Social media is always changing, but there are a few practices that can go a long way in turning your social media platforms into fun and civil spaces.
1. Make Sure Your Social Media Platforms Are Completely Filled Out and up to Date
Leaving gaps or failing to update your information looks unprofessional and can be a turn-off for people who are looking for an expert in their field of interest. Double-check your bio and contact info and make sure everything is legit!
2. Gotta Keep ‘Em Separated
Like the 1994 Offspring song says, it’s important to keep your personal and business accounts separate. We’ve all seen people use their personal accounts to promote their business, and while this can be effective in certain cases (think MLMs or life coaches) unless it’s done intentionally and your personality is an essential selling point for your business, it’s best to keep ’em separated!
3. Be Intentional
Before you post, ask yourself the following questions:
- What value does this post bring to my audience’s lives?
- Is this post educational? Is it entertaining?
- Is this the best format for this post, or could it be more effective in a different format?
- Should I post this right now, or would it be more prudent to schedule it at a different point in the future?
Being intentional with your posts means that you are creating high-quality content that keeps your audience coming back for more, instead of being a bore, and making them snore.
4. Post Consistently
Posting consistently (at least 2-3 times a week) does two great things for your business:
- It helps you to establish your company as a reliable leader within its field of expertise
- It expands your visibility and gets your message and image out to more viewers and potential customers
It’s pretty easy to let regular posting fall to the wayside, which is why it’s always a good idea to use a social media content calendar to batch and pre-schedule your posts in advance.
5. Pick and Stick
Pick 2-3 social media networks and stick with them! Once you know where your audience hangs out, make sure that you prioritize posting content on those platforms. It’s totally fine to expand your horizons and join whatever hot new social media app is trending, but don’t do it at the expense of leaving your highest performing platforms behind!
6. Talk to Your People
Engaging with your audience is a crucial part of growing your social media following. Like, comment on, and share audience members’ posts, and ask questions and seek recommendations from your followers.
Showing your audience that you are interested in what they have to say is a two-way street, and makes them more likely to engage with your content!
7. Be an Adult
Certain people on the internet, let’s just call them trolls, excel at pushing people’s buttons. Rude, hateful, and vile comments can really make you want to scream or at least type some kind of witty and sarcastic response in all capitals.
But think about it, do you really want to engage with people like that? Does it make the world a better place, and, if world peace isn’t quite your thing, does it reflect positively on your brand when you stoop to the level of the trolls?
The best way to deal with trolls is to avoid overreacting or getting defensive and to maintain strong boundaries. Understand when you need to respectfully acknowledge and respond to constructive criticism from a potential customer and when you need to delete intolerant comments and delete whack trolls!
8. Prioritize Providing Quality Content
80% of your posts should be educational or entertaining, the other 20% can be directly related to selling your products or services. When you follow the 80/20 rule, you ensure that you are providing quality content that will drive your audience to engage with your business!
9. Know Your Platforms
There should be a difference in the content that you post on a more casual platform such as Facebook vs. a more professional platform like LinkedIn. Pinterest and Instagram are more visually oriented sites, making them the perfect places to share images, while TikTok and YouTube are the go-to apps for video content!
10. Edit Your Posts
It’s fine if all of your posts aren’t perfectly polished, that’s part of what makes you a relatable human being! But if you’re regularly posting content that is rife with typos and spelling errors it just looks sloppy and comes across as unprofessional. Do yourself (and your audience!) a favor and give your content the ol’ once-over before posting.
11. Use High-Quality Images
To paraphrase Madonna, we are living in a visual world, and we are visual girls (and boys). High quality images are eye-catching and appealing, and they attract people to your site. Research shows that tweets that contain images have 150% more retweets than solely text-based tweets, and they have 89% more likes!
Those are big percentages, so if you’re not already incorporating images in your social media repertoire then it’s definitely time to start!
12. Promote Other Businesses
A great way to make friends and create reciprocal relationships is by promoting other businesses. If you are sharing content from a business that is local to your area, be sure to share their location tag so that your followers can find and support them!
13. Give Props
There’s really no good reason to take credit for work that isn’t yours. If you’re sharing content that you find inspiring or memorable, make sure to mention the original author or photographer! After all, don’t you want people to properly attribute your genius creations?!
14. Tag Intentionally
You don’t need to be tagging everyone you know and their mother just to get eyes on your account. Tag people or accounts whom you think could really benefit from viewing your content, or who you want to start a conversation with. Otherwise, don’t tag at all!
15. Mix It Up
If you find yourself getting bored with your social media content, chances are your audience is too. Don’t be afraid to mix it up a little bit: do some livestreams, share some behind the scenes reels, or provide an AMA via Instagram’s Questions feature and show your vulnerable side!