Looking to amp up your follower count? Losing Facebook friends and not sure why? Maybe it’s time for a social media evaluation. Whether you use these online portals for business/self promo (like me) or just to connect with friends, these tips are going to help you gain followers, keep the ones you have, and just generally have a better online presence.
1. The number one mistake people make when trying to gain followers is not keeping your posts positive. No one wants to see Negative Nancy and Debbie Downer on their timelines every day. Social media is an escape from real life, so when people log in, they want to see joyous events and happy thoughts to brighten their days. This is especially an issue on Twitter, where people tend to complain nonstop. You’ll lose followers quickly if you can’t keep a positive outlook. (Wouldn’t you rather “like” someone’s accomplishment than “retweet” their whiney rant?) Try to keep your negative posts to a minimum – it’s better to deal with your issues with real friends than to share them for the world to see.
Before you post anything, consider your reputation. Arguing on social media looks bad on both sides, and posting insults about someone is trashy and rude. Make sure you think before your post – you don’t want to post something that you’ll regret tomorrow (and once it’s online, it’s forever).
2. There is also an issue of post frequency. If you post too little, people will clean you out when they go through their following lists, assuming that you aren’t paying attention. Alternatively, if you post too much, your followers may become annoyed and remove you from their timelines. The correct amount varies by platform, but generally, if you can post at least once or twice a week, and at most once a day, you’ll be safe.
3. Finally, if you’re looking for networking and followers, use tags and #hashtags to link your posts to other areas on the sites. This way, if someone searches a hashtag in your bio or your posts, you’ll appear as a profile for potential followers to explore.
Facebook can be a bit of a challenge, because there are so many aspects of this platform. Some things you absolutely must keep private, like your address and phone number. Other things, like self-promo posts, can be made public – but beware, this is often the first place employers look when evaluating you for a position. Keep your Facebook squeaky clean for them with this bit of advice:
4. To stay safe on Facebook, utilize your privacy settings. Not everything needs to be public – in fact, most things shouldn’t be. Profile pictures, cover photos, and the new bio and feature photos have to be public, but everything else, you can control. If you think something might be controversial (even if you mean well), hide it from future employers by making things private. Also, be aware of the “custom” privacy feature that you can put on posts. Hide the photo album of college parties from your mom, if you must – she’ll never know the difference.
5. Facebook has more features than the other social media platforms combined – use them! Connect with industry professionals in groups, “like” pages that relate to your interests, and share information to connect with old friends on each other’s walls. From private messaging to event planning, Facebook can be your one stop shop for everything social. Even connect it to other platforms (or connect other platforms to it) to make sure your followers everywhere get the same information!
Twitter can be used for business promotion and personal interaction – I use mine for both! Luckily, Twitter doesn’t follow any weird algorithms on their home page; everything shows up in chronological order. That’s the beauty of the platform, plus, you still can follow users without an account. Tweet to your advantage with these tips:
6. There’s less of a limit to how much you can post on any given day on Twitter. In fact, you can post similar tweets repeatedly, to make sure all of your followers see your message – no matter when they check their timelines.
7. Follow as many people as you want – maybe they’ll follow you back! They don’t ask you to share much private information on your profile, so Twitter is a great place for students to start networking, especially if you are unfamiliar with the industry and aren’t ready to share all your info just yet.
8. If you use Twitter consistently as a business platform, they start offering you analytics. You can find out how many people have engaged with your tweets, and how they’ve done so. This is invaluable to see what kind of tweets your colleagues and customers want to see, so make sure you use these to your advantage when they become available. Cater to your followers to make the most of this platform.
9. For me, Instagram is a private platform. I like to share my travels, where I am, and what I’m doing – so I make sure people can’t see my posts. You have to request to follow me on IG, and I only allow people I actually know. This is a safety thing; if you’re sharing your location, photos of your family, or other personal info, consider making your account a personal, private account, instead of a buzzing business with thousands of followers.
10. Post frequency is something to be extremely conscious of when snapping photos for Instagram. You shouldn’t post more than once or twice per day, because followers on this platform become annoyed easily. Save collections of photos to Facebook albums, or consider making a collage, instead of posting a series of pictures all at one time.
Pinterest is my favorite social media/search engine, because it’s the perfect combination of everything great. Folks in any profession, with any interest, can find Pinterest useful using this advice:
11. You can “pin” virtually any photo on the internet by getting a Pin-It widget for your browser of choice. Simply click and save it for later!
12. If you want to share your work, whether it’s an EP on SoundCloud or a blog post, Pinterest is a great place to start. If you’re sharing your own work, make sure to put tags in the description, so users see your pins when they search!
Perception is reality – including on social media. If you stay positive and keep up with the trends, you can have a great online presence for yourself and your business.
Social media is so important in both your professional and personal world. What are your tips to making the most of it? Share in the comments!