Be Who You Are, Just A Little Louder

White Water Rafting On The Ocoee RiverI ran across a post the other day on Social Media that promised a surefire way to boost your Klout Score.

Klout is an internet service that attempt to measure your social media influence and engagement. There are lots of opinions on the value of Klout, but everyone agrees that if you use social media for business and career advancement, influence and engagement are the goal line. Klout is just one way to keep score (PS Social media is affecting your business and career whether that’s your plan or not).

So this guy posts a surefire, 100% guaranteed technique to increase your social media influence and engagement with the caveat that it is neither quick, easy, painless or cheap. In fact the latest estimates are that it will cost you about a quarter of a million bucks and take almost 2 decades.

His top secret strategy: Have a baby.

A steady stream of newborn baby pics, congratulations from everyone on the planet and late night post about the horrors of breastfeeding and exploding meconium filled diapers can easily give your Klout score the 5-6 point boost it needs for bragging rights and free subscription to some magazine you’ve never heard of. Not bad for a quarter Mil.

But you don’t have to procreate to reap the rewards.

It turns out that real life is the most engaging content of all.

Klout keeps a running scoreboard of your most engaging content across all of your social media networks. So I went and took a look at mine. 7 of my top ten moments, my Five Star posts, the ones that get liked and shared and retweeted and commented on, the ones that get me involved in conversaations with family, friends, and clients, the ones that count – 70% of them are posts about my actual life.

Pictures of me and my family. Posts about playing hockey with my friends. Pictures of my dad and posts with concerns about his health and surgery. Taking my kids off to college. Even a chance encounter with 70’s porn star Ron Jeremy.

Authenticity sells.

Pictures of grumpy cats, memes about twerking, even motivational quotes and pictures of beautiful sunsets from random places you’ve never been are all fine. But if you want to use social media to create engagement, you need to talk about your life.

I’ve read more than a few articles recently that say that the ability to tell a story, to weave an interesting narrative will be the most valuable business skill in the coming years. I’m taking a Dale Carnegie course in business communications that emphasizes storytelling as the key to getting your point across.

Your life is the story you choose to tell the world.

And social media is simply a technology that allows you tell that story in the most efficient manner imaginable. It’s like Gutenberg’s Printing Press raised to the infinite power. You have the ability to tell your story to pretty much the entire world, immediately and for free.

And the story you tell the world, changes the world.

Terry LancasterTerry Lancaster is the VP of Making S#!% Happen at Instant Events Automotive Advertising, father of 3 teenage daughters and a Beer League Hockey All Star, as if there could ever be such a thing. You can connect with Terry on FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.