10 Social Media tips from an expert
1. Get Personal
The public like to know the person behind the blog/brand. The rise in popularity of bloggers proves this as we like to know who they are, what they do and if he/she is similar to us; do they read the same books, watch the same Netflix series, brunch at the same spot every Sunday etc.
There is so much competition between brands nowadays that getting personal is your unique quality they can’t replicate. Show your audience on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat etc who you are: your age, your background, your dreams, your motivations and more importantly what your brand/blog means to you. Give them an added reason to follow you other than your amazing talents of course!
2. Images and Videos Daily
According tobufferapp.com tweets with images receives more than 150% more retweets than tweets with just words. This can also be said for Facebook, where posts with images see 2.3 times more engagement than posts with just written word. As the old saying goes; ‘a picture paints a thousand words’.
This post was created for Race Around Ireland, a cycling race in Ireland, and as you can see this image reached almost 15,000 people, this is compared to around 2,000 people reached in just written posts.
A lot of us scroll through Facebook, Twitter etc with only five minutes to spend on social media, images allow you to get your message across quickly and in a way that appeals to the masses. The images don’t have to be unique every day; they can be funny memes, old photos (throwback Thursday), photos of yourself, your pet etc. The sky is the limit, just make it interesting.
3. Have varied content
When I began working with various companies in Ireland most were just posting information, some photos and rarely some videos. Coming from a radio background I really wanted to introduce podcasts into the mix. I began working with Race Around Ireland’s (Europes toughest cycling challenge) founder Alan Heary on short and concise podcasts that would be informative, new and easy to listen to for the cyclists involved. This became a weekly activity leading up to the race and one that all racers said proved invaluable to them.
Podcasts are extremely popular now, particularly in America and it is very easy to do. Once you have a recording device- Iphone, in my case a H1 Zoom recorder or any other device you can think of, a FREE soundcloud account, yes free, Audacity is a free editing software, so now you are already half way there.
Podcasts aside, written posts and images must be varied also. No one wants to be shown promotional material every day, we want funny videos, cute puppies, inspirational quotes, or is that just me? One rule of thumb is to ensure only 30% of your posts are promotional, yes we need to promote our brand and make some money, but we must also increase our following and reach among the masses. You can upload personal photos, write funny stories, tell us what you did last weekend, of course funny memes, and retweet/share others funny posts also (always credit the original author). There are so many apps now that help you create collages, memes and unique content (canva, instacollage, mematic).
This is one I created when I worked for AR VR Innovate event in Dublin. Each speaker I created a collage of their photo, name, company and title of presentation. Audiences are informed without even reading the information in the tweet.
A social media content calendar is a tool that can be used to help content creation and to keep you on track. Days like Mother’s Day, National Best Friend’s Day, International Human Rights Day are just some that can help you create content and use hash tags to trend online and reach a wider audience.
4. Consistency is key
Most millennial nowadays when looking at brands will look at the brands social media pages, and if they aren’t up to date, relevant and ‘cool’ then they will rethink their purchase.
Your website can be amazing, but you need your social media pages to reflect this also.
Daily posts are essential; you can schedule your tweets and posts on Hootsuite for $19 per month, which hosts up to 10 social media accounts. You can also schedule posts free on Facebook.
You should be consistent with your posts if you have themed posts- on Tuesday’s you do a Tuesday Shoesday for example, or on Friday’s you do a meet a member of the team post. If you retweet/share posts a lot then time and day isn’t as important but uniformity for some posts is a must and this will generate repeat engagement with your audience. With the podcasts we created on Race Around Ireland, we posted them every Friday and they were always met with huge reach and they became a must for the cyclists training at weekends.
Organic growth on Twitter and Instagram is by majority done via hashtags. One thing that has worked for me is logging on to Twitter and looking at what hashtags are trending and using them in my tweets. The usual ones that come up are throw back Thursday, Monday motivations, Flashback Friday etc. As of writing this today Saturday June 24th #gdocexpo is trending as number 2, the game developers of color expo is a perfect example of how events can trend on twitter and how the event can reach a huge audience. To market on this hashtag for example you could talk about games you’ve played (xbox, playstation etc), if of course it is relevant and use the #gdocexpo. Always try commercialise on what is trending if you have something that is relevant to add. A lot of brands capitalize on trends such as the Super bowl, the VMA’s, The presidential election (is is still a touchy subject), add photos, your opinions, memes, etc and use the trending hashtag to get noticed. Depending on the hashtag the content should be relevant, but sometimes the non relevant tweets are the ones who are funnier and gain more reach.
Another thing I do is research days that are coming up- National Puppy Day, National Donut Day, Mother’s Day ,Pride weekend, etc, this allows me to get on board the hashtag for that day with cute content (puppies), showing love and support to a cause, and showing how important it is to me and my brand.
I worked on two large events in Dublin and both trended on Twitter, both becoming the number 2 trend. This was because I ensured the #arvrinnovate (our event hashtag) was used months prior to the event, during the event, and used by all speakers and delegates attending the event. Exposure to the hashtag will ensure the public know it is necessary to use. For brands you must create a unique hashtag for your brand, one that will become immediately recognizable for your audience. Ensure no one else has it or is associated with it of course. This goes for both Instagram and Twitter. Instagram you can search the most popular hashtags, images and videos and view their content and adapt it for your posts.
