This is a very tricky headline and an even trickier topic. There are certainly many out there who know a lot more than me about this, yet I have gradually seen a pattern emerge from our own efforts and from observing others.

Of course a lot of times the views on being “successful” may differ. I would take a very intuitive approach for this post. If you are a business or individual, success in Social Media means growth, more happy clients or more happy customers.

So let’s dive in on this:

 

What is Not important in Social Media? Buffer this

Before we go into what needs to be existent, it might be relevant to mention which parts I found anyone can easily ignore.

  • It doesn’t matter which tools you are using to succeed. Sounds odd coming from me right? Yes, there is a stage, where the right Social Media tool can make or break your business, but to get Social Media right in the first place, it won’t matter.
  • It doesn’t matter which platform you have chosen to become your focus. To speak with Gary Vaynerchuck’s words:“It is never the platform, it is always the message.”
  • It doesn’t matter which industry or niche you are in. I have seen airlines, bakeries or car shops succeed extraordinarily well on Social Media.

 

Your Most Important Factor To Succeed

Gary Vaynerchuck bluntly put it this way saying “You need to have something cool to offer behind your Social Media accounts.” To take this one step further I would say:

You Need To Have Something That Is Tested And Wanted

This may sound stupidly simple, yet it is the most direct answer I could come up with. To put slightly more specifically you need to have a great product, service, blog or project behind your Twitter, Facebook or Google+ account.

If you have an establishedsomething”, then Social Media is the right place to be. It can amplify your reach in a massive and new scalable way we haven’t seen before.

If you are using Social Media to scale an idea or project that is not tested in the market, my guess is that all your efforts will be wasted. You might even amass a large following on Twitter or Facebook and other platforms, yet channeling visitors through to your unvalidated end destination point will lose you a disproportionally large number of visitors.

How can you make sure your “something” is tested and wanted?

Finding validation for whatever you do, before you jump into the Social Media arena, is therefore a crucial aspect.

When we started out with Buffer nearly a year ago, we didn’t leverage any Social Media channels before we had validated the idea. Joel explained how we did it from start to finish in a great post here.

 

Get 200% more clicks on Tweets

By Buffering Tweets, they are posted at optimal times giving you 2x more exposure.

 

Social Media is a channel not an end point Buffer this

A sentence that has helped me the most to pin this down comes from Jay Baer, where he said:

With Social Media every business becomes a publisher. ~ @JayBaer
Buffer this

You are a baker and a publisher, you are a car retailer and a publisher, you are an [insert company] and a publisher.

Social Media, your Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn stream, turn into a huge opportunity to publish interesting and relevant content for your niche. Whenever you decide to start to use this channel, make sure that the end point people eventually end up with is wanted and worth sticking around for.

Once you have found something that you consider as validated and wanted, going all in with Social Media is definitely an option. It is only then that the marketing opportunity opens up. You can poor resources and time into your various Social Media campaigns and all buzz you are able to create will be hugely beneficial to you and your business.

Of course, this doesn’t mean we can’t all have a lot of fun doing Social Media!

To me, this was one of the most important lessons I have learnt whilst focusing on moving Buffer forward.

 

Over to you now. What is your most important factor to succeed in Social Media? Do you think my mentioned reason could prove to be the most valuable aspect?

 

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Written by Leo Widrich

Co-founder and COO at Buffer. I enjoy working on company culture, customer development and marketing. For more personal posts, check out leostartsup.

  • Colleen

    Just started a blog, haven’t got it out yet I am putting it out next week. I was planning on using Twitter and FaceBook. I am new at this lol but I agree it’s vital. Thanks for taking the time in doing this ! 😉

  • Brilliant post! So many valuable tid bits! Every business should read this!

    • Mj, that is awesome, so glad you like the post! 🙂 

  • Rijk Willemse

    It would be something I call “hidden ownership” (verborgen eigenaarschap): being able to play an essential and yet modest role, facilitating others, from an almost hidden position…

  • Dorothy

    Very abstract!  Some examples would make this clearer.