Getting started with social media can be a tricky process, working out how to use each different platform effectively, building an audience…so here are my top ten tips for getting started!
Start With A Plan
It all starts with having a good plan in place (one that will be revised as you go along and learn more about the platforms). Each platform is different, while on twitter it might be acceptable to post quite a lot each day, doing the same on Facebook or Instagram isn’t.
Work out how frequently you want to post, what kind of posts you’ll be putting out, what kind of hashtags you’ll be using, etc.
Along with this planning, you might want to work out some goals for your social media strategy. Start small, for example posting x amount of times per day.
Once you’ve got your plan, it’s time to get to work, and one of the main things you want to aim for is posting consistently. With platforms like Twitter, they move quickly and before you can blink your tweet could already have come and gone from someone’s feed. While you shouldn’t be tweeting every time you blink, you definitely want to be posting more than once a day.
For platforms like Facebook and Instagram you don’t want to post too often (up to 3 times a day seems to be considered the max), but the more you post, the higher your chances of getting noticed.
Another great way to help you build up a following is to interact with other people in a similar field’s content. Try and avoid just commenting things like “Great!” or “Amazing!”, they’re not really conversation starters, aim to comment something meaningful that could garner a response.
In general, it’s better to aim for people that don’t have a huge audience, social media stars get so many comments on each post that yours is likely to get lost in the noise.
Check Out The Community
If you’re struggling to work out what to post, check out what other people in the same kind of field as you are posting, and which posts are getting the most engagement.
This doesn’t mean copying other peoples content by any means, but as an example, on Facebook, you might get an idea of whether people seem to engage more with image posts over status update text posts.
Experiment & Analyse
Try changing things up every so often and tracking the results, it’ll help you to identify what is working well, and what is failing miserably. It can help you pinpoint the best times to post, who your target audience are, what kind of posts get the most engagement and so on.
Hashtags are a way for your content to appear in the right places, where people that are interested in the hashtags keyword might be lurking around ready to see your post and follow you.
The best way to figure out which hashtags to use is to find other people posting similar content to you and seeing what they’re using. Don’t just copy all the hashtags other people are using, see what kind of content is using those hashtags and decide whether or not it’s relevant to the content you’re putting out.
Change up your hashtags between posts, don’t just use the same ones forever more, add fresh ones, take some old ones away and see what kind of results you get.
Don’t Share Everything
Even though you’ll want to be posting fairly frequently, don’t just share any old tosh to try and hit those targets. If you aren’t being selective with what you post you could find that you end up losing followers. Quality over quantity friends.
Use Schedulers/Management Tools
Having to log in to multiple different platforms can be a pain, especially if you have multiple accounts on each one. Using social media management tools means you can have all your feeds (or most of them) coming into one place instead and can manage them from there.
Most of the social media management tools allow you to schedule content for some platforms and it’s worth making use of those scheduling features to get ahead of yourself with your posts.
Don’t rely too heavily on scheduler though – social media is about interacting and if you’re only ever posting from your schedule you’ll miss out on some great opportunities to get involved with the community.
Keep An Eye On Trends
If you spend much time on social media you’ll notice trends. 2016 was the year of a Facebook video where pretty much everyone’s Facebook feed was flooded with videos. Keep an eye out for those kinds of trends and if you can jump on them.
Let People Know Where To Find You
If you’re trying to gain a following on social media, you’ll want to let people know which platforms you’re on and how to find you. If you’ve got a blog, or youtube channel makes sure you have those linked up to your social media accounts so that people can follow you with just a click.
You’ll also want to occasionally remind people on different platforms that you’re also on other platforms. It’s best to do this with a little bit of temptation, for example posting a picture on twitter telling people that there are more shots over on your Instagram.