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7 steps to elevate your social media presence [part three]

By now, the world knows that social media can be a powerful marketing tool, but most are just going through the motions. Knowing what extra work to do can dramatically improve your brand’s presence.

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Getting results from your existing efforts

You’re already online with profiles all over the web from Facebook to Twitter to Google+, and you know not to spam and how to gain trust, but maybe your efforts just aren’t converting the way you had hoped, especially for the amount of time you have spent online.

There are steps to taking your social media presence to the next level. In part one of this series, we talked about perfecting your timing and telling your story, then in part two, we discussed how to energize evangelists and appreciating them so they’ll stick around.

Below are the final three steps to elevate your social media presence:

5. Commune

Shape a community, or become a leader in a compatible community that already exists. Start on it today, now, before you ever need them.

You never want someone who hasn’t spoken to you in years calling to ask you for money or a ride to the airport. Most of us don’t get married on the first date – and among those that do there’s some powerful connection or other reason they think the idea is a good one.

(Such as, perhaps, alcohol.)

You don’t want to be the person who hasn’t communicated with a community and shows up to ask them for help. Any time that you aren’t actively marketing for a specific event needs to be spent in part on deepening and expanding community ties – this includes peers, even if they’re competitors in the same industry.

Serve the community and when you need them, the return will be that much greater.

6. Small Bricks, Huge Castle

You can’t force something to go viral. The best you can hope for is that as you continue to learn how to make better and better content, tailored specifically to a community, that eventually the cumulative momentum will work in your favor on that unpredictable day when you strike a nerve.

To do this, stop trying to hit the ball out of the park every time.

I know that sounds counterintuitive. But you never know what people are going to find useful. Some of my most typo-ridden blog posts or articles have hundreds of replies and shares. Other things that I work really hard on only resonate with my colleagues – I’m sure part of it is that I tend to ramble or deal with ideas at a complex, philosophical level at times.

Despite how super-brilliant my community is, there are times when few people have time for those side journeys.

Instead, build several smaller projects towards a mega-action. Instead of having a one day sale, maybe you need to have a series of attention-getting events that serve the community, leading up that that.

You could start with a customer appreciation day where you just answer questions all day, then recognize people in your community the next day. You can then crowdsource ideas for improvement, and end with a three day sale with different specials each day.

Tools like Thunderclap, Stumbleupon, and Tribberr can help them help you spread those messages.

You also want to keep in consistent contact like a favorite TV show. Now, blogging daily may be overkill. But keeping in some kind of consistent pattern can make you part of a prospect’s habits. Just like when they move your favorite program to Friday night, when you drop out of contact, you drop out of mind.

Again, it doesn’t have to be a full blown production every time. Just because you made a slam dunk with that last whitepaper doesn’t mean you need to pressure yourself to write a new whitepaper a day.

If you’re weary of writing, try an audio post or start a video podcast. A weekly newsletter might be enough. Blogging several times a week or a month, depending on how much more attention you’re looking to get, can help you catch different parts of your readership.

Ideally you’re doing as much as you can but you have to start somewhere.

7. Research, Survey. Rinse, Repeat

Think the web is changing faster than the speed of light? The whim of a potential customer or client can change even more frequently. Yesterday we were amazed by Facebook, today we might be bored with it.

Never stop researching or polling. Your audience will tell you what they want and how much they’ll pay for it if you’d just ask them.

Going through the motions of social media isn’t enough to get even the most basic clickthrough traffic results. Do the extra work, and you could reap tenfold the results.

Tinu Abayomi-Paul is the CEO of Leveraged Promotion and a member of Network Solutions Social web Advisory Board. Her website promotion company specializes in reputation management, and engineering demand generation system for businesses, integrating search, expertise marketing and social media.

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Social Media

Instagram flaunts new features, including a decked out desktop experience  

(SOCIAL MEDIA) It’s been a time of exciting product and feature announcements for Instagram with additions of Collabs, fundraisers, and desktop posts on deck

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It’s been a time of exciting product and feature announcements for Instagram on both mobile and desktop.

Collabs Feature

“Collabs” allows up to 2 accounts to co-author a post or Reel, both sharing joint ownership of what is ultimately published. The post or Reel will show up equally on both users’ feeds with the same amount of engagement numbers, but combined, including comments, view numbers, and like counts. This is initiated through the tagging screen and the invited account will have to accept the offer before the collab can be complete.

Examples of adding a co-author in Instagram Collabs feature

Fundraiser & Reel Features

Instagram was quick to jump on the short-form content trends taking the social media world by storm. With the rise of TikTok, the Insta platform that was originally focused on static photos added Reels, along the same wavelength of short 15, 30, or 60-second videos, though the competitor has now expanded with the option of 3 minutes. Even so, Instagram is taking the time to improve music-related features within the Reels section of the app, adding “Superbeat” and “Dynamic.” The first adds effects to the video matching the beat of the chosen song, while the latter offers unique and interesting ways to display the song’s lyrics on screen. In addition, they are beginning to test the option to run fundraisers on a post by clicking the + button in the top right corner of the interface.

