There are currently over 2 billion people on social media as of 2017, so it’s no surprise that businesses, brands, and individuals are building their influence on the world wide web. There are a plethora of social platforms being used every day, every hour, every minute…you get the point! It’s a no brainer, marketing on social media is an absolute must. While social media can lead to incredible success, it can also lead to a quick demise.
Here are some do’s and don’ts for some of the most used platforms to maximize your growth and help you avoid a sticky situation!
Twitter (328 million active users)
Twitter is a great platform for keeping up and engaging with the latest news, your favorite influencers, and your targeted topics. While it still adheres to its 140 character limit, it is a great platform for getting your message out there!
- Complete your profile. Include a high-quality image, a header, a bio that briefly explains who you are and what you do, birthday, location, and website (if applicable).
- Engage with other users. I can’t stress how important this is! Twitter is such a great place to build relationships with other users. Like, retweet, and reply- it’s super simple and yet so effective.
- Incorporate visuals into your tweets. GIFS, images, and videos are a great way to add some extra, eye-catching content to your words.
- Utilize hashtags. I have had people engage with my content simply because they found my tweet whilst browsing a hashtag. Not only is your content seen by a larger amount of users, it is seen by users who are actually interested in the topic!
- Don’t make your profile all about you. Retweet, engage in conversation and quote. Users tend to shy away from you if you never engage back with anyone.
- Don’t oversell. Yes, Twitter is a great platform for selling services and products, but don’t make it all about that. Nothing is worse than seeing a user constantly trying to pitch something to their followers. If anything, it makes them seem a tad desperate, yikes!
- Don’t under/over tweet. You don’t want to come across as spammy by tweeting every little thing every few minutes. On the other hand, you don’t want to be deemed as a ghost profile. I typically tweet 6-12 times a day- not spammy and annoying, yet still very active and engaging!
- Forget anything automated. One of my peeves is seeing the “you’ve gained 4 followers and lost 2 followers this hour…find out your numbers at blah blah blah dot com!” or of course, the dreaded automated direct message. Not only is this quite annoying, it shows your followers that you don’t genuinely care. Big no-no!’
Facebook (2 billion monthly users)
Whilst a lot of people joke about the platform being “the one your mom uses to post minion pictures”, it is phenomenal for brands and business. For one, you already have a loyal audience- your friends and family (including your mom who posts those minion pictures). Facebook is what I call “platform to platform friendly”, meaning you can link/share content from your other social medias easily! For this one, I’m going to solely be discussing Facebook pages, as that is what businesses/brands typically use on Facebook.
- Have various means of contact. Facebook calls these “action buttons”. Include your website, a phone number, an address, and an email so everyone has a way of contacting you when needed!
- Respond to messages as soon as possible. Your response rate will show publicly on your page, so you want to ensure you have a quick response time. In today’s fast paced world, people are thrilled when things can be done sooner than later.
- Utilize Facebook live and video. Live streaming is a great way to showcase to your audience that you have a genuine side, which in turn, will allow people to feel more trust and confidence in you and your brand. Videos are also a great way to showcase who you are and what you have to offer in an entertaining, visual manner.
- Invite your friends and family. Like I said before, they are already your loyal audience. They will most likely be the first to share your content and engage with it.
- Don’t keep your page hidden. Going public is the best way to amplify your reach. If there are certain people you do not want viewing your content, you can simply adjust that in your privacy settings. Closed groups/pages typically have very small growth.
- Don’t just share your own stuff. Like Twitter, you want to make sure you don’t come off as a selfish salesman. Research similar topics, brands, or businesses, and share them to your site (with credit of course!). This will allow people to feel more comfortable sharing their own content and can increase your reach!
- Don’t keep re-inviting people. Keep track of who has opted out of liking/joining your page/group. Some people may not be interested at the time, but who knows in the future. The last thing they want is a constant notification begging for them to like/join your page.
- Don’t make posts too long. Unlike Twitter, Facebook has a lot of leniencies when it comes to how long you can make a post. People nowadays skim more than they read, so a novel-like post may lose their attention. If I am linking to a blog post, I like to include a brief snippet of what the post entails and a small quote from it. I will also include a question from time to time, but it will always remain brief!
Instagram (700 million monthly users)
Despite the fact that Instagram is one of the latest crazes in the social media world, it has actually been around for quite some time! What was once a small platform to share poorly edited images with chunky frames to your friends and families is now a platform to share your best work with a wide variety of users. Instagram is influencer heaven. I’m not kidding, if an influencer died and went to heaven, they would probably just end up at the Instagram headquarters!
- Take the time to comment on and like posts. The explore page is the best way to find content tailored to what you’ve liked in the past. Engage with these posts. This allows you to be seen plus everyone adores someone who takes the time to appreciate their content!
- Treat your page as a landing page. Your profile photo should be a clear, high-quality image of your logo, a representation of your brand, or of yourself. Your bio should highlight your strengths and who you are. Keep in mind, the only clickable link on Instagram is the one in your bio, so choose wisely!
- #Hashtag (which roughly translates to hashtag hashtag)! Hashtags are a great way to become more discoverable on Instagram. Utilize RELATIVE hashtags in the caption of all your images!
- Make sure your images are high-quality. Instagram is image centric, so you want to make sure your images are the best they can be. Don’t be afraid to play around with filters and editing apps to enhance your images. An added bonus is if you can maintain a theme throughout your feed (i.e., using the same filter for all images, a black and white theme, a colorful theme, a beach theme, etc.).
- Don’t under/over post. Again, just like Twitter, you want to find a good median. Over posting gets annoying and under-posting deems you as a ghost profile. Typically, 1-2 posts per day on Instagram is ideal!
