Guy Kawasaki on How to Not Look Clueless on Social Media

August 16, 2017

Guy Kawasaki, a groundbreaking marketer, gives eight tips for looking great on social media in his LinkedIn Learning course.

Guy Kawasaki, Apple’s former chief evangelist, has embraced social media. Today, he has more than eleve million followers, brilliantly using his LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms to build out his brand.

In the years he’s spent on social media, Kawasaki has seen many people use the platforms beautifully, but he’s also seen too many people make mistakes that makes them look “clueless.”

His goal is for you to avoid that fate, so in his LinkedIn Learning course on rocking social media, Kawasaki explained eight “don’ts”  in order to avoid looking clueless on social media:

1. Don’t attack people.

“Like your mother taught you, if you have nothing positive to say, shut up,” Kawasaki said. “If you’re a jerk, there’s no reason to publicize that fact. Either take the high road or remain silent. Negative, aggressive and troll-like behavior almost always makes you look clueless.”

2. Don’t buy followers or likes or any other form of social engagement.

“There's often a temptation, because people make the calculation that the more followers, the more legitimate,” Kawasaki said in his course. “The more followers, the better the person must be. To some degree, that is true, but if you're cheating and if you're buying these followers, it just doesn't work out. Because those followers, those likes, those +1's, they're not real, you're cheating.”

“It's unethical, it's dishonest, it's wimpy,” he added.

3. Don’t ask for followers or reshares.

You’ve seen this before on social media: people write posts that say “Please like and share!”. That’s a bad idea, Kawasaki said.

“The way it works is, you post good stuff, you get more followers, you get re-shares,” he said. “You don't have to ask for it.”

4. Don’t sweat unfollowers.

Part of being on social media is getting unfollowed. And it’s never fun to see when someone unfollows you; but it shouldn’t stop you from being you, Kawasaki said.

“Some people may unfollow you for very good reasons; like they're tired of social media or they're too busy or they just don't agree with you,” he said. “It's better that they unfollow you if they don't agree with you than to troll you, so don't sweat the unfollowers.”

5. Don’t overly promote your product or services on social media.

Simple rule here, Kawasaki said that for every promotional post (“buy my book”, “check out our website”), you should make at least twenty posts that provide value (information, assistance, or entertainment). Promote more than that and your feed is going to feel so salesy, no one will follow it.

6. Don’t call yourself an expert or a guru.

“If you are an expert or a guru, people will treat you that way,” Kawasaki said. “If you aren't an expert or a guru, calling yourself an expert or guru is not going to make you one.” Only wannabes label themselves as experts or gurus.

7. Don’t have an agency run your social media pages.

Sure, it’s tempting to hire a marketing agency to run your social media pages. But social media is your way to speak directly to the world – shouldn’t that voice be authentic? And how can it be authentic if someone else is doing it for you?

“I think social media, because it provides such a great way to interact with your customer, should, of all things, be done internally,” Kawasaki said. “This is something that you need to do for yourself, because it leads to better engagement, it leads to greater feedback, it leads to a much stronger relationship.”

8. Don’t let an intern run your social media pages.

Along the same lines as the last point, it’s tempting to have an intern run your social media pages. No matter how great the intern, don’t do it for the same reasons you shouldn’t outsource it to an agency, Kawasaki said.

“Yes, use interns, let them help you with social media, but you have to control your social media,” Kawasaki said. “You have to set the tone, you have to set the practices and the strategies, don't just abdicate to interns or agencies.”

Want to get better at social media? Watch Kawasaki’s free course on rocking social media today.