Social media has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. From making a MySpace and Facebook on the same day some time in seventh or eighth grade without my mom’s permission (boy was she mad) to being called “the Twitter guru” by my peers and superiors, social media has become a big part of my life. It’s one of the first things I check in the morning and it’s one of the last things I see at night.
I use social media not just for my own benefit, but also to promote many of the organizations that I’m part of: Cardinal Communications, Ball State PRSSA, Epsilon Sigma Alpha, just to name a few. It’s safe to say that social media is a big, big part of my life. I love it.
Although I’m by no means an expert, I’m familiar with many different platforms and tactics. Here’s what has worked for me over my seven years with social media.
Tip 1: Update regularly.
Frequency is key in social media. People follow, friend and add you because they want to know what you’re doing. Appease them (and maybe your inner narcissist) and update your social media platforms regularly. On Twitter, this might mean posting several times each day. On Facebook, you might post a few times each week. Everyone has their own schedule for posting–you know what works for you and your audience. Just don’t forget the importance of updating social media on a regular basis.
Tip 2: Don’t forget.
My second social media tip goes along with the first–once you’ve created a regular schedule of updating your accounts, don’t forget about them. Some social media, like LinkedIn, require fewer regular updates (unless you’re job-hopping). When you leave your Twitter without posting for months, people unfollow, lose interest or forget about you. Whether you’re a person or a company, none of those options are appealing. When you’re looking for a job or internship, hiring companies inspect your profiles and want to see responsible, frequent content. Don’t let them down. Don’t forget about social media.
Tip 3: Track what’s popular.
Twitter has a great analytics tracking software that’s built in to the website. If you visit analytics.twitter.com, you can see your most popular tweets and the posts that received the most impressions for any given month. By paying attention to these trends, you can tailor your account in order to share more of what your audience likes. Facebook has a similar built-in feature where you can track change over time.
Tip 4: Share others’ ideas.
Retweeting, sharing and linking to other people’s posts is one of the best ways to build a community online. By sharing the work of others, they may be more willing to share your ideas. Additionally, through sharing, you create an exchange of ideas that may introduce you and your audience to completely new perspectives.
Tip 5: Research.
Although this suggestion might make you cringe, research is an integral part of social media. Use analytics and trends in the media or industry to make your social media the best it can be. Read Social Media Examiner, Digital Trends and Social Media Today to stay up to date on social media trends, as well as to gain insight into social media with various tips. Another part of research is following the different accounts that you aspire to be like.
This isn’t an exhaustive list. Social media is an ever-changing world and every tactic won’t work for every platform. What has worked for you online? Leave a comment below.