How Are You Doing on Social Media?

Mine is having a blast, much better compared to my real life in person and that’s probably the order of things to come from now on.

Social media, what does one really make of it? You either love it or hate it. The in-betweens though, it may just be a case of not having found which they belong to yet and so they’d rather sit on the fence until a bird chirps. Lol! But as for me, I think my social life is moving closer to loving it now.

Why?

On the 8th of April 2022, I began a series of postings on some of my most frequently used social media accounts – facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, twitter – and in that order too by volume of usage. These postings are a set of quotes, written and designed into a particular form so they will consistently appear in a similar identity. Some call this “branding” or at least part of “branding”.

The thought process behind the content creation if you will was as follows:

  • People are inundated these days with social media posts, videos and truckloads of information from e-commerce to e-hailing apps;
  • Social media users rarely stop for any posts unless it capture their attention; and
  • Users prefer videos to still photos and the “ancient” text.

With the above in mind, the slope is steeper than most because the very content we had to share were in fact text-based.

Aside from that, we also had to tailor it to suit the audience today – those who have a knack to read less – not that they are illiterate (ask my mother and she’ll tell you how ironic the world has become!) but they just have too much to consume.

On such a backdrop is where the thinking process began to take root and as a matter of fact it actually began some 2 years ago but no formula made it to the finish line.

And then we updated our website…

The first image on the landing page of our revised website to introduce what we do at Rightwiz.
The first image on the landing page of our revised website to introduce what we do at Rightwiz.

Nevermind what the update was about but some of the imagery used were the origins of where our creative concept came from, chiefly the “hazard” frame (courtesy of good friend Dave Newman for that labelling). Without skipping a beat, we raced to quickly select the right combination of messages from a long list of quotes compiled in the better part of the last decade. Yes, you read right, the better part of the last decade because good things take time.

A quick overview of what we offer, using the American Football theme to denote athleticism, strong, goal oriented and a wide breadth of grit and determination.
A quick overview of what we offer, using the American Football theme to denote athleticism, strong, goal oriented and a wide breadth of grit and determination.

So on the fateful night of 8 April 2022, we put up the very first post.

The first post to kick off the series.
The first post to kick off the series.

24 hours after that, another post, and the cycle continued.

Technically the 5th one uploaded and we used different a different colour to overcome issues relating to boredom, fatigue, blind spot etc.
Technically the 5th post uploaded and we used different a different colour to overcome issues relating to boredom, fatigue, blind spot etc.

In total, 24 posts of same theme were uploaded barring one which was a promotional post adopting the same creative concept to market our services.

A familiar image? A screengrab of the post from my LinkedIn account.
A familiar image? A screengrab of the post from my LinkedIn account.

The Eureka after 24 posts

facebook – it started well with just a simple image supported with some descriptive caption. These were better than posts with extremely little text like “What do you reckon?”, which bucked the trend of “people don’t read these days”. But to be fair, it was probably due to too little words to make sense of it as opposed to just enough description to drive home the point.

The series of postings also gained some loyal engagements from some facebook friends namely Doreen Lam, Paul Kwan, Harish Subramaniam, Parimalathevan Paramasivam, Wendy Lam, Chan Yoon Ying, Keith Ng, Yap Ling Fong and not forgetting my partner in crime Lea Ivan Tan. Their consistent engagement throughout the series did not go by unnoticed and probably unbeknownst to them, these little engagements have also become the fuel to the series, suggesting that we are heading in the right direction with every passing day. As such, a big THANK YOU to each and everyone of you!

One noteworthy post did go a little further than the rest, with a personalised story appended on top of the original message too. For this, I’d like to say a special thanks to Celena Yong.

A post repurposed meaningfully, thanks Celena!
A post repurposed meaningfully, thanks Celena!

In the post, she related about how on one occasion her car was hit by a motorcycle but the motorcyclist had only a small amount of money with him to compensate for the repairs which wasn’t enough to cover the total cost.

