02.13.14 Business How To

How to Use Social Media + Helpful Tips

anuary and February are traditionally slower months in the wedding world, so I've surrounded myself with piles of books in light of the extra time and I couldn't be happier. I'm a fiction lover, but recently spent time delving into business resources. Two books that have really impressed me were Jab Jab Jab Right Hook by Guy Vaynerchuk and TRUST - Mastering the Art of Content Creation and Successful Blogging by Lawrence Chan. I read these books simultaneously and learned SO much about leveraging social media in my business.

I'm a huge proponent of social media (which may be an understatement), but reading about the reasons why it's important and how to do it are priceless. Chan writes, "Your focus to deliver content of consistent quality that will eventually convert readers into fans, fans into clients, and clients into evangelists." I couldn't agree more.

While Chan's e-reader has a heavy emphasis on the photography world, Vaynerchuck outlines The Rules of Good Content for any business. I found this particularly insightful, so I'll share Vaynerchuk's points, but apply them to the photo industry as an example.

The Rules
1. It's Native
You can put out good content (a great status update), but if it ignores the context of the platform on which it appears, it can fall flat. So often I see photographers sync their Facebook status to Twitter, but what appears on Twitter is an incomplete update that usually ends with "...couldn't believe he". That fb link drives me crazy!! There are few people reading Twitter who will click back to your Facebook page to finish reading. It's a wasted update on Twitter and not native to its platform. Learn each media outlet. Learn what works best on Instagram, learn how to maximize your voice on Facebook, edit your tweets to fit in 140 characters...basically, respect each platform or else you'll fall flat in each.

2. It Doesn't Interrupt
The greatest appeal to social media is that people naturally gravitate to it. The micro-conversations are its greatest appeal, but it's important to not disturb the entertainment value social media provides. Unlike traditional marketing (like commercials), people prefer to consume marketing the same way they consume their entertainment: seamlessly. So often I see photographers using social media solely to promote their latest work ("Off to shoot an engagement session" or "Here's a sneak peek of last week's shoot" or "Just blogged a wedding") begins to feel like a stream of commercials. And who subscribes to a channel of just commercials?

3. It Doesn't Make Demands - Often
As small business owners, the goal of social media is usually to create a sale or, at least, make prospective clients aware of our products or services, but this must be balanced with showing your human side. Be gracious. Be giving. Be funny. Be all the things we enjoy in others. Don't use social media as a tool just to talk about about your favorite movies, join The Bachelor conversation, share a moment together. The best thing a business can do is balance an emotional connection so when you do make a request or call to action (like, showcasing a new blog post), people are apt to follow through because they like a person.

4. It Leverages Pop Culture
This is self-explanatory, but I can say that when someone posts a link to their favorite song and I like it too, I can't help but think they're extra awesome. With little to no effort at all, someone showcased his sensibilities and drew me closer to him because of our mutual tastes.

5. It's Micro
Social media is less about marketing and more about creating small conversations around your content (photos, updates, videos). Vaynerchuk writes, "It should be serving as the nexus connecting every other channel by which businesses talk to their customers." By successfully telling micro stories, clients have a way to connect in a 24/7 online world.

6. It's Consistent and Self-Aware
Solid social media interactions showcase who you are not just what you do...and this is the best way to get noticed in a saturated market with businesses that offer the same services. If you content can make someone feel, she's more likely to share it with others and this is the best word of mouth endorsements you can get.

