How do you learn to navigate social media? There’s no class that covers the do’s and don’ts of social or that teaches you when to share and when to stay silent.
There’s a lot of trial and error when you first start, and even more observation. There’s figuring out how many hashtags are too many and how many are just enough. It takes time and lots of patience to grow your following on social and your business probably isn’t going to be an overnight sensation. Social media is just that- social. It takes time to build trust and a relationship with your followers. But, with a little hard work and these trusty guidelines to help you along the way, you’ll soon be crushing it on social!
- Never buy followers. No matter what you think your reasoning is, don’t do it. Ever.
- Don’t Like or Love your own posts. They’re your posts, so of course you like them, but you don’t need to share it with the world.
- Focus on the quality and substance of your Tweets rather than stuffing them with as many hashtags as you can fit. There’s a growing trend in people using less hashtags on Twitter. They aren’t gone, don’t get me wrong, but people are more in favor of using their character limit to finish a thought or even share a story.
- Stay on top of trending hashtags and chime in on conversations – as long as you can find a way to make them relevant to you.
- Stay patient and wait for the perfect opportunity. Remember that not even large brands always have shining moments. Every now and then they’re able to capitalize on a trending topic or news story that catapults them in to the spotlight for their 15 seconds.
Note: In the past, Twitter hasn’t given users the ability to post a link, have it dynamically generate a preview, and delete the link to clean up the post (like you can in Facebook). However, this capability has been rolled out to some publishers so keep an eye out!
- You must find your people to grow your following. There are Instagram communities everywhere and for everything. Whether you’re in to yoga, weightlifting, traveling, or style, your tribe is waiting!
- The artistry put in to your profession and projects must be showcased on Instagram. It’s all visual and instantly gratifying for users. Within a scroll of their thumb, you must both catch their attention and inspire them.
- Research hashtags like you’ve never researched something before. Until you establish a solid following, these are going to help you “get seen.”
- Respond to every single comment that’s posted under your photos. Instagram’s algorithms take this in to account when deciding whether or not to show you in someone’s Instagram feed. The more engagement your posts get, the more likely you’ll show up in the feed.
- Take time (lots of it) to engage with others. Again, it’s social media so you must be social! Generic comments like, “Great!” won’t get you very far. A nudge of encouragement or telling someone you love their style is the way to go.
- Never place hashtags in the middle of a sentence. Never replace a word in a sentence with a hashtag; especially the name of a person or company that people generally may not be as familiar with. This breaks up the flow of your post and makes it incredibly hard to read. If you’re going to use hashtags, use them after you’ve finished your thought. And don’t use too many.
- Don’t write “click bait” headlines. Publishers will now be penalized for creating such headlines. So, if you create a post and purposely leave out a piece of information just so someone will click to see what happens or how something ended, you’ll be buried.
- Give the people what they want. Take a note from Brandon Stanton, founder of Humans of New York. People love stories. If you have a great project to share, get in to detail. Keep posts a little shorter and make them a 3-part series.
- Promote your unicorns! Also known as your most popular posts, boost your unicorns to people that like your page. Remind them that you’re here and that you’ve got amazing things to share. Promote your page within a radius of your geographic area to gain new followers.
- Don’t be cheap. As a general rule of thumb, you’re going to need to spend money running advertising campaigns or boosting posts regardless of what platform you choose to embrace. Invest your time and your energy and you will see a return.