade. Make these quotes stand out. Offset the texts by changing the font, highlighting the background, or using a promotion app such as ‘Click to Tweet’. Make it easy. Make it fun. Give it a try here:

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We’ve all had email since the late 1980s but let’s review a few of the basics as they apply to building your platform. While there are other types of email, this covers two basic genres. Standard send/receive email and periodic subscriber email such as newsletters. It’s a given that every message you send will have a topic relevant to your audience. Content may be king, but other features then are queen.

At minimum be sure every email incorporates these factors where they are easily detected. The first one is a giveaway since most of us have a standard footer that identifies who we are, but making no assumptions, here are some building blocks for your platform. Make it easy. Make it fun.

Contact information: Name, Title, Phone Number, Business, etc.

Social Media: Show Twitter handle (e.g. @JaneAnderson) Indicate if you are a Periscope and Blab user.

Social Media Links: LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Vimeo, YouTube These accounts can be hidden under hyperlinks as shown below. Or you can spell them out as shown below for Pinterest. The important thing is that wherever you go, there you are. Make sure your followers don’t have to go on a major excavation to unearth your social media identities.


YouTube    Google+      BizBooks Channel      LinkedIn      Twitter    

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ragdollj


hashtag#Hashtags are invaluable for maintaining a common thread for specific subjects, topics, conversations, and items. While they originated with Twitter, hashtags are prolific across nearly every social media network. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, even LinkedIn uses hashtags, although not as expansive as other networks.

If you use a product like MailChimp or Constant Contact, add your identity to a boiler plate. With newsletter type features, go wild with creativity and apply a touch of artistic design. Embed share buttons if your email product supports that feature. Include shareable images and quotes.

Why should you go to all this effort? Because you want your readers to enjoy the experience of sharing your message. Make it easy to click a button and broadcast your message.

A Plug for Plugins: Here’s my disclaimer right here. I am not a web developer and have no expertise in adding plug-ins to websites, so these next examples are from a user perspective. To make social sharing easier for people who visit your site and read your blog, consider adding plug-ins to your website. These are tools that make it possible to click on an image, then share to a network. Here are two of my favorites:

      Click to Tweet (embed Hashtag and Twitter)

      Jetpack (Automatically share to Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Twitter)

Jetpack is a WordPress plug-in that, among other things, allows instant shared content to Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Twitter. These are just examples. Sharing is simple. Makes it easy. Makes it fun. Mission accomplished.

  1. Click the share link
  2. Select one: Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, or Twitter
  3. The engine of Jet Pack shoots you to the app where you can type your own comment or copy and paste the pre-written text as referenced earlier.
  4. Tag the author or anyone you want to see the post.
  5. Repeat if you want to post to another network.

More resources to expand your reach and build a better platform:

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Jane Anderson
Jane Andersonhttp://refininggrace.com/
JANE’s professional experience is scattered across industries from financial services and insurance to engineering and manufacturing. Jane sees her background in writing and editing website content as the foundation to her current love of social media. Being an avid reader, meticulous note taker and lifelong learner has fostered her natural pursuit of sharing her world through writing. Reading books and summarizing content started as a hobby and has since grown to be a major part of her vocational experience. Jane says, “Authors pour their heart and soul into writing their book. When I write a review, it’s with intent to celebrate the book and promote the author.” Jane claims to be 'the best follower you'll ever want to meet' and has been repeatedly called servant leader, eternal cheerleader, social media evangelist, and inspirational go-to person. Jane is a contributing author to the inspiring book Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational Change.

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