Social media is a fantastic way to promote yourself or your business – it can increase awareness of your brand, bolster your design portfolio, improve your site's SEO, and help you to genuinely connect with your customers. It's easy to set up a social media page, but gaining traction and turning handfuls of followers into thousands and thousands of engaged users is tough.
- How to create a killer social media campaign
There's no magic formula to success in social media, and it can feel like it's taking a very long time to attract the right followers. There are some social media tricks and some basic rules you can follow to help things along. However, these vary between social media platforms, so we've zoned in on five power tips for each of the three main players: Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
If you follow this advice, and remain patient during the lulls in follower activity, you will be well on the path to audience engagement. On this page we look at Facebook, and on the following pages you'll find power tips for Twitter and Instagram. Let's dive straight in…
Facebook power tips
01. Get local
If you are only going to do one thing with social media from now on then it should be this. Join as many local community groups as possible and post regularly in them. Get known, provide advice, answer questions. Just participate. People buy from people they know. So make sure everyone knows you.
02. Know your audience
Every single Facebook tip boils down to one thing. Get to know the people around you, and make sure they know you. Talk to people, answer their questions for free, be the guy everyone likes, the first person they think of. Then when they need something, you’ll have already sold it.
03. Share memes
People love to share funny pictures. The picture itself isn’t going to get you any business, but becoming known as a person who is funny isn’t going to do you any harm at all. Social media is about interaction. Be the person that everyone likes. Try to make what you share relevant…
04. Integrate email marketing
Do you have a regular newsletter? If not then shame on you, go start one now. Then integrate the sign up with your Facebook page. There’s no point in going to all of the effort of making people like you if you don’t leverage it to get an opportunity to pitch your business.
We know it kinda goes against the ethos of this list to suggest you simply pay for adverts, but Facebook’s retargeting system rocks. And even better it doesn’t have to cost much. The more people see you the more likely they are to buy, so retarget to make sure they see you again!
Recommended app: Tabsite
This tool enables you to create tabs in Facebook, so you can run competitions, sweepstakes, and special offers.
Next page: Tips for making the most of Twitter
Twitter power tips
01. Tweet a lot
The average lifespan of a single tweet is measured in minutes. Even assuming you have a good audience then tweeting once a day is only ever going to reach a tiny fraction of them. You should be aiming to post multiple times a day. Retweet yourself if you have to.
02. Become the expert
If you aren’t tweeting links to interesting articles about your industry then you are missing a trick. Portray yourself as being knowledgeable and at the cutting edge without having to write your own content. That a real win-win situation.
03. Start a conversation
It seems a little odd to think of Twitter as a place for conversations when you remember the character limit, but it really is. Answer people, compliment them, thank them for retweeting you. Show them the person behind the tweets, and you will reap the rewards.
04. Use moving pictures
Everyone likes a good GIF right? Get yourself over to Giphy and start using them as answers. You’d be amazed at how many conversations are taking place on Twitter right now with nothing but GIFs. Come and join in.
05. Ride the coat-tails of fame
Tag people. The more followers the better. Make sure they are relevant to your business, and your tweet is relevant to them. All it takes is one retweet, or reply from a big name in your industry for people to notice you.
Recommended app: Tweetdeck
Do you want to manage multiple Twitter streams at the same time? Then TweetDeck is the app for you.
Next page: Last, but by no means least, Instagram…
Instagram power tips
01. Get on brand
Creating a content strategy helps keep you on track when deciding what to post. Make a recognisable look for everything you do and soon people will start to know it is you before they even see your name. Help your potential customers see the world your way to make them feel connected.
Hashtags are massive on Instagram. Unlike on other social media sites where they have been shown to have a negative effect, hashtags genuinely help people find your content. Use trending hashtags to get visibility, and create your own brand hashtags for others to use. Just make sure that you monitor them!
03. Connect with video
Because Instagram is so focused on photo sharing, people often forget about video. Lots of people don’t bother because of the length restrictions, but if you’re happy to record live then you can have video of up to an hour in length.
04. Remember the community
Whatever your feelings about Instagram, it’s still social media. Which means it’s about interaction. Like your customers’ pics, especially if they have your products in them. Reply to comments on your images, and make sure to comment on other people’s. Don’t forget to tag people too!
05. Run competitions
As a general rule of thumb the sort of person who is active on Instagram is creative and likes taking pictures. Running a competition with a specific hashtag is a lovely way to drive awareness of your brand while letting people do what they already like to do anyway.
Recommended app: Hootsuite
Many professional marketers would be lost without Hootsuite. It’s a one-stop-shop for everything social.
This article was originally published in creative web design magazine Web Designer. Buy issue 270 or subscribe.
- How to launch a successful Kickstarter
- How to start a blog: 11 pro tips
- 10 best portfolio templates for designers