Secrets for social media success from Sree Sreenivasan

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I recently had the opportunity to hear from Sree Sreenivasan, the newly minted Chief Digital Officer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, about how he and his team at The Met use social media. When it comes to digital, Sreenivasan and his team are killing it, (they just won a Webby Award for their awesome Instagram account) and he had some great things to say. These are Sreevinasan’s secrets for social media success:


The first secret is to recognize that social media can be a powerful tool for your business. No matter what your business or industry, whether you’re B2C or B2B, a small business or a multinational corporation, social media can help you in three ways:


1.   Social media can help you keep up with the industry trends as well as serve as a well for new ideas. Your customers are on social media and if you’re there too, you can listen to them and gain valuable insights from them. Also, provided you are using social media to engage the community and not just as a broadcast platform (which is a major social media marketing fail by the way), being part of a wider community will expose you to new ideas that can spark innovations in your own organization.


2.   With social media, you can connect with customers in more meaningful ways than ever before. The difference between social media and “traditional” media is in the name: it’s social! Social media is just like social situations in real life—it’s about making connections and building relationships. Social media also makes it easier than ever to provide excellent customer service, which can really cement the bond between you and your customers.


3.   Build awareness of your products/services and get more conversions. This is really what business is all about, and social media can really help you amplify your messages. Still think that social media isn’t for you? Consider this: On election night, 2012, Barack Obama used Twitter to announce his reelection. His first announcement wasn’t a media statement. It wasn’t a press conference. It was a simple tweet. And it got three-quarters of a million retweets. Obviously, you’re not POTUS, but that doesn’t mean you can’t tweet like him!


Next, once you’re actively using social media, look at the following list of adjectives. Think of them as a check list and try to craft your tweets, Facebook posts, etc., to fit as many of these as possible. (These things are extra important if you don’t have cute pictures of babies, kittens and puppies to post!)


  • Helpful – Are you solving a problem (like providing info for example)?
  • Useful – Interesting isn’t good enough by itself. Can I use what you’re saying?
  • Informative – Educate me and I’ll start to trust you. When I trust you, I’ll buy from you.
  • Practical – Give me something I can use!
  • Actionable – Marketing 101: You need a call to action. Point your audience where they should go next.
  • Timely – Yesterday’s news is good for one thing: lining parrot cages. Keep your content fresh and timely and you will be rewarded with attention.
  • Generous – Give freely with one hand, and you will receive back double in the other. Give away information for free to enough people, and eventually, someone will appreciate your gifts and hire your company and pay you more than you would have made if you charged for all the info you gave away.
  • Credible – Practice what you preach and be believable.
  • Brief – It’s a busy world out there and no one has time to read a long pitch. Get in, make your point, and get out.
  • Entertaining – As important as technical information is, deep down, we all just want to be entertained. If you can explain technical info in an entertaining way, you’ll hit gold.
  • Occasionally funny – People love funny, but if you’re always trying to be funny, then people won’t take you seriously. Done occasionally though, and you can get extra mileage for your content.


Take a look at your last ten tweets or Facebook posts. How many of these adjectives did you hit? How many can you hit in your next ten?

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