With every new day comes a new automation--and people trying to build their brands on social media are no strangers to these shortcuts. In some businesses, they work well.

In social media, they don't.

Scott Eddy is a consultant and speaker with a huge social media following: 1.12 million Twitter followers and another 233,000 on Instagram. He makes his living traveling the world and sharing his experience on social media, and he says the key to growth is by cutting out the robots and schedulers, and instead, using your own curiosity.

"When I'm on social media, whether it be YouTube, Instagram, or Twitter, I'll start on one thing, then something else will catch my eye, and I'll move onto that," Eddy said. "Whether or not what I'm seeing is useful or not, I'm consuming it because I am curious about what's popping up in front of me."

This curiosity has grown Eddy's following on social media to the point of influence with more than one million followers. According to Eddy, you can't automate curiosity.

"Curiosity is the root of social media," Eddy said. "It's what makes you grow organically."

So why do people automate everything on social media? Because it's quick. Sharing real topics in real time takes thought, work, and time. I'm not saying you shouldn't automate anything. It has a time and place, but instead of relying on it all the time, make it your plan b.

Technology is great, but it will never take away the aspect of being human. Human curiosity is what will grow your brand.

Here are five strategies you can implement today:

1. Look at your mentors.

Instead of learning from your mentors on the surface, look deeper. Find out who else is following them and look at the conversation they're having. These are the people you should be interacting with in real time.

2. Put out fresh content.

At first, this doesn't sound like a new tip, but people repeatedly share the same content across multiple platforms at the same time. That's not putting out fresh content. Every platform is different and has its own unique purpose. Not to mention, you don't want to bore your audience that follows you on multiple platforms. Instead, try posting different images or captions a few days apart.

3. Act like a human.

I get it, you're trying to grow your business and personal brand, but that doesn't mean you should stop being you. Don't put barriers in your head as it relates to your real life versus your digital life. It's the same thing.

4. Try something new.

Don't be afraid to break the rules a little bit, especially in an industry that changes nightly. Eddy, for example, started posting more about his home life in between his sponsored trips--and those posts ended up being a hit. Shortly after showing his audience his more of his family life, he was invited to participate in a family travel campaign.

5. Stop getting political.

Unless your niche is politics, don't damage your brand by repeatedly posting your complaints. Eddy has seen brands drop potential clients because they muddy their brand with what appears to political activism. While we all have our beliefs and views, there is a time and a place. Eddy said, "Personalize your brand. Don't take a sledgehammer to it."

Published on: Jun 26, 2017