Tao can be explained as living in harmony with the natural order. The concepts discussed in Taoism can be used to help a content promoter live in harmony with social networks, clients, and the Internet universe. Below I have taken some of the most significant teachings, and shown how they can have an ameliorative effect on day-to-day promotions.
Lao Tzu said, “Violence and conflict under any circumstance would always cause negative side effects.” The Tao ideal says to solve the problem through peaceful methods.
Content promoters compete for the top spots on social networks. Instead of working together to reach the top, some find it simpler to sabotage their competition. They bury and report the competing promoters’ content.
By taking this negative approach, they cause the opposing promoter to take negative action to combat the harm being caused. Both sides end up wasting time, going back forth, ultimately doing harm to both of their current and future promotions.
“The foolish expend a great deal of energy and time trying to do everything, and end up achieving nothing.”
A lot of social content promoters think the answer to making social content successful is to submit it to every single social network in existence, related or not. You shouldn’t be expending time and energy submitting to every single site.
Test each network, and based on your results, figure out the best places to promote a piece of content (the best network may vary, based on the content). Sometimes you will find success on small, niche sites; sometimes you will find it only the top social networks. You will see more success from focusing efforts on a few social networks, than submitting to hundreds of them.
“So often we perform virtuous deeds hoping to receive praise or recognition. That’s no virtue at all.”
Sometimes our egos get the best of us, and we feel the need to blog or share our social media successes. It can be a blog post about gaming a social network, or tweet about how well your social profiles are doing. Social users aren’t naive, and they will eventually find that moment of weakness to expose you.
This can hurt your social accounts, future promotions, and your overall credibility as a marketer. Provide clients great work, but do it because you are doing the right thing for them. Don’t do it for your ego, or to receive praise from the content promotion community.
“The basis for our reality and our existence is elemental and uncomplicated.”
Over-thinking can make a simple task complicated, and force you to waste an exorbitant amount of time. I recently had a conversation with a co-worker about some of the best-performing infographics. We noticed a common trend: really great infographics kept it simple. They didn’t inundate the reader with a mountain of useless facts and shiny graphics. They provide relevant information in a simple format.
When it comes to social content creation, the simple pieces tend to do very well. Great content can make or break a promotion. If your producing great social content, you shouldn’t need to over-complicate it. The content should be able to sell itself organically, and the social user should be able to extract the information quickly.
“The more you learn, the more you realize there’s still so much to learn.”
Social media networks are always changing. They change algorithms, site designs, and sometimes they just exist longer than others (farewell, Y! Buzz). As social content promoters, you need to always be learning, testing, and observing.
You should have a hefty RSS feed of the top social media blogs. Always be testing new strategies and networks. Always be observing the social communities your are promoting in; watching how members interact and change. Sometimes you may think you have become to the best, but there will always be someone better.
“Lao Tzu pointed out that all qualities in the world possess meaning only by the existence of their opposites. Something can only be big if there is something else that is small by comparison.”
Not all promotions are created equally; you will not see the same results for every promotion you perform. It takes time to figure out what topics will do the best for your niche. The only way to figure this out is to try, then study the results.
As with most facets of online marketing, you always need to review the data. This data will help you determine which types of content will help your achieve the goal. Don’t beat yourself up if a promotion doesn’t go the way you hoped. Review the data and learn from your mistakes. As Lao Tzu showed us, there is no good with out evil.
The principles of Tao relate back to one major concept: living in harmony with the universe (social networks). Negative actions beget negative consequences; whether it is wasted time or terrible promotions.
Work with other promoters, to help both of your promotions become successful. Don’t spend your time submitting to ever single social site in the world, but instead, determine the best networks for your promotions. Sometimes the simplest route is the best; especially with content. Make sure social users can easily extract the interesting concepts from your article, without all of the bells and whistles blinding their view. At the same time, don’t do work to impress others, but do what is best for your client. Learn from your failures. Without failure, success would not be so great.
And remember, have fun. That’s why getting up in the morning is so exciting!
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