ShakespeareFew people throughout the course of human history have had such an effect on the English language as William Shakespeare. He had an innate knowledge for the flow of words, as well as a natural knack for understanding the way that people express themselves. Today, on his 449th birthday, it’s clearer than ever that his words are still relevant, even on such mediums as social media.

The Bard’s Top Ten Tips
for Social Media Success:

“Nothing can come of nothing.” -King Lear

This is as true in the realm of social media as it is in life: If you want results, you have to put in the effort. Social Media may seem difficult; it may be time consuming.  But the returns that it brings are beyond value.

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” – Measure for Measure

Intimidated by social media? Don’t let that stop you! If you allow yourself to be scared off, then you will never taste the rich rewards. You never know how successful you can be if you never give it a shot!

“Men at some time are masters of their fate.” – Julius Caesar

As are, of course, women. As masters of our fate, we must take control of the future – and social media is the future. For your brand to flourish, you must take advantage of it now. (Be the Twitter Master of your fate!)

“To thine own self be true.” – Hamlet

In the digital age, Polonius’s advice to his son Laertes holds truer than ever. When using social media, it is vital that you stay true to yourself and to your branding. Stick to posting and retweeting content that is relevant to you. Stay consistently aligned with your personal message, and thou can be assured to attract ideal followers.

The rest of Polonius’s speech also provides good insights for your social media career. For example: “Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.” Be friendly with your followers, and reveal information that invites personal connection, but try not to offend.

“Its not enough to speak, but to speak true.” – A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Tweeting and posting on social media is, in itself, not enough. You must post things that are timely, and relevant to your branding. Make sure that everything is in alignment with your core message.

“Brevity is the soul of wit.” – Hamlet

Shakespeare would have been quite a hit on Twitter, especially with this advice. Your audience doesn’t want massive missives, walls of text, or overly convoluted language. They want your message: Quick and to the point.

“An honest tale speeds best, being plainly told.” – Richard III

Followers want the facts. If you’re vague about your message, you will not engender trust. Be firm! Be bold! Say what you mean without beating around the bush. Have an opinion, and stick to it! This will convince followers that you and your brand are worth trusting.

“I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks.” – Twelfth Night

Show gratitude to your followers. Thank them for following you, for retweeting you, for tagging you in a comment. Showing your audience that they are appreciated makes them feel like they are in a conversation with you, a person, rather than being talked at by a computer.

“I will praise any man that will praise me.” – Antony and Cleopatra

If another social media user takes the time to praise you, it would be remiss of you not to praise them right back. Retweeting or sharing their content is a great way to do so, but it’s even better if you go the extra step- find something on their blog or homepage that catches your eye and praise them for it. Remember, “They do not love that do not show their love.”

“Have patience, and endure.” – Much Ado About Nothing

Social media not going your way? Don’t have as many followers as you’d like? Not seeing the returns to your business? Hang in there. This isn’t something that happens overnight.  But you do want to be doing the right things, or you could be wasting your time.  Get some hints here, and endure!

(But if you want to spend your time doing what YOU are good at, you can outsource your social media to the pros, and watch your business grow fast.  Shakespeare would have agreed.  He was often commissioned to write plays for others!)