Today I would like to talk about social media. Specifically, Twitter and Instagram and how to improve your social media presence.
Twitter and Instagram are the social media platforms I have and I’m active on most.
Disclaimer: I am not at all a social media expert, but on my 6 years of having Twitter (From 2011) and 1 year with Instagram (2016) then I have discovered a few things when it comes to these social media platforms.
- Automated Direct messages.
The quickest way to make someone go from wanting to know more about you to not wanting anything to do with you is by sending automated direct messages. Do. Not. Do. It.
Would you walk up to a person walking down the road and tell them to follow you on any of your social media platforms? Of course not! The same should apply online too.
If you are active online and produce good content whether that might be witty tweets or a knack for taking pictures on Instagram then people will click the follow button. You aren’t in sales, no need to sell yourself to people. If they like what they see, then you will get noticed.
It is understandable you want to get your name out there, but shoving information down people’s throats to promote yourself creates a disconnection between you and the person who followed you. In all honesty, not only is it annoying but it is a slap in the person getting the message’s face.
The person who followed you isn’t a sheep who blindly follows without questioning. He or she saw something worth following, so take that compliment and rather put all your other social media links in your bio.
2. Boomerang effect.
A boomerang is a tool that is made as a flat airfoil and its purpose is to be thrown in the air and returns back to the thrower. Look at social media in that way too.
When you share other’s information by retweeting a tweet or going out your way to comment a genuine comment on an Instagram post you will in return not only make the person you did this for feeling their presence matters online, but you have helped them too.
3. Hashtags. It all started back on August 23, 2007, with a tweet by San Francisco techie and former Google developer Chris Messina. I will admit, I never saw the appeal to it. Putting a hashtag before a word seemed unnatural and untidy, but I have learned now the importance of it.
Hashtag # helps people to track your tweet or Instagram post out easily if they search the same phrase or keyword you wrote. Use hashtags that are relevant (popular) and that applies to you. For example, if you are new to blogging and want someone to check out your blog then use hashtags that would make it accessible for others to see it.
Another example, you are taking pictures of yourself (selfies) because you want a modeling agency to notice you then use hashtags that would make it easy for someone who is a model scout to find you.
I remember coming across an Instagram account and seeing a beautiful woman who knew how to take the most flawless selfies, the only problem was she hardly had any likes or comments. Do you want to know why? Because she used hashtags that weren’t popular, some that actually didn’t exist too. She created her own.
To find out what hashtags have the most popular posts use the search bar before you decide to post a tweet or an Instagram post. Take your time, write it down on a piece of paper or a notebook with a pen to help you remember and don’t get too comfortable with the same hashtags. Regularly check to see which one has the most posts and is more active than the others.
4. Follow to unfollow.
Social media’s biggest benefit is talking to all different people from around the world. Have your information, pictures etc be out there for everyone to see.
The plus side is forming business relationships, acquaintances, friendships, romantic relationship or sometimes nothing at all but having the thought that someone you think is cute is following you back makes your eyes see hearts.
The downside is that not everyone wants the same things as you might. People lose interest and that in the online world is called unfollowing. Be very cautious when someone with huge followers decided to follow you because chances are it is all about the numbers.
A game called follow to unfollow. Following someone and within a few days or sometimes hours after you followed back the person then unfollows you. Ouch! People who are sneaky and do this always gets caught in the end.
Crowdfireapp which used to be called JustUnfollow is an app that you can track your followings and unfollowers. See who followed and unfollowed you then make the decision to continue following certain people or unfollow. View ghost followers those who haven’t tweeted or Instagrammed a picture in months or years. It is available for both Twitter and Instagram account. A must have app!
5. Have fun with it.
Social media is meant to be fun and if you aren’t enjoying it then take a step back or two and have reflection time. Sometimes a little disconnect from the online world can really invigorate you especially if you are regularly online. If you aren’t in the right frame of mind, social media would feel like a chore to you.
6. The numbers game.
The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. When you see someone with a huge amount of followers it is easy to feel puny and insignificant about your social media accounts. Chances are with that amount of followers then some aren’t as active as you would think. Those are actually ghost followers.
Go to the person’s page and see how much likes and comments the person really has, because the key to social media isn’t the followings but the human connections.
A person I follow online has a decent amount of followers, nothing overwhelming. Some might consider this person an underdog when it comes to their amount of followers, however, the number of comments this person receives is mindblowing!
That is because when you take the time and show kindness by regularly commenting on your followers posts that will open up a door and let people in. Making everyone feel at ease and comfortable to comment on your posts.
7. Thank you.
When someone follows you online take the time to thank them individually.
In the scene from the movie Hide and Seek Robert De Niro’s character and his daughter played by Dakota Fanning move into a new home and the next door neighbor welcomes the new faces by bringing a basket full of treats inside. (I think it was all different fruits) The point is she didn’t have to do that, but she did it out of the kindness of her heart and you can too.
You don’t need to do anything extravagant, a simple tweet saying welcome to Twitter or commenting on their first Instagram post saying hello.
It isn’t about the numbers, it is about what you do with those numbers. Social media doesn’t have to be impersonal, recognize there are real life people behind those accounts and showing hospitality will go a long way.
Have Twitter or Instagram? Maybe both? Share your thoughts and experiences on your journey with social media in the comments. Make yourself heard! Until next time.