Are you using social media to your best advantage?

Are you using social media services to your best advantage? Are you a power-user of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the rest?

If so, you may have noticed that some people seem to get more out of them than you do. They have more friends, more followers and more “engagement” than you do.

What’s their secret?
Maybe it’s just that they’re better at the mechanics. Maybe they’re better at getting people to click on links or read their posts or look at their photos. If so, they’ll probably get even more from social media in the future. They’ll reap the economic benefits: the better your engagement with customers and fans, the lower your cost per customer and fan and therefore the lower your cost and price and therefore the greater your profit. But if we’re honest we’d have to admit that we don’t know how much of this is due to skill and how much is due to luck. Maybe some of these high-octane users are like lottery winners: they’ve been lucky in terms of engaging with people who like them when it costs almost nothing to engage with them; when the cost goes up, maybe they’ll be less competitive.

If you’re not using social media to your best advantage, you’re losing ground every day to people who are.

Obviously, most people aren’t paying full attention here. The companies and apps and platforms and devices and interfaces and websites and messages and news feeds and algorithms that make up the social-media landscape are too big for anyone to keep up with completely. Even if you wanted to, it would be impossible.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. You don’t have to know everything there is to know about social media (I sure don’t). But you should at least know what’s going on in the world of social media so that you can participate intelligently.
And even if you don’t participate in social media yourself, your friends probably do—indirectly if nothing else. You may not think of what they post or share or read as “social media,” but when they do any of those things on a platform owned by one of the major corporations in the industry, it is social media—and it affects your life in ways that may not be obvious.

It’s easy to waste hours on social media. It’s more complicated to get the most out of it.

You can get a lot more out of social media if you treat it the way you would treat in-person social interaction with your friends and colleagues. You can show your human side. You can encourage people who think like you do to join with you in pursuing goals that matter to you.

You can’t just write, “I hope this finds you well.” When I was younger, I assumed technology would let me communicate more efficiently than with my friends in person. As I got older, I realized that isn’t true. Now I realize what is true: the effort is greater but the rewards are bigger, too.

Do you mean, am I using social media to my best advantage? Or do you mean, are they using me to their best advantage?

The second question is harder to answer than the first. Not because it’s hard to tell whether Facebook is using me to their best advantage; it’s clear they are. But it is hard to know how well I am using them.

I’m not sure what you are asking about social media. Is your question whether Facebook is using me to their best advantage? Yes, they seem to be doing a pretty good job of it.That’s true not just for Facebook’s bottom line, but also for my own professional reputation. It has been valuable to have built up a personal brand on their platform.

There is no doubt that Facebook uses its users aggressively, but the company is honest about this practice and transparent about their use of user data.

Well, up to a point. My Facebook page is littered with ads, after all. But I’m at least getting something out of the deal—lots of smart people telling me what they think about their products. Get the tips here for building your own audience.