5 Ways to Increase Your Engagement on Social Media
Last week I had the pleasure of speaking to artists and small business owners about using social media. I offered advice that audience members could act on right away and that would transform the way their audience saw them or their brand or their art through social channels. Here's what I suggested:
1. Focus Your Purpose
Know thyself. The best and most successful social accounts keep a very small focus on a particular subject or purpose. Some great Instagram examples are @thisoldshirt that curates photos of vintage tees from around the world, @hotdudeswithdogs that offers photos of good-looking men holding cute puppies, and @miserable_men featuring photos of men looking miserable waiting for their families to finish shopping. These may be more comical than what you're after, but the key is that these accounts know who they are and their audience knows exactly what their going to get. Try focusing your content on your best trait or your differentiating factor. And make sure your bio is succinct and tells it like it is!
2. Know Your Tribe
Marketer extraordinaire Seth Godin wrote, "a group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate." Your job as a social content curator is to be curious and follow and find others who share your interest and focus of purpose. By using relevant #hashtags that link to your subject matter and interest you can begin to find like-minded others and help your people find you. There are some great tools out there to help you identify your key audience and what keeps them engaged. A few I recommend: Klout, Keyhole, Twitter Analytics, and Survey Monkey. Also, Hootesuite offers a great Audience Checklist to help you gather information on your audience.
3. Be Consistent
There is more to consistency than posting regularly. It also means you stick to your subject matter and your brand image. You want to make sure that your posts are of interest to the tribe you're growing and you want to make sure that there is an aesthetically pleasing and cohesive look and voice to your posts. Don't be wacky and sarcastic like a member of Monty Python one day and then post something that sounds like it came out of the Smithsonian archives the next. People won't know what to expect and become disinterested. This doesn't mean you should post the exact same content and imagery over and over, either. Reinvent yourself everyday but within the parameters of your focus of purpose and style.
4. Plan Ahead
Guess what? You can run your own social media and still take a vacation every once in a while. Scheduling tools like Hootesuite and Keyhole make it easy to schedule evergreen posts out as far as a month in advance while still giving you the flexibility to insert a serendipitous post every once in a while. It's also important to know optimal posting times on each platform. I try to take photos and videos of interesting, pertinent content even if I know I won't use it right away. I keep an album of social-ready images and videos on my iPhone that I save for rainy days or for times when I know I'll be out of the office. I also save links to curated content I think my audience will like in a google doc so I can repost and mention others when I am scheduling ahead. Be sure to download the Repost app for Instagram to repost other's images while giving them credit!
5. Bow to the King of Content
No matter what your focus, if you don't have something interesting to show or say people won't follow you! Content is always king. Be creative, be authentic, and be bold! Have fun using some of the latest apps to create great looking video and imagery like Animato, Hyperlapse, Over, and Layout. Ultimately, share what you're passionate about in a passionate way and your enthusiasm will be infectious to others.
Happy Posting! Looking for a quick 30 minute refresher on Social? Contact me for a free consultation firstname.lastname@example.org
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