Social Media Begins With You

A lot of the clients I work already have an idea about what they’d like to share across social media. However, for most people, taking a step back and sitting down to view the landscape will save them not hours, or days, but possibly much more time lost in the wilderness.

I believe that a truly successful journey can only be taken once you have a real sense of who you are. When I refer to who, this includes organisations too. Social Media is not something separate from you, a thing that you outsource or let a junior handle, it is an extension of who you are. Or it should be. Yes, it’s true that sometimes you find yourself whilst you are travelling, but that’s a philosophical discussion for another day!

So, who are you? Or which is the you that you want to promote on social media and how do you go about it?

Well, there are a few key questions and techniques you can use to determine precisely what you should be talking about, how frequently, but it starts, not with the why, but the I.

Sadly, people are more interested in increasing their subscriber base on platforms like Facebook and YouTube rather than question about the technicalities as given on But for now, let me relegate the readers with an interesting story.

I encountered a fabulous tool last year, which I recommended to anyone who’d listen. It’s was one of those start-spangled freemium things for Twitter, where the free bit of it was actually the most important bit. It was called Twylah. You’ve probably noticed that I’m using the past tense. Twylah was snatched up by So, what got me so excited about Twylah? Basically, Twyhlah generated a report based on questions, which related to what you wanted to be known for. It started off with ten items and then whittled them down to 3 key things. It was a straightforward exercise that worked for individuals and corporates. Twylah, then used this information to determine 3 things:

  1. Were you talking about the things that you said you’d talk about.
  2. Did you talk about them frequently and regularly enough.
  3. Were you engaging with the people you set out to engage with.

Twylah generated a free report which got emailed to you within 24 hours. Cool.

But now it has gone, but what replaces it? You guessed it. Another tool, or rather an acronym, a book and an inner Twitter platform called Twitter for Good, which was initially intended for non-profits and NGOs, but works equally well for companies. And who came up with it? Claire Díaz-Ortiz, who is Leader of Social Innovation at Twitter. The #Twitter4Good book explains what the acronym TWEET (bet you wished you’d thought of that, eh?), encapsulates the Twitter approach . Sure, it’s Twitter, and not Facebook or say Instagram, but the model applies really well across all social media.

This is what the acronym stands for:

T – Target (not aim, but what kind of account you want to be: informational, personal or fundraising). Your identity.

This article very much explores who you are as a way of understanding what you should share on social media. If your aim is to be a thought-leader, you have to be clear about how personal you want to be. The more corporate the voice, the more employees you have using social media will favour a cooler, more corporate tone. The smaller the corporate, the more personal you can be. The voice or tone of voice, is something that can only be developed over time.

The simplest route we’ve used to determine who and what you should talk about is to run a little exericise:

  • What are you 3 most important values?
  • Which 3 topics are you most passionate about?

Clearly, depending on whether you are answering as a company or an individual the answer is likely to be different. Once, we’ve established the values and topics, we push towards a single line or paragraph that encapsulates who you are. From this, we encourage clients to develop a short story, a very short story that explains who they are from beginning, middle to end. Once you have the story of you, you’re on the fast flight home.

This is seriously the hardest bit in crafting the core of the message. After this, but the way is clearer, a direction has been set that you can now tracked. It won’t be the case of whether you have enough likes or followers, it is rather the case, are you true to who you are, because if you are and you engage with others, you will grow in a sustained way. You will have that authentic voice that people are looking for.

So, run through those exercises and ready yourself for the next stage of the journey. Crafting content, weaving story.