What Socrates can teach you about social media strategy

Socrates

Athena looking over Socrates – Photo credit: Sébastien Bertrand (Flickr)

My goal as a social media coach is to help clients develop a strategy that works best for their specific situations. I achieve that not only by sharing actionable tips, but also by challenging their assumptions. I want them to become independent thinkers instead of blind followers of trends launched by self-proclaimed experts.

In the last 12 months, two questions have regularly popped up in my Inbox, conversations, and articles across the web:

  • Is there a secret recipe to get tons of followers on social media?
  • What’s the best time to post on social networks to create huge engagement?

The easy answers to these questions would be “No” and “It depends”. Well, that is anything but useful, right?

In France, philosophy is a mandatory subject for grade 12 students. It is during that year that I got acquainted with Socrates and his questioning method (a.k.a. Socratic maieutics), a technique that helps people understand fundamental concepts and issues.

The Classic Socratic method uses creative questioning to dismantle and discard preexisting ideas and thereby allows the respondent to rethink the primary question under discussion (such as ‘What is virtue?’). 

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The Modern Socratic method is a process of inductive questioning used to successfully lead a person to knowledge through small steps. This knowledge can be specific data, training in approaches to problem solving, or leading one to embrace a specific belief. - The Socratic Method Research Portal

The questioning technique is extremely effective and can be used for pretty much anything. Let me show you how to get started with the two questions I mentioned earlier.

  • “Is there a secret recipe to get tons of followers on social media?” – How do you make 1 million dollars?
  • “What’s the best time to post on Facebook to create huge engagement?” – When is most of your audience online?

Making a million dollars is no easy feat. It requires hard work, commitment, consistency, and patience. Just like amassing a huge followership.

And if you do not know what your audience’s surfing habits and expectations are, there will never be an ideal time to post anything. You will be like a blind person trying to cross a busy street.

The reason why many businesses fail at getting any traction with social media is simple. They only think about numbers and shortcuts.

How can you expect people to support you if you just treat them like an afterthought?

Comments

  1. Karriem A. Sharrieff says

    Cendrine is spot on. Gaining a captive audience is work. You have to earn every follower you get & continue to nurture your relationships in order to keep them. That kind of effort, networking & attention can’t be faked or arrived at via shortcuts. The joy is in the journey!

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