Social Media – The Secret Sauce

I’m about to give the game away. This is the insight that has fuelled every and any success I’ve had online. It’s my insight from 13 years of blogging, countless web site designs and interactions with the thousands of people who’ve followed me online on various platforms. It’s my social media strategy three words. Are you ready? Here is is.

Life Is Hard.

Yes, that’s it. That all there is. Life is hard – what are you going to do about it?

It’s Not Me And My Message

All too often people treat social media like a megaphone, an amplifier for their thoughts, complaints and whatever it is they want to sell. This isn’t wrong (actually, in social media, nothing is wrong in a philosophical sense), but it isn’t necessarily attractive.

Most people spend time online because life is hard. They want some entertainment, some fun, some distraction. They want to find answers to the questions we have, information to try and complete the things we need to do, companionship and understanding to get through the day. Life is hard and on a good day, the internet makes it feel a little less hard, a little more manageable or easier to get through.

A Simple Way To Test This Theory

If I were to ask you to list your five to ten favourite people online (beyond just your circle of friends), then I bet that like me, they would be people who make your life easier, who make you laugh or smile, or help you do something that matters to you a little better/cheaper/faster/easier.

And, when I think of the people I’ve stopped following, it’s almost always because they’ve simply become salespeople, forever pitching their latest product, or they’ve become negative, a fountain of complaint or worse, rage.

The Business Of Making Life Easier

Focussing your social media strategy on making life is easier is transformative. In fact, at the risk of going self-help for a minute, it might not just make you better at social media, it might make you a better person.

I love the Thomas The Tank Engine books, originally written by Reverend Wilbert Awdry. These children’s classics, now famous because of a TV series, have a recurring theme, the importance of being a “really useful engine.” The stories a simple moral tales, often about pride or envy and in each one the hero is the one who fixes a problem, often making a personal sacrifice in the process.

Be helpful, be kind, make people’s lives easier – I believe this is most reliable template for success, not just in children’s train themed stories, but also online, for growing your social media presence, for attracting people to your work.

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  • Naomi Hattaway - 7th June 2014

    My mantra is to (1) show up and (2) be kind … add to that “make people’s lives easier” and I agree, it’s a pretty rockin’ formula for success — in social media and beyond.

    • Fernando Gros - 11th June 2014

      Naomi – I agree being kind is one of the best ways to stand out.

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In his Tokyo studio Fernando combines his life-long passions for art and technology. On the road, he is always looking to take the next wrong turn, just to see what kind of images and stories might unfold. A photographer and writer, with a background in music, Fernando has lived in Chile, Australia, the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. Read More.


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