What do Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat have in common? They are necessary tools to help spread your message to your audience. But should we use them because everyone tells us to, or should we use them because it’s smart business?
When I began using social media I was hesitant. It all started with a popular social media account in 2005 called MySpace. (And no, I’m not giving you my outdated and abandoned MySpace account.) It was all the rave. Everyone was on it. Kids loved it, parents hated it and the church did everything to condemn it.
Today is much different. There’s not only Facebook, but Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, DigIt, Periscope, Blab.im and the list goes on. It’s hard to know which platform to be using let alone how to use them. But are the necessary? What’s the whole point if you have to divide your attention between several and still get stuff accomplished at the office?
I want to help sort out what they can do for you, while helping you remain focused on what’s most important. I want to walk you through 4 social media accounts you must have to grow your online-based audience.
Let’s start with the easiest and most familiar. Most people reading this post already have a Facebook account. To tell you about myself, I have 5 pages and 1 personal profile I am responsible for. How do we use Facebook? I’m not an expert, but I know what works. Here’s my list of how you should use Facebook for maximum potential.
- Use images and video. There’s a reason newspapers and magazines use images. They convey the message of the text. It is said that more people engage with images than text. So, break up your daily posts with images or video.
- Ask Questions. One thing that can gain more interaction is the use of questions. Use hypothetical to garner responses. Ask for their opinion on a topic you’re thinking about using in an upcoming blog or podcast. Be creative and engage your audience.
- Use Facebook Ads. You want a great way to get more likes and more followers? Use Facebook marketing ads. These simple ads will show up in the newsfeed of your target audience.
- Promote a new product.
- Give away an ebook.
- Ask for likes to your page.
The goal is to be creative when it comes to engaging your audience. Facebook is a great place to do that. Your audience is comprised of a vast array of people from all walks of life. The typical rule of thumb is 80/20. Eighty percent of your content should be for your audience and the last 20% for your business. In other words, focus on engagement before you focus on that sale.
This is one of the more confusing of social media accounts. You may have a Twitter handle (Mine is @jbsisam. But few know what to do with Twitter. I’ve talked with countless people who think it’s a platform where you tell everyone what you’re eating at that very moment. Personally that’s Snapchat, more on that in a moment.
Twitter can be one of the most valuable tools at your disposal. In-fact, it’s my number one go-to in social media. I generate more traffic to my blog on this channel than anywhere else combined.
- Post content about your blog regularly. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5 O’clock in the morning, I send a tweet alerting my followers to my current blog post. I periodically will send reminders and let them know about past posts that may pique their interest.
- Follow those who follow you that you find interesting. Twitter recommends following people who follow you. It’s a courteous way of saying ‘howdy’. Now, there are pundits on both sides here. But, I still follow Twitter’s advice. It seems to be working.
- Create interesting links to other blogs you find your readers might enjoy. I love sharing well-thought-out advice from other bloggers. I feel it gives me more validity and it helps me spread their message. In turn, if they like my content, they’ll share in kind.
- Reply and post your follower’s tweets regularly. As a general rule, I tweet around 5 times a day. There are times where that doesn’t happen, but if something I read strikes a cord with me, I’ll share it on my Twitter feed. And don’t forget to reply to those who follow you and thank them, or to someone’s comment to your post. Courtesy goes a long way.
If you’ve not used Instagram, you must. It’s one of two most fun social media accounts I enjoy. I look at this social media channel as an in-between blog posts way of communicating with my tribe. I use this as a way for me to share bits of what’s happening in my life. I will also post some quote cards for others to share.
The only caveat is it’s a phone/tablet only app social media account. Even though Facebook owns it, they want to keep it mobile. But if you want to communicate via images, Instagram is a great app to use.
How to get the most out of Instagram:
- Shoot a square image. This will cause saved time from having to crop.
- Use hashtags. This will place your image in a greater search category. You may even find a few followers in the process.
- Use relevant images to your brand. Many times, I’ll create an image on a second party app, upload it to Instagram to share. This way you can brand your images with your logo/branding mark.
This is the newest kid on the block. I also believe Snapchat will quickly become the most popular social media channels on the planet. It already has generated over 400 million snaps this year alone. If you want to get on a band wagon, I encourage you to give Snapchat a go.
Let me explain Snapchat. A snap or picture/video is available for 1-10 seconds once someone opens it. My favorite part is the story section where you can save snaps to your story that will last for 24 hours before disappearing altogether.
I’ve been giving it a try the past four weeks. And I love it! So, it’s too early to tell if I’ll keep up. However, Snapchat allows you to share 10 second thoughts or images with your followers. So what can Snapchat do for you?
- Send quick messages to people you know or receive snaps from your followers. It’s faster than email and it’s a great way to have fun with your tribe.
- Create stories throughout the day. This is a great way to share bits and pieces of what you’re up to during the day. This gives people a chance to feel as if they’re coming along side of your life adventures. They feel a part of something great!
- Deliver a call-to-action. Earlier this week in my story, I mentioned to visit my website. So, I created a text overlay that let everyone know what my website was. It worked. I had a couple people come over to the blog.
Whether you stick with the tried and true Facebook and Twitter, or decide to give new Social Media a try on Instagram or Snapchat, the goal is to be consistent and show up. People don’t follow ghost towns. Don’t let an account just sit, because your followers will stop looking.
Question: What is your go-to social media channel? What one new social media channel are you willing to try? Leave a comment by clicking here!