How to get your social media to work for you.
All of my social media accounts were created out of peer pressure. I had zero interest in joining Facebook and vehemently opposed Twitter. I'm a fairly private person. So I couldn't understand why I needed to share my life with the world, or why everyone needed to know my every thought and movement. And I really couldn't understand why they would even care. I mean, I really get annoyed with the selfies in front of the bathroom mirror. (I can't be the only one, can I?) But, if I wanted to “stay connected” I had to give in. So I did.
And it's paid off.
Now I'm educating clients on the benefits of using social media: researching and developing efficient and effective ways for them to get their social media to work for them. I spend a lot of my day working to empower them to use communication as a tool to sell their brand and their product. It takes time, but seeing the results makes it all worth it. And I'm fortunate enough to have a kickass team of rockstars to help me get it done. But if you're just starting out or looking to find an easy way to get your social media rocking, here are some tips to help you get there:
Determine what you want to talk about.
It's important to know what you want to talk about - and it's probably even more important to understand who you're talking to. Make sure you're an expert when it comes to your brand. Know the ins and outs and share your wisdom with an audience who's interested. If you know what you're talking about, you'll gain their trust - and their loyalty.
Research what social media platforms you should use - and why.
With all of the social media platforms out there, it can be intimidating when you're starting out. I suggest starting with the basics and finding what works for you. Begin with Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Linkedin. Once you've become familiar with these platforms, consider starting a Pinterest page and possibly Instagram if you're interested in showcasing photos.
Optimize all of your social media accounts.When creating any account, it's important to stay consistent. Make sure your usernames speak to your brand and are similar across the board. Also, make sure all of your banners, cover photos and profile pics are quality, high-resolution photos that will assist in attracting your audience. You need to stand out from the crowd. Your “About” should speak to your brand and what you're offering. All contact information should be current and uniform on all of your social media accounts. Make it easy for someone looking for your products or services to find you.
Follow the in- crowd.
You can follow anyone. That's easy. But will doing so lead to sales? Not necessarily. Once you've determined your demographic, start following and reaching out to companies and people who fit that profile. If you know what you're talking about, they'll be quick to follow.
Gather and create relevant, engaging content.
This is the fun part, because now you get to research, learn and share. Start following blogs and news feeds related to your brand. Share what they post, pick up some ideas to help you write your own content and stay on top of your game. And make sure you've got a blog of your own. It'll allow you to share what you know and help gain an audience.
Schedule your posts.
The easiest and most effective way to get your posts on social media is by scheduling them. This can be done many ways, but if you're just starting out I've found using Buffer and creating a Social Media Scheduling Calendar to be very effective. Buffer allows you to link up your social media accounts, schedule your posts and view your analytics. It’s a great value at no charge. And if you're looking for a little more, such as unlimited posts, their “Awesome Plan” is very affordable.
Check your analytics.
If you decide to use Buffer, you’ll be able to see if you've received any likes, mentions, shares, etc. on each post. This will let you know which posts were engaging and which ones flopped. And by updating your Social Media Calendar, you can determine which articles you can repost later on.
Recycle your content.
Never stop sharing what's popular. Know what your audience likes and continually share it. Just make sure you're not sharing that one popular blog post every day. That'll get pretty annoying, and probably cost you followers.
Always respond to your audience. Answer questions and respond to mentions and retweets. And don't be afraid to respond to negative comments. Just make sure your response is positive. No one wants to see you air out your dirty laundry online.
Keep learning & researching.
You're never going to know everything there is when it comes to your brand. That's why it's important to stay informed and make sure you're in touch with new developments in your field. It'll help ensure you're rockstar status.
Once you've gotten a hang of this social media thing, you'll find what works for you. Until then, good luck.