Last week for Social Media Explained we talked about finding which platforms are the best to showcase your content and identifying which ones you feel most comfortable using on a regular day basis. In case you missed that post, you can catch up here. For episode two today we’re talking about establishing yourself as a relevant voice within the social sphere of your industry.
Here are a few quick and easy things to kick start your social presence:
1. Branding your social self Just like a uniform you would wear to work, your social profiles need to accurately represent your brand and be consistent with one another.
a) Picking usernames:
- Pick a username that is professional, relevant, and easy to remember. Some bad examples are: sxyroger4589, ERMAHGERDPERNIES, LittleBumbleBeeLol. Please don’t do this. It will make my soul cry a little bit.
- Use the same username on all your chosen platforms so that it’s easy for your friends, fans, and followers to find you EVERYWHERE. (Meaning your Twitter handle, your Instagram username, and Pinterest username are all the same - no variations.) And if you’re unsure as to whether or not a certain platform will be your primary/secondary, reserve it anyways. Better to be safe than sorry! If you can’t get the same username on all your chosen platforms because someone else has already claimed it, I highly recommend picking a different one. Consistency across the board is so essential and such an easy step to take when it comes to your digital uniform!
b) Building profiles:
- Pick a photo that is appropriate but fun. It doesn’t need to be a stoic photo of your company CEO in a suit. This is the face for your social media profile, not your driver’s license! Social interactions are meant to start conversations with people who share your interests - and nobody wants to talk to the grouchy pants in the corner at a party.
- Use the same photo and basic design elements everywhere. Whether it’s your logo, a headshot, patterns/colors that correspond with your site’s design/color scheme - keep it consistent so that those images and colors become associated with you and your brand.
2. Using hashtags and keywords So once you start posting content, it’s important to find relevant conversations to insert yourself into. This means identifying what you want to use social media to talk about, finding those conversations, and starting to build relationships with the people having them.
Hashtags are marked keywords that help categorize your content. People can search for either very general or very specific topics using hashtags. You can do a search for #Love or #GovernmentShutdown and find an equally impressive list of results for either topic.
When it comes to hashtags, there are two important uses:
a) To find interesting conversations and give your commentary or connect with someone who has a similar opinion/idea to you
- Use the search bar to find out who is talking about gardening, or coaching, or health/fitness, or advertising. Follow the people that seem to be industry leaders or even just other layman with interesting opinions. Favorite, retweet, and reply to tweets that catch your eye about Topic X.
b) To broadcast your own message.
- Tweeting something spectacular about Topic X is well and fine, but if it just gets lost in the excessive noise of digital media, what was the point? When you say “HEY I HAVE SOMETHING COOL TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE CONVERSATION ABOUT #TOPICX,” your content is suddenly categorized and listed as part of the global conversation. You can effectively initiate a conversation and invite people to respond with their opinions about Topic X. And boom. Instant foot in the door.
3. Sharing industry relevant content Your social platform isn’t just a place to discuss your products and services. It’s important to show your fans that you have the authority to write about Topic X because you are keeping up-to-speed on industry trends and progressions.
- Always be reading and bookmarking relevant articles to share with your fans/followers.
- Always be willing to help a colleague/coworker within the industry out with a few promotions on your sites.
- Always be building up your relationships within the community as well as your reputation as someone who knows what’s up.
If you have any further questions about social media marketing, it would be my absolute pleasure to answer them. Please feel free to drop them in the comments below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with personal inquiries.
Broadcasting loud and clear, xx Nikbear