Social Media Lessons We Learn from Roger Ebert


Who said social media tips have to come from the expert optimizers only! It is not necessary that a veteran social media optimization professional will teach you how to strike an effective as well as successful presence on social media. It's all about the ways you interact with the society – the people you know and also the people you hardly know. It's not always the teacher in the class who is the source of the greatest lessons you have learnt. Rather, that vagabond strolling on the over-bridge or down the highway might have made you realize that there is no more significant destination than the path itself.

Don't get carried away by the rhetorical foreword. Rather, let's concentrate on the social media lessons we're to discuss. Roger Ebert, who passed away last week, was a successful journalist, a famous film-critic and screenwriter, based in the US. However, his success was not merely in his professional fields. He maintained a very impressive and effective social media presence. His ways of social media interactions, if analyzed, teach us some basic but immensely significant lessons that all of us should (and can) exercise in our daily social media activities. For the SMO professionals, these would be the top SMO tips. 

Inspire Interest by Being Interesting

The more interesting your way of living is, the more interest the society will take in you. You cannot impose interest; you have to inspire interest in you among others. To inspire interest, there is no better way than interesting ways of living and unique ways of thinking. The manager of the 'News' department at Twitter, Erica Anderson (@EricaAmerica) shares the same idea. While addressing the audience at Social Media Weekend 2012, she mentioned, "If you are good in real life, you can be great on Twitter."

If we are to cite an example of an interesting life catering to a social media presence that is always in the limelight, Roger Ebert is a perfect instance. Think of the movie reviews he wrote. Think of the ways he expressed his dislike for the movies. When a man has such unique ways of thinking, he cannot but be interesting. You need not plan interesting words and attitude. Play natural, share things with a true heart. 'Followers' or 'friends' will always lend ears.

How You Say It

True, what you say is very important. However, how you present it, is even more crucial. Instead of being the third person critic, Ebert practised the personal touch in his movie reviews. He hardly said 'this movie is bad'; his narrative would be, 'I hate this movie'. This personal touch always brings the readers closer to the writer. He applied the same trick to his tweets. No matter what you say, say it in a way, so that the followers spontaneously relate to it. In Ebert's words, “I am in conversation. When you think about it, Twitter is something like a casual conversation among friends over dinner: Jokes, gossip, idle chatter, despair, philosophy, snark, outrage, news bulletins, mourning the dead, passing the time, remembering favorite lines, revealing yourself.”

Give, So That You Receive

Social media is not the field for you to exercise your celebrityhood. Do not expect your followers to interact with you, unless you take the initiative. To consider the general propensity of the social media account holders, everybody is a 'celeb'. You have to be interactive and you have to respond to interactive attempts from your followers. Ebert interacted with the significant editors; at the same time, he also responded to general tweets. He never acted as a celebrity through his tweets.

Being Humble Is Not Being Fake

Before there is any counter-argument, (there may be some of them; since many will disagree) let's refer to Roger Ebert's idea that makes the suggestion clear, “My rules for Twittering are few: I tweet in basic English. I avoid abbreviations and ChatSpell. I go for complete sentences. I try to make my links worth a click. I am not above snark, no matter what I may have written in the past. I tweet my interests, including science and politics, as well as the movies. I try to keep links to stuff on my own site down to around 5 or 10%. I try to think twice before posting.”

Writing 'notepad language' reveals your adamant attitude, which you do deliberately, knowing that it is going to avert many of your followers. Think twice. Negative publicity may be lucrative for business, while it harms your social media reputation. Choice is yours. You might say that if you show your humble side, while you are adamant and audacious at the core of your heart, you will present a fake self of yours. No, it is not being fake. You can afford to be adamant among your friends, but not on a public podium. While you pretend to be humble, you are actually humble, though for the time being. Wearing a mask is a virtue, while you know that your grotesque face is going to frighten the onlookers. It's not being fake, it's being considerate. 

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