Whew, this was a doozey of a post...if you stayed with me until the end, I know it has nothing to do with me, but with the great content Chan and Vaynerchuk provided. If you're looking for ways to understand social media, definitely read Jab Jab Jab Right Hook and to find ways to leverage social media in relation to your blog, Chan's e-reader is great! Happy Reading!
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Rod Arroyo - Thanks for these helpful tips and resources.   03.03.15 - 9:22am
Wayne Holmes - Thanks for the great tips and links to great reads! Wayne  08.05.14 - 6:12pm
Melissa Donaldson - This is so great, I am experiencing the slow now, and not loving it. Great tips for social media! your awesome!  02.24.14 - 6:13pm
Rod A. - The comment regarding microstories is right on point. We live in a world where we must be succinct to communicate effectively.  02.18.14 - 9:48am
Jonas Karlsson - The part about microstories is great. Even the smallest things can be told as a little story.  02.16.14 - 11:13am
Tiffany Weaver - Thank you so much for post this Jasmine!! You're great at explaining the topics and getting right to the point. This was an easy read and I'm excited to apply these to my own business! Thanks again! :D  02.15.14 - 9:38pm
Ashley Rogers - Excellent advice! Thanks for sharing and for the recommended books! (puts them on my book list :) )  02.15.14 - 7:02pm
Kristen - Great suggestions, I think I will be taking a look at those books! I have such a difficult time using social media to market myself, let alone attempt to form an emotional connection with my followers.   02.15.14 - 8:37am
Huwelijksfotograaf Nick - Pretty cool post!  02.15.14 - 5:48am
@SENGERSON - Thank you for sharing!! You are spot on. Like you said, no one wants to see a channel full of commericals ;)  02.14.14 - 6:50pm
m* - Do they mention anything about having an egg for a head on Twitter?  02.14.14 - 11:09am
Anna Tabakova - This is something I need to learn, I mean social media helps but it takes soooo much time  02.14.14 - 10:17am
Arnie - Thank you Jasmine, this was really helpful, and actually changed the way I will be running my facebook page from now on!  02.14.14 - 6:02am
angela hubbard - LOVE both those books. highly recommend them  02.13.14 - 10:42pm
Sherri - I'm still a tiny biz and sometimes feel silly and irrelevant commenting on your blogs...but I just wanted to say a big 'thank you' for what I can instinctively tell is great info! (But it also amuses me that you reveal the kung fu you are using on me and I am STILL powerless against it, lol).   02.13.14 - 10:30pm
Michelle Moyer - Those are wonderful tips! I think I'll have to check out those books they seem pretty amazing. Good reminder to "stay human" on social media. :)  02.13.14 - 8:43pm
Heather - It's funny...I just started reading Jab Jab Jab Right hook yesterday and today signed up for a Twitter account. Then I saw your tweet about this post and BAM! How crazy is that?! Loving his book by the way! ;)  02.13.14 - 3:39pm
R - Ya, that FB link on long tweets sucks!  02.13.14 - 2:49pm
Alayna Parker - Thank you for sharing! Great tips!  02.13.14 - 2:03pm
Whitney Lane - I have so many of Lawrence's books to read and now i've added another.. thx for the heads up J*  02.13.14 - 12:37pm
ashley goodwin - FABULOUS advice! I have got to balance + leverage my social media, that's for sure. The girls from Tone it Up totally inspire me with their show, and they rock out some social media, so I'm trying to really put some emphasis on it because I'm guilty of the 'commercial' Facebook. HAHAHA. + beauuuuutiful photos girlfriend! xo  02.13.14 - 12:05pm
Chelsea - J*- thank you so much!!! This is simple and brilliant:) Many thanks!!  02.13.14 - 10:01am
Natasha Cadman - I love the use of 'Doozey', reminds me of Katey Kontent ;-)  02.13.14 - 9:48am
Sherman Orendorf - love the blog post, I recently bought jab jab jab right hook and it has changed my business. great blog post Jasmine  02.13.14 - 9:28am
Meredith Ryncarz - I loved Jab Jab Jab Right Hook. Thanks for sharing Chan's book cause now I have something new to check out!  02.13.14 - 8:53am
Jenna Woodward - Hi Jasmine, I love this! I've been thinking about social media a lot recently and I feel so overwhelmed by how to use it effectively. But I just ordered Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook yesterday, so now I'm even more excited for it to arrive! I really want to engage so much more with social media. I'm not completely awful at it, but I find it so hard to work out the line between friendly and annoyingly cheesy! So I just stay waaaay away from the line! I'm finally looking forward to getting more involved in a confident way. Jenna xxx  02.13.14 - 8:20am
@zeddespages - Nice blog posts, very well written. Keep it up.  02.13.14 - 8:16am
Shalese - Thanks for sharing, Jasmine! This is really helpful, as always. :)  02.13.14 - 8:06am
Jennifer Starr - LOVE this post! LOVE when you post info that the useful to Wedding Industry Peeps {other than just photography} Would LOVE to see more of these helpful hints. Thank You for all you share! :)  02.13.14 - 8:04am
sarah (danaher) bradshaw - GREAT points! I particularly appreciated the "who subscribes to a channel of commercials?" comment. SO helpful.  02.13.14 - 5:51am