I have never written a serious entry about Public Relations before for two reasons. The first was because I wanted to reserve this space only for literature – the best things I would ever put into words. Secondly, I was not positive enough of my experience. Everything I know, there are people who know it better and they already published books analyzing every tiny fraction.But today I want to share this; the first and possibly the most significant lesson I have learned by far, from managing several Facebook pages and building my online image/brand. It’s so much easier if you just want to get more likes, more shares and more comments. But how to get more of everything yet be able to keep the right image about yourself is another story.
No matter if you are a YouTube entertainer or a classical music enthusiast, there is forever a “cheap” abyss you shouldn’t set yourself into.
The lesson, more of a realization than a how-to manual, is that during the battle for engagement rates on social media, there is a fine line which if you cross, your image becomes cheap. Once you go down the hill, there’s nearly no way to climb back.
But it is so tantalizing, isn’t it? The feeling of someone reading your content, calling your name, typing in your comment box. If you said No, this post would be no use for you at all. You can leave. Thank you for your time. If your answer is ‘Yes”, you gotta become a juggler with each ball represents one of your personas. There’re times you can handle them all. But also, there’re times you have to drop one to spare the rest. Which one and how so?
Which side am I on?
For that many years, I often found myself struggle with balancing between the desire to get more viral and the commitment to be true to myself. I have dismissed a lot of occasions, simple as New Year or Valentine or unexpected as some scandal. All it needs is one short status involved that occasion; and I know it would get me a huge increase in engaging rate. Or a post about love; love usually gets more likes and shares. But I didn’t. Because I did not care about that event, thus did not want to push myself to write something. I have been on my writer’s side ever since.
One of my friends, the classical music enthusiast, he asked me how to get his content more exposure. My answer was, “I know how to make you going viral real quick, but it’s not worth who you are and what your identity is about.” Then I instructed him about some tricks and techniques, which don’t hurt, but don’t boost his rate overnight either.
And I would tell you the very same thing: Take a slow path. Be patient.
There is nothing wrong about posting a clip of a cat licking itself or writing about love. The only thing wrong is to force yourself when you don’t want to – AND when your online persona doesn’t want to.
Yes, your online content has a life and a persona of itself, resonates with your identity. A Facebook profile of some classical music enthusiast shouldn’t ramble about love, chick-flicks, hot girls and rich guys. But how about your baby or your last fancy meal with your beloved girlfriend? That enthusiast might truly want to post thousands of pictures of his toddler and his girlfriend, but HIS ONLINE (POTENTIALLY VIRAL) PERSONA doesn’t.
Which side should he take?
I honestly don’t know. The choice is his, after considering all of the short-term and long-term impacts.
It’s the art of balance which I have to mindfully adjust in every single post on my page. And so will you.
When Are You Ready to Build Your Online Image… If You Ever Want To?
For those who are still reluctant about whether or not they should give it a try, let me remind you this: a person’s attention span and time for interesting content are fixed, as Melcalfe’s law states, while the amount of content grows exponentially. You are stepping into a battle which is getting harder and more cruel every second, so the sooner the better. Just do it!
Three years ago, my best friend, Zi Nguyen, gave me one of the most helpful piece of advice. “You should start your Facebook page as a writer,” she said.
I argued hesitantly, “But I didn’t publish any book yet. I’m afraid people will laugh or think I’m too arrogant. They don’t even know who I am.”
“That’s why you should launch that page. To let people know who you are.”
It turned out one of the best decisions of my life!
But more and more people are getting addicted to social networks, don’t they? Why should you be afraid of a shortage of audience?
You missed the chance to be the innovator, at least don’t become the laggard.
Because this battle’s factors – the platforms, the interaction’s mean, the norm, the victors and the losers – always change dramatically and crazily. This chaotic market is so happening. You shouldn’t count on just a plain and passive hope in people’s addiction.
In the second part of this series, I will discuss about some kinds of popular content. May the Supreme Being forgive us, because that’s when you have to sell your soul.