Everywhere you look there are articles dedicated to discovering the “hidden” secrets to social media. Even the platforms themselves are cluttered with this information. The real truth is that there really are only a few essential tips that you need to grasp to really understand and master social media. Like anything, it’s a matter of time and persistence. Rome wasn't built overnight, and neither will a valuable social media following. If you’re looking for some practical, no-fail tips for social media, consider these four essential rules:
Out of sight, out of mind. This thought is certainly true when it comes to using social media. If you’re not frequently in the stream of content, people are going to forget about you. There’s really no other way around it. Not only that, when you don’t post frequently, you lose momentum with your following.
Many people don’t respond the first few times you post. They like to see more about you and determine whether you’re truly being authentic or are providing real value. That type of analysis and determination takes time. If you don’t have a regular posting schedule you don’t give people the opportunity to really get to know you, your message or your brand.
Even if you don’t post daily, make an effort to engage a few time a week on a regular basis and not just for a few minutes. Spend enough to time to really give yourself the opportunity to engage with your following.
Make your posts engaging
While posting frequently will help people remember you, engaging posts will make sure no one forgets you. Engagement happens when someone likes, comments, retweets or shares your update or posts. So, you have to start thinking in terms of what you can share that people will find valuable enough to want to share with others.
This is quite a different mindset from traditional marketing, where you spend your efforts on pushing out your message. Social media works best when you focus on providing value to your followers. That means finding and sharing information or content that will add something to their life.
Not sure what that could be? Think about the things that interest you. Do you want to click on links about the latest products someone may be peddling, or would you rather take some time and look at some graphics that make you laugh? Do you have facts or tips about your genre that others would find interesting? When you start to think about who your updates are for and what your followers really want, you can’t help but create engaging posts that people look forward to seeing.
Respond to people who talk to you.
The whole point of social media is to be social. That means taking time out to talk to other people, especially if they’ve taken the time out to talk to you first. Even if it’s something negative, in most cases, it’s better to acknowledge the communication then to ignore it.
Think about how you feel when companies respond quickly and sincerely to you. Typically, these interactions become memorable moments engaged with that brand. In fact, you probably end up sharing the story as well. Now, imagine if that was the response to your communication with someone.
Every contact is an opportunity to create a lasting fan or active brand follower. With more and more people turning to social media as a way to facilitate that experience, it’s important to remember to take the time out to create the experience with your fans or followers that you would want to have.
Follow people likely to follow you back or who will bring value to your feeds.
There’s a ton of needless focus on getting a large following. The number of people you have only provides value to the degree they interact and engage with your company or your brand. If you have 100,000 followers and no one even reads, let alone shares your content, you might as well have zero. If you have ten fans that actively read your posts and share your message with their following, you’re starting to have something worth value.
Remember, it’s not always a numbers game. It’s a game of getting interaction and getting people to become brand loyal. Your social media interactions may be the first time someone is introduced to your company and what it represents. If you spend all your time worrying about getting a high number of followers as opposed to finding people who really want what you provide, you’ll end up wasting not only your time, but your money as well.