- Don’t overuse hashtags or use irrelevant hashtags. Hashtags are a great way to become more discoverable, but use them to your advantage, not to your disadvantage. Using too many hashtags can come across as a bit weird and spammy. Using hashtags that have nothing to do with your picture has the same effect. Too many times I’ve seen pictures of adorable animals and in the hashtags, I see #girlsofinstagram or #outfitoftheday. All I have to say is, why?
- Don’t become a “selling page”. I’ve seen pages where every other post is #ad or #sponsored. While brand deals are amazing and a great sign that you have influence, too many of them just becomes redundant. Quite frankly, I don’t want my daily Instagram skim to turn into an endless array of commercials. Users lose a lot of authenticity when they are solely about the ads and sponsored posts.
- Don’t over/under edit. The over editing speaks for itself. It’s very easy to spot when someone’s image is clearly edited to the extreme. This builds a lot of mistrust for a brand or influence, which you never want! On the other hand, a lot of people under edit. Simple edits like cropping an image, adding a filter, or adjusting the color properties really enhance the image dramatically. As I said, Instagram is an image centric platform, so you want to put effort into the star of the show- your pictures!
Youtube (1.5 billion monthly users)
With video marketing on the rise, there is no better place to be than Youtube! Youtube is dominating and Youtubers are becoming bigger celebrities than celebrities themselves! Crazy, right?
- Set yourself apart from others on the platform. There are so many people doing the same thing, which is inevitable, but they add their own spin on it. If you want to showcase yourself as a beauty personnel, for example, find something about you that is different from others and use that to your advantage.
- Create eye-catching thumbnails and titles. The first thing people notice about your videos, before even clicking, is your thumbnail and your title. There are apps you can use to easily design an aesthetically pleasing thumbnail. Adding words, items, and colors to your thumbnails will surely draw attention! As for your title, keep it relative and interesting. Centre it around keywords.
- Share your Youtube videos on other platforms. Youtube is one of the hardest platforms to become discoverable on, so you always want to find ways to build on your reach. Embed your Youtube videos into posts and share them to various other platforms.
- Have an idea of what you will be doing/discussing in your video. There is no need to write and memorize an entire script front to back, but do have a strong idea about what you want to say and do. Have a plan in place and jot down notes as you brainstorm. This will allow you to deliver your video in a more confident manner (and save you about 4348439 outtakes- at least they make for good blooper footage!).
- Avoid making your videos too long. Some popular YouTubers can get away with this because they have spent years building a loyal fan base, but if you are just starting, it’s best not to create actual movies. Keep your videos between 5-10 minutes ideally. They should be long enough for you to do/say what you have to, yet not so long that people will click off half way through.
- Be wary of challenges. While there are many fun and entertaining challenges that have arisen on Youtube, like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the Try Not To Laugh Challenge, or the Boyfriend Does My Makeup Challenge (to name a few), there are some challenges that are overdone and even dangerous! Do I even have to mention why you shouldn’t do the fire challenge or the cinnamon challenge? These are down right idiotic. If you want to dive into the challenge world, do challenges that are relative to what you already do on the platform. And please, just avoid the dangerous challenges- they’re more cringy than they are “cool”.
- Don’t create videos with bad quality products. There is a lot of investing that goes into creating good videos. Ensure you have a good camera/smartphone, a good setup, and a good microphone. There are many tools that deliver good quality and are relatively cheap! Just don’t go uploading a pixelated vlog in the middle of a windy day.
- Avoid click bait. It seems like everyone is using click bait nowadays and while a little playful click bait is fine, do not rely on it. If you upload a video about your favorite products of the fall, use a title like, “I don’t know how I’ve never seen this before!” or “10 products your skin will thank you for”. Make sure your title is authentic. Another peeve of mine is when I see celebrities names/faces in thumbnails/titles that have nothing to do with the video. Since Jake Paul has been the center of online attention lately, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people use his name and face simply for views and attention. It’s a very poor practice and it’s never a good thing to benefit off of the expense of someone else in a negative manner.
All Platforms (too many users to count at this point)
- Provide value to your users/clients. Post helpful content that they can learn from and derive something special from.
- Utilize visuals where ever you can. Videos, GIFs, images, and live streams are great ways to enhance your content!
- Try paid ads. Almost every platform offers paid advertisements. Organic reach is on the decline, so now is a good time to play around with some paid options. I have tried them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and I can say with confidence, they provide a ton of value and help!
- Be yourself! Don’t attempt to create this false person or life. People will listen and people will enjoy your content if you let your true self shine through what you put online. Be you, be authentic, and be friendly!
- Don’t use social media just to sell. Yes, marketing products and services online is essential for any business or brand but do not make it all you do online. People get turned off when someone just sells, sells, sells.
- Don’t pay for followers. Oh for the love of all that is good and holy, do not pay for followers! Those paid for followers are usually inactive accounts and bots that provide no value to you or your business/brand. Remember, quality or quantity. It is better to grow a loyal following slowly than it is to grow a useless following quickly!
- Don’t abandon platforms. Everything takes time to build up, so don’t get discouraged if you aren’t seeing results right away. If you find a platform is doing absolutely nothing for your business/brand, simply delete it. You don’t want a “ghost account” associated with you or your brand/business.
- Don’t neglect analytics! Almost all social platforms provide you with insights and analytics. These numbers are important in determining your next moves online. If you see certain posts do better, figure out why and how to leverage that. If you see numbers drop due to certain posts, reflect where you went wrong. Never neglect numbers because you are essentially neglecting your audience.