Social-mediaIf you’re operating social media for yourself or for your church and you’re trying to grow your platform, I’m sure you’ve heard the one key to social media success is this: “Content is king.”

But have you ever wondered: What exactly does that mean? Does it mean that "if I build it, they will come”? Does it mean all I have to do is have a well-written article and hundreds of people will line up to read it?

If you’ve tried this, I’m guessing you know it doesn’t necessarily work.

If you haven’t tried it, let me save you some grief and wasted hours—there’s more to it than that.

I would argue there’s more to building a platform than simply writing great content, although that is a big piece of it.

If I had to narrow your social media success to one key element, I would say it is this: likeability.

What if growing your skills in social media isn’t that much different than growing your social skills in real life? What does that look like?

Resourcing Others

I wonder if the reason we use “Content is king” as our mantra for social media is because something powerful happens when we resource others with great content. When we do our job to ask questions, listen and give someone else what they need, we literally change their life.

Of course they will come back. They feel loyal to us. And we feel loyal to them.

Helping others get what they need actually has a positive effect on all parties involved. Treat your social media like this, and you won’t be able to keep readers and followers away.

Being Generous

One of the first things you ever learned in preschool or kindergarten was how to share. You learned to share your toys with others, and this was the way you made friends. Each of us carried this lesson into high school, college and our adult life.

When we share what we have with others, we make friends.

On social media, sharing—sharing your platform, sharing articles and information from others, sharing your voice by guest posting—has the exact same effect. People like other people who share. Suddenly, it’s easy to make friends.

Being Authentic

You know the person at the party or conference whom you can tell is only telling the best stories about themselves so they seem important? Nobody is drawn to that person in real life, and yet so many of us run our platforms like that.

We feel like this is the place where we can be perfectly happy, put-together and successful all the time.

But more than we are drawn to important people, we are drawn to authentic people. People who tell us the truth. So if you want to grow your social media accounts, start to tell the truth.

You don’t have to be graphic or crude. In fact, its better if you’re not. But just be real. Just be you. No posturing. No performing.

For more thoughts on likeability, check out my latest eBook. You can download it for free by clicking here.

I’m curious to hear: What has helped you to be more likeable—on social media or in real life?

With more than a dozen years of local church ministry, Justin Lathrop has spent the last several years starting businesses and ministries that partner with pastors and churches to advance the kingdom. He is the founder of (now Vanderbloemen Search), Oaks School of Leadership, and, all while staying involved in the local church. Justin serves as a consultant in the area of strategic relations predominantly working with the Assemblies of God, helping to build bridges with people and ministries to more effectively reach more people.

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