Social-Networking, a Necessary Evil
Social-networking is only as effective as the person who does it. One key part of social-networking is using those social media platforms. You can have an account on every social networking site/app in existence, but that doesn’t mean squat if you don’t use them. Here are some tricks, tips, and tools you can use to keep your social media game top-notch:
Using social media effectively is all about understanding and building a community within it. So, one way to do that, is to check out what hashtags are being used. However, it is worth noting that not all hashtags should be used in your content. Only the most relevant to the community you want to build should be used.
One key way to research keywords is to follow people. Social media is all about following people, subscribing to people, and watching/reading/listening to their content. Follow people on these platforms that you admire. Interact with them and see how they manage their social media. Take note of hashtags they use, as long as you think it will be relevant to what you want to post about.
Like I said in the previous point, following people is integral to leveraging the power of hashtags in social media. Above all, though, following people is integral to social media, period. Almost every social media platform is built on a foundation of webs. For instance, person A follows person B, who also follows a similar person C, person B shares person C’s post, person A sees the post and likes it, then person A follows person C because all three like and post on the same topics.
Social media is a web of lookalikes. The more people you follow, the more people you are exposing yourself and your content to. However, the people you follow don’t necessarily have to follow you, but when you follow people, they will show up in your feeds, you can interact with their content, and you may ultimately get them to start following you. Then you get recommended to their followers by the platform or when they share your content. You can build a community pretty quickly by this organic tactic.
Sharing is Caring
One of the hardest parts of being on social media is actually keeping it up. Well, if you are on a social media platform where you can share other user’s content (twitter-retweeting, tumblr-reblogging, facebook-sharing), then leverage that feature. It will grow your relationships with the people you follow, grow their following, and they will probably be more likely to share your content. Above all, it will save you from having to come up with new and interesting content every day.
Social Media Scheduling
There is an ever-growing marketplace full of tools and platforms to help automate your social media presence. For example, tools such as Hootsuite (for scheduling and planning posts on multiple platforms) and Conversocial (a way to manage comments on multiple platforms in a single UI) are some of the most common and widely used platforms that I know of. They can be especially helpful if you are trying to grow an audience quickly on multiple platforms, but you are only a team of one.
It is worth noting that some of the more powerful features are locked behind pay-walls (Hootsuite’s free-tier limits how many social media platforms you can link to it, and you can’t even use Conversocial without paying for it, and it is costly). Consequently, that means these may not be an option for newcomers or writers with tight budgets. However, it is worth considering the cons of these platforms, as well. As you automate, your responses will be less and less personable, which may push your audience away. This isn’t something to take lightly.
Advertise on Platform
As a writer, especially if you are going the freelance route, you will need to learn how to advertise more than just your books and services. You will need to learn to advertise yourself and your brand. Most social media platforms have advertising dashboards and features you can implement on your account. The campaigns you are going to want to run are to drive people to your profile. Don’t worry about driving them to your website.
There is something advertisers use called the “sales funnel.” When leveraging social media, you are going to want to focus at the beginning of the funnel, which is typically called, “branding” or “awareness.” People don’t know who you are, what your credentials are, etc. So, utilize advertising, put yourself out there, and drive people to like or follow your social media profile.
Don’t Just Sell, Share
There are so many accounts I used to follow that just pushed link, after link, after link, but never actually provided any interesting or useful content for me to engage with. While you should let your community know when you’ve published or when you’ve posted a new blog post, don’t drown them with it every single day. Your organic profile is not the same as an advertising platform. Above all, it should be a place where you can engage with other writers and readers. Share what you love, not just your sales pitch.