Sense and Sensibility: Using Social Media the Right Way Remember, slow and steady wins the race.

By Ann Tran

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The pressure of standing out above the noise in social media can create unhealthy behaviors like over posting, not engaging and being phony. While this strategy may have a positive upside in the short term, it can be detrimental to your brand in the long run.

As a social-media consultant, I've over time established what works for me and am passing my shortlist on to you to apply to your brand.

Related: There Are No Shortcuts to Success in Social Media

Quality trumps quantity.

I'm not a fan of posting just to have something posted. To me, quality trumps quantity every time. Why be a blabber mouth? It becomes obvious you don't have anything interesting to say.

By flooding your social stream, on any channel, in excess screams, or "spam," can backfire as followers don't appreciate it. Regardless how wonderful you think your content may be, it's necessary to self-edit before posting. Let's say you just attended an amazing social event. Rather than posting all 50 photos in the space of an hour, share just your top three images. Perhaps post the photographs that didn't make your top 10 list on other social channels to mix it up. Don't forget you can also post the following week to keep the hashtag alive.

Post content with distinction.

I recently attended a #VZWBuzz event that I really enjoyed, because we were treated to a private tour at the NFL behind the scenes. But I was with 20 other active social users distributing the same fantastic experience. Think about how your image and storytelling is going to stand out from the rest of the crowd and post accordingly.

Related: How to Build a Strong Social-Media Presence

Earn engagement, don't buy it.

Be genuine. That means don't buy your likes or followers.

While those followings and likes may get you invited the first time around, people will see through your shortcut eventually and marketers who run contests will catch on to this very quickly. And guess what? They will adjust the contest rules so all parties can participate on an equal playing field. Do you really want to have the reputation for being this type of influencer?

So try earning it like the rest of us.

Are you meant for each other?

So you want to be included on these influencers' lists? Instead of messaging 10 people to endorse you, my suggestion is to do an audit on your social channels. Ask yourself if what you post on your channels aligns with the influencer, brand or company.

When I get approached to endorse a product, it has to be a match and not just about making a buck. When you get offers that really don't make sense for your brand, turn them down, because in the long run, it will mar your image.

No two channels are the same.

Remember: Each network is different, so it pays to come up with a different caption to tell your story. Find your inner voice and uniqueness, and share it with us! Decide where you want to be with what brands you want to promote and choose wisely.

Related: 3 Social-Media Mistakes That Are Killing Interest in Your Company

Ann Tran

Social Media Consultant

Ann Tran is a respected social media consultant, travel social marketing strategist, influencer, and sought-after speaker at social media and technology events.  Ann helps brands understand and use the power of digital media and online influence to build their business. 

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