What do you spend your time and energy doing? Is it your job? A cause you care about? An event you are planning?
While I’ve got “Sales” in my job title, in this day and age, we are all effectively selling something. It’s OK. There is no shame in that. Whether it’s someone wanting you to support their child’s school fundraiser, someone who is selling tickets to a charitable event, someone who is sharing a point-of-view or someone promoting their personal project, you need people to show up. And then you need their people to show up. And if you are like most of us, you need people to show up for free.
I’m not here today to talk to you about what you should do as the person hustling. I’m here to address everyone else who wants to support the people in their lives who are hustling. I’m going to lay out how you can use your own influence to help those people get the word out. What I’m going to share with you actually works, so for the love of social media sanity, I suggest that you use these techniques generously but thoughtfully because in the end, the people in your circles trust you and they’ll stop trusting you if you advocate for anything and everything.
Here we go:
1. Consume the thing. If someone you truly care about posts something, read it/watch it/play with it. Just do it. Now we all have over-posters in our lives, so I get there are exceptions. But that person is putting something out there because they want you to know about it.
2. React to the thing. Depending on which social media channel you are on, you might have 1 - 5 ways to react to the post. Most platforms (Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc) invite you to “like” the post in some way while other platforms like Facebook, offer you a variety of ways to respond. For the person you are showing up for, it provides them a signal that you took in what they put out. In the situation that you don’t agree with the piece of content that was being posted, you have a decision to make. If you want to acknowledge that you consumed the content but don’t want to endorse it, you can skip the reaction and post a comment. Just know though if you leave a comment in disapproval, you might incite an online comment feud. But if you ignore it, you are not showing up for the person you are trying to support. In that case, think about taking it offline. You care about this person so you might as well have a conversation about it.
In addition to showing up for your person on a personal level, your social media reaction will help your person get more views. On most social media platforms nowadays, the platform selects the order what they show you based on how likely you are to appreciate the content (this is a particularly positive way of framing their intent which is not entirely true but let’s believe this for the sake of this blog post). Their algorithms take into account that “hey, if one person liked this, maybe I should show it to a few more people”. So reacting is now helping your person reach more people.
3. Comment on the thing. If you really want to help the people you care get more eyeballs on their thing, commenting helps more than just a reaction. It doesn’t have to a long or necessarily insightful comment, but following up a social media reaction with a comment of some type again tells your person “yes, I saw this and here’s a personal reaction” while telling the social media platform’s algorithm “hey, some person cared enough about this post to comment on it, maybe I should show this post to even more people”. There’s even more of a science to this (like the comment “congratulations” means more the algorithms on certain platforms than other types of content) but really any kind of comments help. Commenting is so effective, that there are actually self-formed groups of people who use social media heavily who do coordinated strikes of each other’s social media posts to up their visibility. Who knew!?
4. Share the thing. If you are so moved and really really want to help your person spread the word, it’s time to share it on social media. By sharing someone else’s post, you are telling the world that it is important and that you indeed endorse it. By sharing (and not reposting from scratch), you are giving credit to the original author and essentially opening up your network to that person you are supporting. From an algorithm perspective, this is often times the highest form of attention that the platform cares about so use it when the situation fits.