By RAISA HABERSHAM
Sean Gardner could be called the king of social media. Gardner was crowned No. 1 social media influencer by Forbes Magazine in 2013 after his foray onto more than 2800 Twitter lists (he has more than 760,000 followers) and more than 500 LinkedIn connections.
Gardner shared a few of his secrets on his social media success in a webinar hosted last Thursday by The National Association of Black Journalists’ Digital Task Force, AllDigitocracy.org and The Diverse Social Media Editors and Digital Journalists.
Here are a few tips he gave during the broadcast, but if you want more insider information, Gardner’s book, “The Road to Social Media Success,” is available for download on Kindle.
1. Don’t be afraid to build a following
Gardner said numbers matter and your reach depends on what you’re doing through social media. He urges reaching out to people outside your field. Some followers may become too familiar with your brand and become bored. Extending your reach allows you to rebrand while gaining a new following. Also, don’t let follower counts interfere with connecting. You never know who that person may know, so reaching out won’t hurt.
2. “Cross posting” helps
Though there are some who prefer certain social media platforms (Gardner prefers LinkedIn and Twitter), Gardner says “cross posting,” or link sharing, allows you to reach multiple platforms in a day without compromising your preferred interests. He added the best time to post for international reach is 2 a.m. EST, since the eastern United States will soon rise, and much of the overseas market will be waking up, in the middle of, or just ending their day.
3. Be a “go-giver”
Generosity is also a part of your success, Gardner said. If someone is sharing your posts, liking your statuses or retweeting your tweets, don’t be afraid to return the favor. It could build your social media reach as well. You don’t have to like and retweet everything, he said, but do make sure what you share benefits the source and your followers. You can risk losing a few followers over retweets (or even tweets) that don’t benefit them.
4. Dare to be different
Gardner said he didn’t get to his success by always playing by the rules. One thing he did to separate himself from the pack was rewrite his LinkedIn summary to include key accomplishments and goals, leading users to contact him for social media advice. He saw similar results after inserting “Keynote Speaker” into his Twitter bio. Gardner said sometimes the typical “best advice” isn’t always for your brand or business, so don’t hesitate to pave a path that works for you.