In the post, Celena wrote:

…He took all he had and passed the RM60 to me, before I could say anything my mom grabbed a RM10 from my hand and pass it back to the biker, telling “it is ok, RM50 is enough, this is for your dinner and use the balance from your salary to repair your motorbike.” The Malay biker had a big smile and kept saying thank you until we had to stop him.

RM50 clearly wasn’t enough for the damage repair. I wasn’t sure if it was his big smile or the way he thanked us. But that day, I felt genuinely happy and very proud of my mother.😊🥰

<this is followed by my original text below>

Ultimately, when we die and leave this place, and if at all we are going to continue to be on people’s minds, it will be what we have done in our lifetime and whether we have attended to someone’s needs.

extract from Celena’s facebook post

Sincerely, heaps of thanks Celena for relaying your story to make it more relevant and meaningful to you, your friends and also those on my friends list! I hope those who have read it will find it both inspiring and heart warming.

In a way, this is how a post can really add value to another’s life and if it catches on with others, that in itself is more satisfying than gaining thousands of fake followers.

Throughout the posting period which ran from 8 April to 2 May 2022, there weren’t many new legitimate facebook users that came to connect except for some scammers who either came to start a conversation first or disguised as one of your friends to connect again.

We also realised that as we went on posting every 24 hours or so, our posts were slowly getting lesser and lesser engagements. This however did not mean they were not visible, it just meant that people might have seen it but were not keen to tap like, comment or that it had already fallen into a blind spot.

The 3rd set in the series or campaign.
The 3rd set in the series or campaign.

LinkedIn – statistically, the highest engagements I received from the series is the one below with 162 views and 7 engagements.

Incidentally, this was also the one appended with a personalised story by Celena on facebook.
Incidentally, this was also the one appended with a personalised story by Celena on facebook.

On average, there were about 50 views for each post throughout the series but this is hardly discouraging because there were also people coming to look at my profile and added me to their network. Like facebook, attracting new people also meant the scammers will come along, so it pays to be a little more vigilant and exercise a little wisdom before engaging with these new “contacts”.

But my most startling discovery on LinkedIn during this period was the sharing of a very dramatic post made by the already very popular LinkedIn personality Stephynie Malik. To me it was just sharing an inspiring story of grit and determination to my network but little did I know the stats would explode to clock in more than 1,000 views in less than 24 hours. By the time this post was written, total views had already inched closer to 2,000!

It's a good and easy piece to read, if not anything, it will motivate you to move forward. Read it here.
It’s a good and easy piece to read, if not anything, it will motivate you to move forward. Read it here.

Leveraging on other posts also saw my stats surging slightly to about 280 views for sharing Moonie Zhu’s China’s Eight Cuisines and just over 300 views for the Indian badminton team winning their first ever Thomas Cup.

This goes to show that on LinkedIn, before establishing your own voice, it is perfectly acceptable to leverage on others so you too will grow your base. It was through such a growing process too where I have made some new friends on LinkedIn like fellow writer Raksha Chandnani based in Spain and branding for the godly kingdom David Thimmesch, two of the people whom I have personally interacted with. For David, I have even heard his voice from an audio message. It’s not Star Wars or Star Trek but it definitely counts as a curtain raiser for me on LinkedIn.

To the uninitiated, do check out LinkedIn’s Follow function. This commendable feature enables you to follow someone without sending a request to connect. Yes, no need for them to approve your request to connect, just follow and you’ll see their posts from then on. If you need some names, you can check out Stephynie, Raksha and David as mentioned above including Rachel Mitchell and Cat Philip.

Our posts are not just about work and life but also encroaches into family relationships like Parenting.
The posts are not just about work and life but also encroaches into family relationships like Parenting.

Instagram – Not much I can share here except maybe some of the engagements recorded were by the same people who also engaged on facebook. There were nevertheless 2 rather intriguing developments that took place on Instagram while the series was going on.

  1. In March 2022, Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri said hashtags won’t help increase reach.
  2. Digital marketer Dave Talas did an experiment in April 2022 and found that the hashtags still work.
Numbers don't lie as shared by Dave Talas on his hashtag analysis.
Numbers don’t lie as shared by Dave Talas on his hashtag analysis.

