How to Improve Your Social Media

by Guest Contributor

19 September, 2017

By Lizzie Benton, Content manager at Datify
honestguidetodigitalmarketing.com

It doesn’t matter if you’re a business, a wannabe blogger, or simply a lover of social media; having an impactful social media presence can help you to gain customers, followers, and even help you to secure your dream job.

But as with any form of marketing, social media needs a well thought out strategy to take you to these places. Even those you think have ‘gone viral’ have had a strategy in place all along.

So, if you’re serious about upping your game and becoming a social influencer, follow these tricks and master your medium.

Pick your platform

There are more social platforms than I can shake a stick at now; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Reddit, YouTube, Snapchat, and many others attempting to emerge on a yearly basis.

But rather than spread yourself thin, pick a platform that is preferred by your target audience. I’ve detailed below the 2017 user statistics of each platform to give you a head start;

Facebook

Female 83%
Male 75%

Aged between 18 – 49 year olds – The best place to reach millennials and Generation X

YouTube

Female 45%
Male 55%

Aged between 18 – 49 year olds
Watched most in the USA than any other TV network

Instagram

Female 38%
Male 26%

90% of users are under the age of 35

Twitter

Female 15%
Male 22%

Aged between 18 – 29 year olds

Pinterest

Female 45%
Male 17%

Evenly distributed between 18 – 64 year olds

 

From this you can pick-out the platforms that means the most to you and have an audience just waiting to enjoy all the content you’re going to share.

This is by far the most important start to improving your social media. Once you know where you want to be, you can then begin investigating these platforms in more depth.

Find your niche

Whatever you want to be known for, make it the focus of your social media strategy.

 

Whether it’s foodie pics, cat memes or beauty tutorials; become the person to follow in that area.

While many are reluctant to select a niche, this can be a driving strategy in increasing followers who are interested in that subject matter, and dramatically improve the reach of your posts.

With this tip, there is no ball and chain saying that you must do it, but if you are attempting to increase followers, drive sales or just get a new job in a particular industry, this can be a winning tactic.

Profile picture – it has to be you

It is a very simple tip, but surprisingly people can forget how important their profile picture is.

Having a photograph of yourself is important across all your social platforms, because people relate to people; if they can’t see your face, how can people know it’s really you that’s putting this content out there.

If you have a stock image, a picture of your pet or a cartoon character, people can become instantly suspicious of your profile and may not follow or engage with you.

Remember that your profile image needs to represent YOU. It’s your identity in the modern online world.

Bio - who are you?

A common area that people often bypass is the bio.

Admittedly it is the most awkward thing to write about yourself, and we’re often not very good at it because we hate talking about our achievements. But your bio enables people to understand who you are, and what to expect from your profile.

These are the top things to include in your social media bio;

  1. Name
  2. Location
  3. Website / Blog
  4. What you do
  5. What you like

Remember again that people need to relate to you and what you’re doing, so have fun with it, and if you really struggle, get a friend to write about you instead. You may be surprised that they can often see the highlights about yourself that you can’t see.

Be consistent

Consistency is key for any social platform, which is why you need to be in it for the long game.

Success won’t happen overnight, and you need to be prepared to put time and energy into consistently keeping the platforms you’ve selected up-to-date.

A neglected profile won’t encourage any followers or engagement, as inactivity will signify it’s a dead profile.

Publishing content consistently not only keeps your profile looking relevant, but will encourage followers and increase engagement.

While you may be thinking, “But how do I keep it fresh without being on it ALL the time?” … well that is where scheduling tools can help.

There are a number of scheduling tools available so that you can organise all of your posts and tweets to be published at specific times.

Unfortunately, the only platform that doesn’t have this capacity at the moment is Instagram. So, if this is a significant platform for your audience, you may need to be a little more proactive with this.

The following scheduling tools are great for getting on top of your social media strategy;

  • Hootsuite
  • Tweetdeck
  • Sprout Social

You only need to spend a few hours a week organising your posts, so dedicate some time to it, and you will dramatically see the increase your profiles gain.

Be relevant

While consistency is key, don’t forget that each of your posts will always need to be relevant to your target audience.

Simply discussing what you had for lunch or what you’re doing, is probably not of interest to people. Always ask yourself before posting – would my audience be interested in this?

If it’s a no, it’s time to rethink your strategy.

Posting about significant events, sharing relevant articles and even your opinions on a subject matter will all be far more of interest than your day-to-day shenanigans.

As an example below I’ve listed some the type of posts I created for a local independent pub;

  • Funny pub quotes
  • Updates on events and live music
  • Questions – what events do you want to see us putting on
  • Feedback – what was everyone’s thought on tapas Tuesday
  • Offers
  • Updates on new breweries in the area

Analyse your niche and come-up with a list for your own social profiles. What can you post that will be of interest to your audience and engage them in a conversation?

After all, it’s called ‘social’ media for a reason.

Find your hashtags

Hashtags are essential for being found by those interested in the subject you’re posting about.

Only essential for Instagram and Twitter; without hashtags, your posts will not be seen by your target audience.

Finding hashtags isn’t hard, but again takes a little time and research.

Start by thinking about all the relevant words that might be used in your niche. Let’s take food as an example.

Words that people may use, include;

  • Yummy
  • Delish
  • Foodie
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Breakfast
  • Nom Nom

Now let’s use Instagram as a start.

Go into the Instagram search option, select Tags and start typing in food. Instagram will immediately start giving you a list with the most popular hashtags.
Select which ones are the most relevant to your post and add them in. Simple!

Embrace a theme

You can be forgiven for thinking a theme is the same as a niche, but it’s very different.

Your theme is the filter and style of your images and is most commonly used on image heavy platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest.

While many people don’t use a filter to define their profile, it can significantly help in areas where image and branding are important. For example, in blogging, fashion photography or interior design.

Learning which filter defines your brand and the composition of how your images should be photographed are all elements which need to be considered when taking your profile to the next level.

There are many image editing apps available that can enable you to improve your images without being an expert in Photoshop. This includes;

  • VSCO
  • Snapseed
  • Filterstorm
  • Enlight

When selecting a theme, think about the mood and feeling you’re looking to convey to your audience. Is it fresh and modern, or artistic?

These tips and tricks can all be done by anyone without any prior experience of social media or marketing, and once you’ve got into a routine of posting and updating your profile, followers and engagement will begin to trickle in.