Social media — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all the rest — is a fact of life these days, and you might be surprised how many ways it can be of value to you, even if you barely dip your toes in it yourself. For example, if your hobby is playing an instrument, you can share your talent with friends, find new listeners, and garner advice and feedback. If you’re a teacher, you can attract inquiries and offer resources and engagement opportunities for your students. For a business, social media involvement is essential: Whatever your endeavor, social media can take it to the next level, and you can have fun and discover new opportunities along the way.
But how do you build a quality presence?
Here are 10 ways you can use social media marketing to spread the word about your projects:
1. Start Small
Do you really need to have a Vine, YouTube or SnapChat account from the start? At the beginning, posting consistently on a few channels is more important than posting every so often on 10 platforms. Start with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages to round out the main social spaces. If you have a smartphone and can take pictures or short video clips, also consider having an Instagram account.
2. Be Consistent
Set up your social media page names and imagery to be consistent on every network. Your imagery is as big a part of your branding as your product, services and customer service are. Most people get used to seeing a specific image, too, so try not to change it once you have one. Have the profile photo be your logo or the face of your company, so that visitors to your Facebook and Twitter pages recognize that it’s about you.
Also, keep your name consistent on your social media profiles. Just like the brand imagery, having the same username makes it easier for people to recognize who you are.
— Simply Music (@SimplyMusic) December 19, 2015
3. Find your Community
It might seem like more fun to follow random celebrities and brands on Twitter, but influencers in your industry give you more value. Search for other people in your field who have a number of followers and high engagement. These influencers have great content to share, innovative ideas that you can use and personalities that shine through their accounts. People follow them for a reason, so look to them to learn good ways to post and talk on social media.
4. Don’t be Salesy
Unless your followers are breaking down your door like Justin Bieber fans at a concert, you shouldn’t push to sell, sell, sell. Instead, focus on creating and providing value to your followers.
One popular way of posting content is to use the 4-1-1 rule:
- 4 pieces of relevant, interesting content from others
- 1 retweet or share from others
- 1 promotional post
A promotional post doesn’t need to tell people to buy or contact you. It could be as simple as sharing someone’s testimonial about your brand. If you want someone to take action from that promotional post, give your followers an action to take, such as clicking a link or calling a number.
5. Hat-tip the Source
Don’t you like to be recognized for your work? Others do, too. Whenever you can, try to link back to the original creator of the article, video or song you’re sharing. It takes a little extra effort, but it shows that you care about the work they’ve done and you appreciate it. And who knows? Maybe they’ll decide to share your post, too.
6. Share Behind-the-Scenes Info
People don’t want to follow an image of you and your business. They want to see the authentic you. Photos are one of the best ways to do this. For instance, if you’re a music teacher, share photos of your sheet music, your students and their concerts.
7. Engage with Others
As you continue posting content and getting more popular, more people will be replying to your posts and sharing them with others. One of the worst things you can do is ignore them. Instead, respond to any questions they have or thank them for retweeting you. A little kindness and respect goes a long way.
8. Plan Ahead
Any special events you’ve planned this year? Want people to know about your summer discount? Schedule out posts ahead of time leading up to the event. That way, you’ll be set and can put some of your posting on auto-pilot for that time.
9. Check Your Stats
Which posts are performing well, and which ones are being left alone? You can check how many likes/favorites, shares and comments/replies your posts are getting on each network.
On your Facebook page, you can click the Insights tab to see some data about your page growth, your engagement and your posts’ performance. For Twitter, if you have an advertising account set up, you can also see your most engaging tweets and how many people they reached. LinkedIn and Google+ also have dashboards to see how your page and posts are performing. Use these numbers to see what type of content you should post and on what social networks.
10. Put Spend behind your Content
Now that you’re posting frequently and building a system, put some spend behind one of your Facebook posts or highest performing tweets. Boost a Facebook post to your followers and their friends to get even more engagement. Even spending a few dollars a day for likes and followers can steadily increase your following. From what we’ve seen, just $2 a day on Facebook or Twitter can get you over 1,000 followers in a year’s time.
How do you market yourself well on social media?
I hope you can take away some helpful advice from these guidelines. If you have any tips or strategies, let us know in the comments!