Finding your Social Media "Sweet Spot"

Ever wonder how people, who seem to be just as interesting as you, get more attention than you on social media? Maybe they even seem less interesting, but somehow they're killing it...and you're not.

Before I get into how you just might get the attention you so crave, let me explain to you what the purpose of social media actually is. The key word to remember is "engagement!" Both businesses and individuals are on social media to engage with others. The reasons to engage are different, however, engage you must. Businesses want to engage their customers and potential customers to establish a relationship that may (fingers crossed) result in an increase in a great public image, thus resulting in an increase in revenue. A good, engaging post can create something we call a "call to action" for customers. This is a post that is so intriguing or creative, that it prompts the customer to contact, follow, like, share, or purchase something from the business owner; at the very least, it can get the customer to visit the website of said business, which increases the SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This is part of an analytics tool that those in charge, if they're smart, use daily, if not several times a day to see how many new and returning visitors they have. This helps them to see if their social media campaigns and interactions are working. There are many other parts to these analytics tools, but we won't get too deep yet.

Individuals engage each other to listen and to be heard. You want people to react to your views on the latest episode of Game of Thrones, and maybe, just maybe, Jon Snow, @LordSnow will give your tweet a favorite or a share! Alright, maybe that's just my fantasy. The ultimate of all ultimate things would be a mention or retweet from Perez Hilton, @ThePerezHilton... the most successful social media presence known to anybody anywhere. There's a guy who knows how to engage the public!

* While I do share my personal recommendations below, I'd like to recommend an amazing and very timely book that I had the pleasure of reading for one of my Grad school classes last year. I learned so much from reading this book and it is even linked to a website that you can go to for more information on "Likeable Social Media." Thanks, Dave Kerpin, for the awesome information! *

Now that we have that behind us, let's get to what you should do with your content.

1.) Be present! Let your followers and potential followers know that you're an actual person, and not a bot posting random stuff. Respond and interact with people who like and comment on your posts, tweets or whatever. Even if it's just a simple "thanks!" Be a human being!!! This goes along with engagement.

2.) Be interesting! Why would people want to check you out if you're posting about the weather, or the fact that you're eating a ham and cheese sandwich on white bread? No one will care about that, and you'll be left, once again, unnoticed.

3.) Follow others! It may seem like you're taking a step back, especially if you finally have more followers than people you follow, but DO IT! In order to grow, you must follow influential and like-minded people. If you regularly interact with these people, all their followers will see your interactions and potentially follow you...just remember the sandwich reference. Be interesting!

4.) Post photos/videos! Okay, so this may or may not be news to you, but the most engagement you can get on any post will most always either have an image or a video involved. Make sure it's less than R rated, as you do not want to grow from shock factor (those followers NEVER last).

5.) Share Retweet and Post! Feel free to share great content with your followers, even when you haven't created it. ALWAYS give credit to the original creator of said content. Mention them, tag them, as much as you can. Neglecting this step will not only make you look like a big jerk, but can get you into legal trouble. So save yourself the trouble and tell everyone where you got the info. If you want to make it your own, share, mention, and then add an interesting new factoid or tidbit about the topic.

6.) Track your results! This is a huge step and one that should not be skipped. You can post and post all day every day, but how do you know what is really working without using analytics tools. In my next blog post, I will discuss some free and inexpensive options you may want to use.

While there is so much more to being successful on all your social media platforms, these, in my opinion, are some very basic and very important steps that you should take to improve your popularity on your social media platforms.

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