Social Media Hacks…Think Again

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Social media hacks. At first sounds appealing, who wouldn’t want to figure out an easy way to gain more followers on Twitter, Likes on Facebook or Pins on Pintrest? The term “hack” has become a buzz word in the social media world, and people are looking at it as a positive thing. I am sure you have seen many articles like these ones in your social media feeds: 5 Social Media Hacks for Effective Personal Branding , 5 Social Media Hacks Every Marketer Should Know. The fact is, there are no real hacks when it comes to social media, there are tools and strategies, but there aren’t any huge secrets that will create success on any platform. In this article you will find out why there’s no such thing as social media hacks, what some useful tools are to use with social media, and the single best strategy to grow a solid following, organically.

 

To Hack Or Not To Hack – The Truth About Social Media Hacks

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Photo By David Evers via Flickr

If you look up the meaning of “hack” you will find that it means, “To use a computer to gain unauthorized access to data in a system”, so why today do we look at social media hacks as a good thing? The truth about social media hacks is, there are none. There is not a magical way to grow a solid following on any platform overnight. If you think buying 10,000 Likes on Facebook or posting random junk to your social feeds every 10 minutes will help you in the long run, you are greatly mistaken. Many businesses fail on social media by paying too much attention to all the buzz about hacking and think this is the right approach for their business.
Social media is a different world, but when you are thinking strategy it’s not that different from other ways of marketing your business, such as TV commercials, billboards or print advertising. How successful would billboard marketing be if 20 different businesses used the same template and same message to advertise their business, and these billboards were posted along the highway one after the other? So why when it comes to social media do we think that a good strategy is to re-post the same content that tons of others have just posted? If you spent your time and money creating a great print advertisement, would you distribute it to every person in every demographic, or would you want to target your audience to gain the best results? This is the equivalent to what many “social media hacks” will teach you by suggesting you follow a ton of people in the hopes they will follow you back. In the real world no such strategy would work, so why do you think it will benefit you on social media? If you want to set yourself apart in the social world, spend your time creating great content, not building a social following of random non-targeted users.

 

Anti-Hack – The Ultimate Social Media Strategy

So you may be asking yourself, if there is no such thing as social media hacks, then how does a brand new business with little or no customer base go about gaining a social media audience? The same principles apply to social media that apply to a locally run business, like an auto-mechanic or plumber. Picture this, your car is due for service, you see a grand opening sign on a new auto-shop right around the corner from your house so you pull your car in and walk inside.  You walk up to the front counter and say, “I need an oil change”, the guy behind the counter proceeds to tell you about 10 other businesses and why you should support them, would this not be an instant turn off? The same rules apply to social media, don’t spend your time re-posting promotions of others. Listen to your audience, interact with them, ask yourself, “How would I want to be treated?”  Just like a plumber building his business, success does not happen overnight, you will not gain a huge social media audience in your first month. Standard social media hacks would tell you to re-post a bunch of promotions and ask your audience for retweets.

This would be like the plumber starting his business by knocking on all his neighbors doors, asking them if they would hand out flyers for him and also asking them to hand out a bunch of other businesses flyers while they are at it. Think about this is the real world, wouldn’t a better strategy be for the plumber to go around to all his neighbors introduce himself, get to know them and offer them a discount for being a neighbor? Now apply this to social media, people will appreciate the same strategy. Start by saying hello, interacting with them and give them a reason to follow you, such as offering great content or special promotions for your audience. I am not against curated content, but here is the point I am trying to make. Choose your content wisely, don’t base your actions on what is most popular, base it on what you like and how you want the world to perceive you. When you have a chance to create your own content, make it the best possible and be original. If you can realize that everyone on social media is a person, and that person wants to be treated as they would in real life, then you will be way ahead of where you would be using any hack.

 

Great Social Media Tools

I have scoured the internet for the greatest tools to help build a business, read dozens of articles and tested many different apps. Here are my 3 favorite tools a business can use to help with their social media accounts and why I love them.

Buffer

Buffer lets you connect all your social media accounts to their app and “buffer” posts into a queue. You can set the the timing on your queue to post to all your social media accounts on a schedule of your selection. The free app will let you store up to 10 posts in each social media queue, the awesome version will let you add up to 100 posts in each queue for up to 10 social media accounts. This is great for start-ups that do not have the time or resources to have a full time social media manager but want to stay in front of their audience through out the day. What else do I love about buffer? If you read about the company, they are built on a great set of values and have a clear vision, “To build the simplest and most powerful social media tool, and to set the bar for great customer support”. If you are going to use Buffer for the times you are unable to dedicate time to social media, remember that people like social interaction, don’t let a robot run your accounts. I always set aside time each day to interact with my audience and let Buffer take over while I am doing other things.

SocialBro

SocialBro is a wonderful Twitter app that helps you get the most out of your account. You can analyze your audience to find out great insights like when is the best time to tweet, it even ties into Buffer so you can set your Buffer schedule to align with the time your tweets will have the highest potential reach. SocialBro has a Recently Unfollowed tool that will weed out all the users who follow you, to simply get a follow back, then a couple days later they will unfollow you. SocialBro gives you great statistics on your audience and analytics on everything you would want to know about who follows you and who you follow.

 

Cyber Dust

Cyber Dust is not just a another social app, it is hands down the most engaged community of users I have come across on any social media platform. Tech-mogul Mark Cuban and his brilliant team created Cyber Dust with a focus on cyber security, however it’s becoming much more than just a secure messaging app. In my opinion Cyber Dust is the best platform a business can use to gain valuable customers and monetize their products. The reason being, there is real life engagement going on everyday on Cyber Dust, it feels like a close knit group of friends, more than a cluster of followers. One start-up ShuttleO is leveraging Cyber Dust and it’s supportive community as the only platform to launch their new business. One innovative user has created a Cyber Dust Podcast completely dedicated to highlighting users of the app. This is more than just another App, a helpful tool or a social media platform, just sign up and you will understand why. If you are interested in finding out more, I have written a couple of articles you can read (6 Reasons You Need To Join Cyber Dust Now! & How To Grow Your Business With Cyber Dust). 

 So you can be the judge for yourself, do you think that social media hacks are real? Do you think they work out for you in the long run? Don’t just take my word on it. Kenney Myers who has over 1.3 million followers on Twitter recently wrote this article on how some of these so called “hacks” worked out for him – 1,345,000+ Ways I Learned My Twitter Account is My Responsibility.

 

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