I realize that generally speaking, this article is not needed for most people under the age of 19, however, even as an avid social media user, it’s so easy to just post away (or not post at all) without even thinking. I used to be one of these people and in the past few months have been determined to utilize social media, not only build brand awareness, but to grow an engaged community. In reading multiple books and articles on this subject, I think I have the general formula down - at least for now! Whether you are starting a business, want to grow your online presence, or have never posted a picture in your life, here are some go-to tips to help you be successful!
Do Use Stories:
You may feel like you’re coming across conceited and think “who cares what kind of smoothie I drink in the morning?” Honestly, a lot of people. How many times have you gone down an Instagram or snapchat hole watching people doing the most mindless things and are totally engaged? I’ve watched Retta (follow her, she’s hilarious) make coffee almost every morning for a year and it still doesn’t get old! Stories are where you want to put the day to day haps of your life while showing authenticity and a less edited version of yourself.
Don’t Post Pics that aren’t Quality and/or Edited:
Especially if you have a business account, you need to treat your Instagram page like it’s your portfolio. If you’re a photographer, model, or business owner, this is extremely crucial to people taking you seriously. Whoever is looking at your profile should know within 7 seconds who you are, what you look like, and what you do. If you’re posting just for fun, know that a quality image goes a lot farther than a blurry picture of your dog’s tail as it runs away.
Do Tag friends and brands:
Tagging can help multiply your viewers extremely fast, as well as help out those your tagging. By tagging your friends, they may share it, which gets their followers eyes on your post as well. By tagging the Nike shoes you’re sporting, your post could likely come up in a search for sneakers that leads to a follow of your page instead. And if you’re looking to get into the influencer market, tagging can help let brands know of you and may even lead to a campaign or two.
Do Use Hashtags:
Remember - hashtags are your friend! They are a great way to organize your posts for an event or bring a lot more visibility to your content. If you’re a make-up artist, use hashtags like #makeup #glowingskin #weddingdaymakeup so people who search that tag will hopefully stumble upon your post. If you’re hosting an event or launching a product, having a hashtag is an imperative way to get people involved and get a collection of pictures/videos that you can use for promo down the road.
Don’t Drink and Post:
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stumbled across someone’s story that I respected professionally, but after viewing their crazy night out, had second thoughts about working with them. I know it can be as enticing as ordering multiple Amazon packages after a few cocktails, but it’s never a good look. Especially if you’re a professional or use social media for your business. If you must record, just save the videos to your phone and look it over in the morning after a strong cup of coffee.
Do use multiple platforms:
I hear people say “I don’t need ANOTHER profile” a lot, but in reality each platform has it’s own unique purpose. While there are new apps and social media platforms coming out daily, I’ll break down the most obvious ones:
Instagram: Here you want to upload quality and thoughtful images that express who you are and what you’re up to on your profile, while using your stories for more BTS, candid moments. Especially if you’re launching a new product, releasing a new song or video, or promoting something, you want the post to be polished and the stories that day to be engaging. Example: I played at the West Seattle Beer & Music Festival last weekend and partnered with Peridot, a local boutique for my look. I posted a quality and engaging image of the entire outfit while tagging them as well as the brands I was wearing. Then, I posted on my Instagram story while the festival was going on, including me having fun in the outfit, at the event in real time.
Snapchat: Snapchat is awesome because what you post is pretty non-consequential. Here you can be picky of what you snap, who you send it to, and which people see what. I love using this platform to send funny videos of my stepson to my friends. I tend to use it for more personal reasons, as opposed to posting a lot about my private life on other platforms. There are some people that don’t mind posting lots of pictures with their kids and some that are very hesitant to do so. This is a great way if you are more of a private person, to control your content and who sees it. And it’s a good way to send videos and let people know what you’re up to without being an annoying over-poster.
Facebook: The younger generation say it’s dead, the older generation is ALL ABOUT IT. Facebook has become somewhat of a catch-all for baby announcements, political rants, and everything in between. I personally use Facebook mostly to share my content I make elsewhere to people that normally wouldn’t see it otherwise. It’s definitely still necessary, especially for businesses, and can be great for posting live videos of musical sets, special moments, and connecting with an audience that isn’t able to be there in person.
Twitter: This platform is great for politicians, comedians, and anyone that likes to share their thoughts one at a time. “Live tweeting” is extremely popular where people can broadcast their thoughts during a television show or event in real time. It’s a little harder for content creators because of the limitations with video and word count, but still an amazing way to connect to people from around the globe and stay current on what’s going on.
Whether you don’t understand social media at all or are pumped to start to use it more efficiently to market your brand or business, I hope these tips are helpful and get you on your way to more followers and an online presence you can be proud of! Also, feel free to follow me on instagram, facebook, and youtube, to join me in my social media journey!