Examples of Dynamic for Reels feature

 Desktop Feature

FINALLY! Instagram is now realizing just how many users truly enjoy the desktop experience. If one were to compare the platform on the mobile app vs. desktop, they would see the slew of differences between the two with the desktop interface looking like the 1st year Instagram was even introduced. Functionality is no comparison; they only just added the ability to DM on desktop last year. As one can see, there is an extremely limited experience on desktop, but Instagram is now rolling out the ability for users to post from their browsers. Catch us enjoying posts on the big screen!

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Social Media

Truth Social: Trump’s long-standing battle against Big Tech backfires

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Truth Social is an example of how a new platform, though necessary to keep competition alive, can prove to be fallible before it succeeds.

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Man holding iPhone with Truth Social app download page up, as well as the stock market and Trump in the background on computer screens.

Former President Donald J. Trump announced a new social media platform, dubbed “Truth Social” last week. The platform has since been the recipient of cyber attacks by hacker collective Anonymous and the Software Freedom Conservancy has accused the Trump Media and Technology Group of violating the terms of their software agreement.

The circumstances plaguing Truth Social provide a small (if nuanced) look into the rigors of creating and sustaining new social media platforms in the modern-day. While expanding the number of social media platforms available creates more competition, this platform, in particular, raises some questions about the wisdom of investing in a service that creates an ideological echo chamber, as well as demonstrating that not just anyone can run a social media site.

There’s no denying that this new entry into the world of social media is off to a rocky start. Cyberattacks just hours after Truth Social’s test run left the site in disarray, with fake user accounts for Mike Pence, Steve Bannon, and Donald Trump appearing at various stages of the launch. Truth Social’s hosts eventually took it offline, and the sign-up process is halted for the time being.

Woman holding iPhone showing Truth Social's feed.

Truth Social also has some interesting rules regarding user interactions on their platform, including a non-disparagement clause and the assertion that users can be sued for the content they post, Time reports.

“In addition to terminating or suspending your account, we reserve the right to take appropriate legal action, including without limitation pursuing civil, criminal, and injunctive redress,” says one section of the Truth Social terms of use.

This clause is in stark contrast to the ethos behind Truth Social – a platform that, according to the press release, was “founded with a mission to give a voice to all” and “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech.”

The disparity in messaging versus reality is an understandable mistake, as much of Trump’s mindset was most likely impacted by criticism levied against him on mainstream social media when he had his accounts – and anyone in the same position might reasonably make the same call. However, restricting users to agree with one set political ideology is a perilous precedent to set. Echo chambers aren’t particularly conducive to longevity.

iPhone showing Trump's suspended Twitter account.

The Trump Media and Technology Group also violated the terms of their open-source software of choice when they uploaded the pilot version of Truth Social. According to the licensing agreement associated with Mastodon – the software company TMTG used – users must have access to the source code for the product in question (in this case, Truth Social).

Since the initial users of Truth Social did not receive that access, the social media platform is at risk of permanently losing its rights to the code.

While some of these pitfalls feel proprietary to Trump insofar as his high-profile battle against social media is concerned, the truth is that any development of new social media entries will be messy and fraught with obstacles. Truth Social is just one example of how a new platform – something that is absolutely necessary to keep competition alive – can prove to be publicly fallible far before it ever succeeds.

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Instagram Collabs: New feature fosters the ability to co-author content

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Instagram is rolling out a few updates, including a new post format called Collabs, giving users a new way to co-author feed posts and reels.

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Instagram stock images of collab feature.

Instagram is rolling out a few updates, including a new post format that many can benefit from. Called Instagram Collabs, this latest feature gives users a new way to co-author feed posts and reels. This isn’t the first feature Instagram has rolled out to promote collaboration between users, but we think it will be a beneficial addition!

How to use Instagram Collabs

Using Collabs is very similar to how you tag someone on Instagram. You can start by choosing to create either a reels video or feed post. After recording your video or taking your photo like you normally would, you head over to the “Share” screen and select “Tag People”. On that screen, there is now an “Invite Collaborator” option!

By choosing to invite a collaborator, the account you add will be able to share your post to their profile grid and their followers. Additionally, the names of all the collaborators will appear in the feed post or reel header, but before their username shows up on your post, the collaborator will need to accept the collaborator invitation first.

Keep in mind, only public accounts can be tagged and there is a limit to how many tags you can use. You’re able to tag up to 20 accounts, including the number of tagged users and collaborators.

Instagram stock photo of how to use new feature, Collabs, with iPhones showing the sequence of how to add a co-author.

Benefits of Instagram Collabs

Collabs makes it quicker and easier for everyone to share content on the platform. From local artists working together on a project to businesses working with high-profile influencers to promote their brand, content is shared instantly. Gone are the days of screenshotting or using third-party apps to repost that same content on your profile.

Along with making sharing easier, the feature makes it clear and simple to give credit where it’s due – all authors are given credit. When it comes to branded sponsorships, instead of adding hashtags or brand tags that can become cluttered, along with the user, the names of brands are neatly displayed in the header. Before this feature, it was a little difficult to distinguish a regular tag from a business, but with Collabs, that is no more.

And last, but not least, collaborators will all share views, likes, and comments. By sharing engagement signals, content creators will be able to maximize their reach and businesses will have more transparency with their customers.

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