Principles of social media. Keys for your success.

Social media becomes more complicated and the chaos now is everywhere on the deferent platforms. Therefore Guy Kawasaki suggests several principals to be able working on social media marketing, and they are as follows:

1. Perfecting your perspective

This principle means that people need a mental model for social media. And Kawasaki thinks that a lot of companies, as they use social media, they are looking for establishing this really powerful connection long term with mere social media posts. And he also thinks that is vastly overshooting what social media posts can do at any given moment and the true is social media can be used as one of many tools “but it is not the only tool” to build the relationship between a company and its customers.  In fact, the best tool you can have for establishing a great relationship with your customers is the quality of your product and it is the key.  So, if you have great products everything else falls into place.  

Specifically for social media, Kawasaki likes to use a metaphor from online dating although. An online dating app one would be Tinder and the second one is EHarmony. With EHarmony you have to fill out 25 pages of psychographic information about how happy are you, how outgoing are you, how extroverted, how introverted and etc. All these kind of stuff because with EHarmony you are trying to find your soul mate, the person that theoretically you are going to spend the rest of your life with. A very good mental model for social media that Tinder it is not EHarmony! It is about enabling people to make sort of instant decisions like: should they follow you? should they read what you posted? And all of those are made in under a few seconds.

2. Add value

If there is a guiding principle with social media, it is: “you should add value to people’s lives”. You can add value through information. So, Kawasaki’s assumption is “if you add value, you earn people’s support and you earn people’s loyalty and you earn the right to promote”.  And his social media calculation is “You provide value by creation and then you earned the right to promote your books, promote your podcast, promote your speeches and promote whatever you want. But you have to earn that by adding value” 

So, ask yourself every time when you post something “am I really adding value to people’s lives or am I trying to add value to yourself?” Because if you are trying to add value to yourself, you probably are not adding value to people. So, it is all about “are you doing something for people as opposed to for yourself? It’s about posting what people want as opposed to what you want there is a big difference.”

3. Take the high road

According to Kawasaki, with this principle means that it is very easy to get tempted to become argumentative, become negative, to erect barriers, to take the low road, to assume the worst about people, to take the bait if you will, and start ripping each other and getting into conflict.  And he thinks that is wrong!  So, take the high road and assume the best of all people!  Kawasaki has a theory that “if you do not have something positive to say on social media, don’t say anything at all”!

4. Do not abdicate to agencies

Many times companies just abdicate to agencies and interns, and they say “all right, let’s have this agency handle all our social media, they handled Nike and they handle GM and they handle IBM. Let’s just give it to them!” Or in a smaller company what happens is “Oh! They know how to use TikTok, let’s put them in charge of social media”. And as Kawasaki believes that is just so stupid! 

So basically, Kawasaki does not think that you should abdicate your social media to agencies or to interns, he thinks that social media equals marketing today. And he thinks social media is absolutely core to your existence at this point and it is in effect synonymous with marketing. So, he does not think you would advocate with marketing and he does not think you should abdicate your social media.

4. Post good thing!

When someone wants to post something, many questions come to his/her mind, like: Do I need to put the keywords in? Do I get the right Hashtag?  Am I getting the right aspect ratio of the photo? Should I use this Instagram filter or this? How funny should I be on TikTok?  Is the blue background better than a white background? And etc. Then, the next level is, they are trying to figure out how to game the system! So, do you know what the Facebook algorithm is? What is that Google search algorithm? Where to put the keywords in? And just like black magic! 

“Companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest, they have thousands of PhD holders in computer science and those people are creating algorithms, and those people are basically trying to get good thing in front of their customers.  The probability of you being smarter than all those people and gaming the system is pretty much zero! So, instead of trying to outwit those people, you should just post good thing which is adding value, information, analysis or entertainment and then let those algorithms and let those search engines do their job, post good thing!” – Kawasaki said.