So what should you do with the hashtags? I reckon this is up for debate since algorithms can and will change over time but as far as our series is concerned, the hashtags managed to return some new engagements and following especially from “digital marketers” to raise your followers. For the record, we did not engage any of these incoming digital marketers, period.

twitter – let’s be honest, my low count of followers of around 50 before April 2022 (I think it was 38 if memory serves me right) was reflective of where I was with this social media in comparison to say Donald Trump and Elon Musk.

At the point of writing, I have gone from mere 50 to now 485 followers in less than 2 months. What happened?

Notice the followers at the bottom? The growth is quite staggering!
Notice the followers at the bottom? The growth is quite staggering!
  • As I began posting on twitter, I also started reading tweets and followed some of them.
  • By following, some followed me back. It’s a common courtesy on social media.
  • Around the end of April 2022, I suddenly spotted a community hashtag emerging in my tweets – #writingcommunity.
  • I then followed this hashtag and like a kid at a fountain, I was amazed at how people of this community have a supportive “call” to help each other. They do this by retweeting your posts if you would leave details of your book and also help retweet their posts. They call this #writerslift
  • I left mine on some. Before long, the tweets and retweets began rolling in, not forgetting the new followers too.
  • twitter also has this function where it recommended groups of individuals for me to follow because they resemble the profile of the person I have just followed. Clicking on that and Ivan Tan automatically followed them en masse. How cool is that?
  • Now imagine, following en masse 2 to 3 times a day over a few consecutive days.
  • In the first week of discovering this, my follower count rose to about 100 and I had only spent about 10 to 20 minutes a day everyday.
  • A week later, up to about 200+ and by now, my twitter time increased to about 30 to 40 minutes per day everyday.
  • After doing the #writerslift continuously in the #writingcommunity consistently for about 2 weeks and have my followers reaching about 300, I then slowed down my group following and #writerslift. Guess what? New followers continued coming in even when I didn’t follow them in the first place.
  • 4 weeks have passed and just in the last 2 weeks alone, the numbers continued to inch up albeit at a slower pace, reaching 484 at the point of writing. I can readily confess, I did very little in the last 7 days that it is almost undeserving to have new followers but it is heartening to know that they just kept adding up to my new pool of tweeting friends. This is pure and genuine organic growth.

I must also assert that I reached the above milestones without a single dollar spent on advertising.

Distract to attract.
Distract to attract.

What’s Next?

If you have found the above too long to read, you’ve arrived at the real takeaway from this blog post, plus the very honest and pertinent findings from this series of postings.

Shoot!

  1. It’s ok to NOT post everyday on facebook because you will drop into a “blind spot” if you do.
  2. It is recommended to add and follow new friends on LinkedIn because it will help you find likeminded friends and discover useful posts by other LinkedIn users along the way.
  3. If you or your business need Instagram, use it often and follow more new people regularly.
  4. Why not twitter? I find their short posts refreshing, genuine and out of this world humour. Further, you will also find a niche segment that suits your vocation and style.
  5. Finally, this series of postings have informed me that we shouldn’t be too hung up about Content Creation, instead we should be more concerned about Campaign Creation. Why? Because no one is going to follow you everyday for the rest of your social-life, not even you can keep up with your own posts. But Campaign, ah, now that’s a different animal altogether!!!

So there you go, my quick discoveries on the 4 platforms based on my own postings predicated by the platform’s own versions of algorithm between April and May 2022 in Malaysia. All these might change as well since all the social platforms will ramp up effort one way or another to outdo each other, again and again and again….

Until the next round, hope you’ll have fun devising your own Campaigns. If you need help bouncing off ideas, please don’t hesitate to give me a shout. Below are all my touchpoints.

The final set on the final lap.
The final set on the final lap.

Think you can do with a Campaign? Contact us now!
Think you can do with a Campaign? Contact us now!

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How are you doing on Social Media -  facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, twitter?