6. It’s called Social Media because it is social
You must engage with your audience daily, respond to their tweets, answer their Facebook questions, regard their Instagram photos etc. Everybody loves recognition, and your fans will adore you if you retweet them or mention them online. Your audience wants to interact with you, and this builds loyalty and friendship. Always look up your brand/blog name on all social media sites and if people mention/tag you, you should mention them back, say hi, thank them for their support, compliment their photo, retweet the content (giving them credit of course), and build a relationship with them. Talking for myself but I love when brands, celebrities, bloggers like my post or amazingly mention me, it gives me a little buzz inside and makes me want to tweet more, upload more photos and gain their attention again. It also makes brands seem more human and not just a person behind a computer but someone who cares. The use of retweets can not only build a relationship but gain a larger audience for you too (see below).
At the IAB Ireland event, I retweeted many delegate tweets thus giving them recognition, broadening our content and getting another use of our hashtag, which helped us trend.
7. Relate to others
Like I said earlier about getting personal makes you more relatable to your audience, it is also necessary to relate to other brands, people, groups that share your vision and ethos. You should follow similar brands (competition also), bloggers/influencers with similar visions, people that inspire you etc. An example would be for a wellness blogger- you can follow whole foods, The Dalai Lama, Tony Robbins, The Happier podcast, meditation centers etc. If you connect with brands and people that represent your values you gain a wider audience, more reach from retweets, mentions, and show more of your personality. Connecting with similar brands/people will also open the door for collaborations (money), which will help you develop your brand and help you increase followers and reach a mass audience.
8. The connection between Social Media platforms
First it was Facebook, then Twitter, then Instagram and now everyone is crazy for Snapchat. Know where your audience is and reach them on different platforms. Every few month’s new ways of reaching your audience are created; you must learn these techniques and optimize them for your brand.
You can post on Instagram for example and allow this post to be shared on Facebook and Twitter also, leading followers on other platforms to come to your Instagram to view the image.
It is always good to note that followers/fans on Facebook may be completely different to ones who follow you on Snapchat,you must analyze the followers on each and tailor your content for each platform if necessary.
All social media platforms are linkable and some are dependent on each other for success, once you have a presence on the most popular ones then you have created a pathway for success.
You must watch your competition- follow them, view their posts, when they post, what they post, their type of followers, their success etc and analyze their strategy and how you can adapt it for your brand. As a child we learn from our parents, this is exactly the same for business, except maybe they don’t give us candy or praise from looking at their every move lol.
A lot of new brands need competitive analysis to create their strategy, but also existing brands learn from others in the market and continually learn. If you are a blogger, what other blogger did you aspire to be like? What key tools did they have that made them successful?
Keeping it to social media, Snapchat with its instant images and videos became a huge hit, and soon followed Instagram with their instant images and videos, closely followed by Facebook.
Look at what works for them, ADAPT it for you and hopefully learn from their mistakes and develop from their success.
10. Analyze, analyze, analyze
You may have a hugely successful brand/blog but in order to continue success you must consistently analyze what you do and be pro active about what works and how you can change what doesn’t work.
Analyze weekly what posts had the most reach and why, is there a certain time in the day that helps gain more audience reach, is there a certain topic that is more popular than others? Again as research shows images and videos are more popular than just written word.
If you see that posting in the AM only gets you a reach of 100 people, but posting after work at 6PM gets you 1000 people then you know when to post. It sounds simple but it’s hugely effective and one that many people seem to miss out on.
On Facebook you can view your statistics on your page via the insights button; this will tell you your daily, weekly, monthly reach and your post engagements.
You can also view the reach of each tweet on Twitter, but Instagram will only show you likes and views. On the most basic level you can analyze weekly the reach of your posts and see what performs better and again analyze competitors weekly and adapt to what is successful for them.
Success does not continue without growth and development, which in turn won’t happen without analysis of success and failures.
Go forth and conquer the world of social media, I know you can do it!
About the author:
Hi I’m Lisa, 28, Irish and living in New York City :)
I moved to New York in September 2016, after falling in love with the city in the summer of 2014.
My aim in moving over was to expand my horizons personally and professionally. I worked in events for six years in Ireland, and more recently worked freelance for various companies doing social media, public relations and communications. I worked for Race Around Ireland, Europe’s toughest cycling race, The Wicklow 200, a countryside fun race, Gymnastics Ireland, and before you ask, no I am not sporty. I can’t even do a summersault. I have also worked on various events doing social media; including the international augmented and virtual reality conference; AR VR Innovate, and the Irish internet advertising board connect. Both events trended as number two in Ireland on Twitter, and generated a whopping 5,000 tweets between them (my poor fingers).
My New York career has been in sales at an Irish hotel brand, working on events and marketing for both restaurants and bars, including working on their social media platforms.
Personally I love positive thoughts, cupcakes and frozen margaritas, most of the time in that order, but not always. I always believe in aiming for the stars and working hard towards your dreams (I am in New York, so it definitely works). For those of you who may not have visited Ireland yet, it is an amazing place and you must go, think less leprechauns, more like unmet friends, beautiful scenery and a culture that will make you all want to be Irish