We are well and truly in the digital age, with information available on hand with a simple google search, or even by asking the virtual assistant in your pocket.
Over the past couple of decades, with the development of new technologies, has come the evolution of social media. Many platforms have failed to achieve longevity and were laid to rest in the social media graveyard, only to remain a distant memory in early 00's pop culture.
In 2019 we are now at a point where it is possible to make serious money by using social media to our advantage to reach a specific target audience, boost our business' online presence and make a successful career with our smartphone. On Word-Press alone, 74.7 million blog posts are published every month, over 95 million photos are posted on Instagram every day and every minute over 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube. If this much content is being produced, how on earth is it possible to give your social media career the edge it needs to stand out from the crowd?
If you're just starting out, it doesn't matter whether it's a personal blog, a niche vlog or your restaurant's social media presence, some simple tips will help you get off to a flying start:
1. Be Patient
Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is an active social media following. Keep positive and as long as you're producing consistent, great content, your core fans will follow as your engagement increases and you will get better at understanding your target audience and can craft the optimal posting schedule.
2. Be Aware
This leads me on to my next tip - have a clear image of who you're targeting with each post. If you haven't already got an idea of who your ideal target audience is, get out your notepad and start defining who you want your content to appeal to. Naturally, you're going to attract a vast array of people, but who do you imagine your core supporters to be? What do they stand for? What content and brands do they already follow? What excites them?
3. Be Fluid
If it’s not working, change it! If after a few months you notice on your analytics that your core target audience isn’t what you expected then work with it. It’s the same with content too, once you’ve got at least 3 months of posted content see what has had the most engagement over the last few months and been a topic of conversation amongst your followers.
4. Be Organised
Organisation is one of the main keys to succeeding with a social media career - schedule posts and have an idea of what you want to post over the next few weeks. Use an annual calendar, highlighting key dates, holidays and anything your audience will be interested in. Websites like buffer are perfect to schedule all your platforms in one place to make sure there’s a variety across each platform.
5. Be Current
What’s going on in the world? And I’m not even going to mention the B word. Leave the politics at home (unless it’s important to your brand) and make sure you’re updating your posting schedule to cover trending topics as and when they come up. If you didn’t post about Gregg’s vegan sausage roll launch, then you really did miss a trick this January.
6. Be Active
Put the dumbbells down. For a truly flourishing online presence, stay active by replying to comments, messages and questions. If a potential audience sees that you're actively responding to comments and building rapport, they are more likely to follow and comment on your posts too. Spend a bit of time each day or each week sincerely engaging with your audience.
7. Less is More
You may think having millions of online followers is how you measure success on social media. However, find just 1,000 true fans who are willing follow/buy your product, and they’ll do all the tough marketing for you - word of mouth is still to this day the most effective form of marketing. Someone organically posting positively about your brand/business on their personal social media is a more effective way to target a new audience than by posting on your own social outlets.
These points are transferable to the beginning of any social media venture and are fundamental in getting your brand out there. However, as long as you're resilient, stay consistent, and have a passion for the content you’re creating, there’s no way you can fail.