“How to Rock Social Media” by Guy Kawasaki part 1

Guy Kawasaki—a social media expert with over eleven million followers—explains how to be great at all aspects of social media, whether you are interested in personal, professional, or organizational branding. He also provides profile tips specific to the major social media platforms: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Topics include:

  • Optimizing avatars and profiles
  • Finding great content others will want to share
  • Perfecting posts
  • Gaining more followers
  • Creating attention-grabbing graphics
  • Dealing with comments and trolls



– My first piece of advice may sound like a “duh-ism”, but you really need to have a good screen name. So, let’s talk about what makes a good screen name. A good screen name, first of all, is logical. My name is Guy Kawasaki, and the easiest, simplest one is Guy Kawasaki, it’s not G. Kawasaki, it’s not Guy T. Kawasaki, it’s the most logical, simple one. You also want a screen name that’s neutral. What if social media were around 20 years ago when I worked for Apple, and what if I got a screen name like Guy The Mac Lover.

Well, the problem with that is, someday maybe I might not love a Macintosh, or someday Macintosh would’ve been gone, or who knows what would have happened. So, get a nice, neutral name, again, Guy Kawasaki. Next thing is think for the really long term, that if you start using a name that is trendy and hot and describes you, you know, blond surfer guy, 21, what happens when you’re bald? I mean, lots of things can happen in the long run. So, this screen name is ideally gonna stick with you for a very long time.

So, simplest, shortest path, the most logical path, in my case, it’s simply Guy Kawasaki.


– My next piece of advice about how to rock social media is, you need to pick a good avatar.You need to put some effort into your avatar. If you think of social media as online dating.There’s two kinds of online dating websites. At one extreme, there’s eHarmony, 29 fields of psycho-graphic information. Because you’re gonna find your soul-mate, and your gonna walk hand-in-hand on windswept beaches, for the rest of your life. At the other extreme of online dating, there’s Tinder. Swipe right, swipe left. Hot or not, right? Well, I hate to tell ya, but social media is Tinder.


So, you need a really great avatar. The purpose of the avatar is not to tell your life story. The purpose of the avatar is to simply convince people that you are competent, that you’re likable,that you’re trustworthy. So, this means you should focus on your face. It should be only your face. Make sure this picture’s front-lit, that the light is from the front, not from the back. You don’t want your face in the shadow. You should make it asymmetrical. Don’t make it look like a mugshot in the post office.

Put your eyes off to a side. Don’t make it dead smack in the middle. The next thing is, if you want a great avatar, take a picture that’s dedicated to being the avatar. Don’t find some picture from your winter formal and crop your face out of it. Because when people click on your avatar, it’s gonna zoom out to a larger size. It’s gonna be totally pixelated, if it’s a small piece of a big picture. Spend the time, take your iPhone, take your android phone, take a good smart phone,take a great picture.

Front-lit, asymmetrical. and big.

– Next social media tip, How to Rock Social Media. Perfect your profile. The profile is the larger context of your avatar and so just like your avatar has to perform a very good service so does your profile. The purpose of your profile is to continue the story about how you’re likable, trustworthy and competent but, here, instead of focusing just on your face this cover photo that’s behind your avatar that should tell a story, that should tell a story of what your passionate about.

Here is where you put your family picture, the picture of your mustang, the picture of your surfboard, the picture of your company, the picture of the photo that really tells your story. This is where you do it, not your avatar, your cover photo and then I want you develop a mantra. This mantra is two, three, maybe four words that describe what you stand for. My mantra is empower people. I want people, when they look at my profile, they can quickly figure out, “Aha, Guy is into empowerment.

“He wants to democratize design with Canva. “He worked for Apple, democratized computing.“He wants to empower people.” Finally, when it comes to a profile, think of your profile as kind of like LinkedIn. You know on LinkedIn you put your best foot forward, right? You put all your experiences. You want people to look at your LinkedIn profile and think, “Wow, this person“really has his or her act together.” Same thing is true with your profile on social media. So, take your LinkedIn profile embrace that and adopt it to your social media profile.

You want all the information there that’s on LinkedIn in your social media profile because someone is going to swipe right or swipe left looking at your avatar profile and decide whetheryou are worth paying attention to on social media. It’s gonna take them about two or three seconds. That’s how long you have to tell your story.


– So, my next piece of advice is how to perfect your posts. This is a relatively high level recommendation here, so some key concepts. First of all, always add value. You add value by providing information, “What just happened?” Analysis, “What does it mean that this happened?”Assistance, how to avoid this bad thing or how to have this good thing happen, and finally, there’s entertainment, drop-dead funny video. So, always be adding value.

Information, analysis, assistance, or entertainment. Next concept, pass what I call the reshare test. The reshare test works like this, you wanna post such great stuff that the people who follow you get it and then reshare it to their followers. That’s a very important test. It’s a higher level test because… Well, I’ll use a restaurant analogy. Eat at a restaurant, you tip the valet, you tip the waiter, no big deal. It’s kind of socially acceptable, right? How about you eat at a restaurant and it’s so good that you go online and you tell people to eat there.

You tell your colleagues, your friends, your family, “You must eat at this place.” When you do that, you are risking your reputation. I want you to post such great stuff that people are willing to risk their reputation by resharing what you posted. Think of the difference between a tip and telling people to eat at a restaurant. The final advice here is to embrace what I call the NPR model. NPR provides great content 365 days a year. Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, Tech Nation,fresh air, This American Life.

They run such great content that they are able to run the pledge drive. Nobody likes the pledge drive. I don’t like the pledge drive, you don’t like the pledge drive, not even NPR likes the pledge drive, and yet people not only tolerate the pledge drive, they actually give money. What a concept. Why does this work? It works because NPR has provided such great content that people feel a psychological need to reciprocate. To somehow pay NPR back, do something for NPR. So, when you post, ask yourself, “Are you passing the reshare test “and embracing the NPR model?” Because if you pass the reshare test, and you’re providing such great stuff that people feel like they need to reciprocate, then you have earned the right to use social media as a marketing platform, and you can promote your book, your conference, your webinar, whatever you want to promote, but it’s because you have added value, you’ve passed the reshare test,and you’ve embrace the NPR model.




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