The A,E,I,O,U of social networking
A,E,I,O,U: The vowels that help words make sense, and, in terms of social media, they are similar lynch-pins of success. The A to the E to the I to the O to the U bring together the five key tenets of successful social networking.
You can protect your Tweets so that only those who you have approved as a follower can read what you have tweeted. You can amend your Facebook privacy settings to limit viewability to your information, posts etc to only your inner circle. Equally you can avoid social networks altogether and probably have more success. Social networks deliberately have the term social in their definition because their success lies in the sociability factor. If you can’t share, won’t share or don’t want to share, then social isn’t for you. That’s not to say you have to share all your inner secrets either, few actually want to know. There is no hiding in the online connected world – even if you want to try – and the more accessible you make yourself the easier you will find it is to socially network.
We all crave information. Whether that is for self-development or simply to get one over on friends in the pub, the human mind can hold much more information than it usually has to process so don’t fear about informational overload. If you can tell something to your network that they previously didn’t know, you are likely to not only engage with them this time but also be remembered too for future interactions.
It sounds common sense but you need to play to your audience. You don’t need to be the latest stadium sell-out stand-up but if what you are putting out on the social networks doesn’t entertain and interest people, you are wasting your time. Even ‘boring’ topics can be made to be interesting, either in the way you present them or the part they play in your whole content offering, so give it some thought. It could be a very bespoke audience you are trying to reach, but your goal should be to engage them and producing something they consider interesting you are heading in the right direction.
Social networking can’t be done properly unless you are yourself when you network. One of the biggest barriers to people doing business on social media platforms is a lack of trust and if you fail to use a profile that has a photograph of you and at least some basic characteristics about you, then you are on a downhill slope. Images and details are just part of it however, you need to be honest, open and you in terms of voice and what you say and how you say it.
Have you ever played Scrabble and ended up with the letter Q? All game you’ve been thankful for the other vowels, A,E,I or O for their multi-purposing abilities in helping your form words, then that Q hits you. Now you see the value of U. U is a vowel but unique amongst that brethren just as you need to be unique amongst those you are networking with on social media platforms. ironically, U works best with one of its partner vowels and your U in social is just the same. Be open and yourself, you are more likely to be unique, be interesting and entertain your audience it will be in part due to your uniqueness from the wash of noise on social platforms. Be educational and you will likely stand out from the crowd and give that extra dimension to what you do online. Make it all accessible and you will enable what you produce to be found ahead of many other things.
Remember that vowels give meaning and purpose to the consonants around them, the elements in the A,E,I,O,U or social networking are just the same.