The Secret to Social Media
Actually, this is the secret to pretty much anything.
Show up. Consistently.
The secret isn’t to write 365 homerun tweets that go viral. No one can do that. It’s a bar set too high – so high it’ll intimidate you into never ever hitting Send.
Accept the fact that much of it will be meh.
Like any bell curve, most of your posts are going to be perfectly fine. Some will suck. Occasionally, you’ll knock it out of the park.
Some days I write posts that get hundreds of interactions.
Some days I clearly missed the mark.
Most of the time, my posts are somewhere in the middle. Good, not viral.
By the way, that popular post and that least popular post took about the same amount of time to write. I’ve seen zero relationship between the time you take to develop your social media content and how much it resonates with your audience.
So don’t overthink it. Don’t be a perfectionist about it. Just show up, consistently.
While you’re there, respond to some other folks. That way, you’re showing up in their comments, not solely expecting them to come to yours. Spend 10 minutes on this.
Then get off. Cause too much social media is bad for your mental health.
Same thing for newsletters.
Be there on a consistent basis.
In fact, Steph Smith wrote a reassuring article about how greatness is really just being good, repeatedly.
Consistency is the hard part because it’s soooooo easy to give up when your new podcast only gets 6 downloads. It’s much more difficult to trust the process for a little longer and keep editing future episodes.
Here’s what I mean:
Say you were to visit my data visualization blog and see that my last post was June 2022. And the one before that was from 2021. At your most gracious, you might think “Wow she’s got so much work she can’t even dedicate time to her blog.” But on a typical day, you’d likely conclude that I just gave up on my little side project.
It would be a signal that I couldn’t see something through (like, not only did I give up on the blog but I also didn’t bother to remove the withering thing from my site, like some skeletal succulent abandoned in a windowsill).
But if you come to my blog and see I’m consistently sharing good ideas every two weeks, you begin to see me as a reliable resource. Someone who can be trusted.
Trust builds connections. And connections get you contracts.
Showing up consistently keeps you top of mind. So when your boss says “hey I think it’s time we get some data visualization training” I’ll be the person you think of because I’ve shown up in your inbox with good ideas every two weeks for years.
Yep, it’s a long game.
But you can’t show up consistently everywhere, all the time. You can’t be running 100 different long games. That’s a burnout maker.
Which means you have to be choosy about where you want to put your energy. Pick one direction. Put it in your calendar. And go.
What have you chosen? Where are you showing up consistently and playing the long game? Send me a link so I can ride shotgun.