5. Get news elsewhere

According to Kawasaki, if you get your news from social media, you are going to make yourself crazy! Because you just do not know who to trust on social media. That means you should not look to social media to get your news, like what is truly happening in the world, the truth and the science. If you go to Facebook to get your news about vaccination you are a loser. When Kawasaki wants news, he goes to Google news, to the home page of Bing, the home page of edge, go to smart news (is an app on phone),  but he does not depend on social media. 

So, social media for Kawasaki is an outward focus push, he does not try to pull anything in from social media, he ignores news from social media. So, that might not be the most popular thing and people are going to say “well, you should be interactive guy and you should be engaging and all that”. 

6. Repeat, repeat, repeat!

Many people think that you cannot repeat your post because you’re going to get complaints, and people are going to say you already posted that message! So, what they are doing is they are managing their social media based on the 0.01 of the people who are complaining. But Kawasaki thinks that social media is so busy and so crowded. That the assumption, if you posted something at 8 AM, everybody that you want to reach and everybody who wants to know what you did read that one post is delusional! For one thing, people wake up at the different time of the day! So is 9 PM in Russia, and they are not reading social media at 9 PM. So, Kawasaki posts all day and repeats and repeats and repeats. 

What are you going to do with the people who complain that you repeat too much? And they’re going to quote unfollow you because you are just a bot and you are just shoving stuff out? Well, Kawasaki recommendation is “you should ignore them!” Just let it goes, just do not even worry about it! Because if someone is not complaining about how you use social media, you are not using it aggressively enough! Somebody should be complaining! So, just learn to ignore that and keep posting!

7. Be true to yourself  

“That means, as a person or as a company, you have to stand for certain things.  Many people may not agree with all your stances, but you should take a stand for anything. Be true to yourself! People want to know what you stand for, and it is better that some people love you and some people hate you! So, be true to yourself!” –  Kawasaki said.

8. Ignore the trolls 

Learn how to ignore the trolls.  There is no such thing as making everybody happy on the internet! You can make the case that you should try to argue, you should try to explain to them, you should help them to see your perspective and all that. Kawasaki thinks that is a very mature attitude, and he is not that mature – as he said! So, he just ignores them and because there are some people that you just cannot make happy, so do not even try! He thinks many people disagree with this recommendation, but ignoring as opposed to ignorance, ignoring is often Bliss. So do not be afraid of ignoring the trolls. 

Certainly, He would not lure himself into engaging with the trolls in a conflict sort of way. Because you may think you are doing battle with trolls, but really people who are following you and watching what you are doing, they are coming to some kind of judgment about what you are doing.  And it may not be what you want, because they are seeing you do negative things, even if in your mind, you are doing a negative thing in response to a negative thing. They may only see the last act!

9. Embrace the Wikipedia model

Kawasaki likes Wikipedia a lot. He was on the Board of Trustees of Wikipedia .He thinks Wikipedia is one of the greatest forces in the universe right now and it could actually save democracy. But the beauty of Wikipedia is, anything on it has been thoroughly thrashed by many people. So, you can believe what is on Wikipedia more than what is on most news site because it has been thrashed by a group of people who really care about the truth.  

So, what “the Wikipedia model” means according to Kawasaki? 

Wikipedia puts up the world’s ugliest advertising banner on every page. And it is a message from Jimmy Wales and it says “before you click, consider giving us money!” Now the very interesting thing is, what other site in the world could get away with the world’s ugliest Banner interrupting your search result and asking you for money!  No other organization can do that, and why is that? It is a social psychology principle called “reciprocation”.  So, Kawasaki believes that many people think that Wikipedia provides a very valuable service, they provide information! When you look up anything, the first or second search result is usually Wikipedia. That is why people donate a hundred million dollars to these organizations patients. Kawasaki thinks that if you embrace the Wikipedia model which is the mental framework that, if you add value to these people’s lives with your postings, then you will earn the right to promote to them.

These 9 principles can be as a guideline for any marketer on social media.