Like a DJ, You Need to Spin a Good Mix

I work on Twitter feeds for clients every day. When I’m not working their feeds, I’m working on mine. Been doing it since 2009. Discovered this: Like a good DJ, you need to be a master mixer. That means that if you post on message all the time, every day, you will be boring. Boring doesn’t work so well in social media.

What does a good mix look like? You have some direct calls to action, like ‘buy my stuff,’ ‘take my class.’ You also make an effort to post stuff your audience may like. This can get pretty fine grained. If you’re speaking to people looking for book cover designs, you need to inspire that group and post about design. I use Feedly to track articles by topic, and Design is on my topic list, and so is Inspiration. If you need to reach ad agency directors, you should talk about creativity, about coloring-outside-the-lines campaigns. I always throw in a few curve balls and sliders, because that is what makes Twitter interesting. The oddball post is what people will read on LinkedIn, and sometimes even on Facebook. I’ll post about coffee, about Japanese whiskey, about cats, and sometimes babies, particularly my own. It’s off message, but it makes for a more interesting conversation and keeps things personal. If I posted about Japanese whiskey all the time in every post, you might start to wonder how I’m spending my day. It’s all about the mix.

Funny thing about social media now. It is hitting the extremes. On Facebook and Instagram you can encounter one too many photos of what this or that person is eating. (Unfriend; block.) On LinkedIn and Twitter you can find an avalanche of business posts that have little or no soul. (Ignore; take a nap; check what’s going on outside, that place with trees and sun that is not on a screen.) It’s a wild swing from the all-too-cozy personal micro-blog to the cold and burnished aluminum of the professional post.

Success is all in the mix. Keep it interesting. Be wrong sometimes. Go off track for a little while. But come back. I don’t want to see what you’re eating, unless it’s what I’m having.