The Key to Social Media Success? Engaged Followers.
Today we’re going to focus on one tip to successfully using social media to promote your brand. I’ve observed some companies going wrong by using their social media platforms to simply advertise themselves. Social Media growth does not come from spaming your followers with buy now, call now, book now direct sales posts. In today’s world, this won’t work. Consumers are no longer buying just products, they are buying relationships. They go to a restaurant because their favorite influencer recommends it, they read a new book because their friends are raving about it, they buy the latest trend because everyone else is. We all want to join in the conversation with those around us.
With this in mind, let’s think about how we use social media. Each platform has its own little niche, but there’s some overarching rules as well.
- Get the Right Followers. Everything in social media stems from engagement.
You want engaged followers. Many people ask about buying bots for more followers and likes. This can work when done correctly. The bot has to be set up to gain real followers and for local business it needs to be local followers.
Think about your purpose for using social media – to promote yourself yes – but what else? Are you trying to increase sales? Foot traffic? Traffic to your website or blog? Gather feedback? None of these goals will be achieved from fake followers. Take the time to get the right followers. Those who will see your posts and want to reach out – whether that’s by coming in your store or restaurant, sharing it with their friends to increase your awareness, or simply adding a comment providing some feedback that not only you, but other viewers can see.
- Introduce Yourself Being all about connections, viewers love to see the face behind the product.
They want to know WHO they’re buying, your values, your beliefs. This is a great time to use those headshots you’ve gotten from our Pittsburgh business photographers. Creating a personality for your brand – that mimics your own – will gain the trust of your viewers, and they will want to follow you throughout your career, gaining yourself some loyal followers.
- Give Your Brand A Personality. Now that they know you are, keep that personality going.
Find a tone that works for you – sassy, classy, light & friendly, sophisticated – and stick to it. Use all your captions as a way to talk to the followers. Social Media is a platform for conversation – not one -way advertisement. Use copy that sparks conversation not only between you and them, but between the followers themselves. If you can do this, you’ve just began to create your own little world. THESE are followers who will bring in their friends, spread your name, and help increase your success.
- Go Live! Some platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow “live-stream” or “stories” features.
Take advantage of these! Depending on your business, use the live stream to show “behind the scenes” footage or to quickly promote something new. Using the “stories” feature also allows you to directly talk to your viewers. In your stories, it allows you to add stickers, one of which is a chat sticker. This is by far the most common and most effective sticker. You can use it to ask for opinions, to open it up for questions, or to start a dialogue.
- Use Hashtags. **Instagram Specific** The other tips were there to help you keep the followers you already have engaged.
This one is to help find new ones. Instagram uses hashtags to connect posts to each other. This is how people find new accounts and posts based on subjects they are interested in. You can use up to 30 hashtags on your post. SHOULD YOU USE THEM ALL? You can but for the best organic growth use only 9 to 10 hashtags per post. Use a mix of location hashtags (#pittsburgh, #robinson #pgh) , general industry hashtags (ex: #headshotcrew), and a few specific post related hashtags. Keep in mind if you want to grow local followers the more local hashtags you use the more local people will find you. If you use mainly industry hashtags you will grow people in your industry for all over the world. General hashtags or content related hashtags should be used less often. (ex: #Italiandinner).
6. Use great photos. You will see many online claims that your photo quality dose not matter.
However brands that really are growing on social media use high quality photos. On our Instagram we will use a mix of Professional photos from a DSLR and only few iPhone photos. Why? Because Personal Brand Photography is a mixture of photojournalism, lifestyle and portraiture. Sometimes the ease of use of the iPhone helps to regularly communicate your personal brand and make a meaningful connection with your audience.
Jen Barker Worley Photography. Professional Headshot, Team and Branding photography. Downtown Pittsburgh. President of Pittsburgh Chapter of ASMP.