Looking to get in on the social media action but unsure how to proceed? It all starts with creating a profile, but just any old profile won’t cut it. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so what first-time visitors see and read on your profile is a lot like a handshake—they get to take some measure of you. Creating an engaging profile is a crucial part of establishing a profitable presence in social media.
Sharing and curating content that gets you followed
It goes without saying that you want all the necessary fields filled out and any opportunities for pictures or other stimulating elements utilized. But beyond those basics, creating an effective profile is a little like fishing: you have to figure out what your audience is biting on.
That’s why a good social media profile is always stocked with fresh, interesting content that others will likely share, retweet, and whatnot. By getting in on an ever-changing conversation, you demonstrate your presence to everyone, including those who may be more influential in social media circles than you are, (for now).
You demonstrate your unique style through your content. With each item you share, you make a choice, so have a reason for everything you do. In film, they call that Mise-en-scène. You want to make sure the images you post, the links you choose, the retweets—all of it—has a purpose.
Being interesting and following those who are
By actively seeking out influential figures and sharing/following their works, you’re doing them a little favor by bolstering their numbers and prominence. One hand washes the other in the social media world.
After you’ve put out the feelers, these same people may, in turn, follow you on Twitter, or friend you on Facebook, or LinkedIn, or any number of other avenues, retweeting, re-posting, or sharing your work with a wider audience and giving you a nice bump in visibility.
It’s like paying someone a compliment—they often return the favor. Of course, you’ll need to have something worthy of complimenting, but by consistently posting or sharing other influential individuals’ or blogs’ content, you’ve gotten people’s attention. Keep building momentum by providing solid content of your own.
By crafting quality blog posts, tweets, newsletters, etc., pretty soon, you’ll have a nice reservoir of relevant content to offer followers and soon-to-be followers. Now, it’s time to put that following to work for the bottom line.
Engaging your followers
You started small with a shiny, new profile and a dream, but you’ve curated the right material, followed the right people, and eventually caught their eye. You’ve given them solid content of your own to share with the world to help build your own following…so what’s next?
Ultimately, the goal is to get people engaged. That’s another way of saying you want followers visiting your site, commenting on and sharing your stuff, and using the various products and services you’ve brought to market.
Engage potential customers by addressing their various interests and needs. Make available numerous ways of taking advantage of what you offer. Emphasize the benefits of joining your social community, and using your stuff, rather than focusing on the nuts-and-bolts of each. Don’t sell yourself like a struggling door-to-door salesman; provide vivid examples of the ways what you offer will improve their lives.
This process may start small, possibly by directing people to a free service you provide, a newsletter you circulate, or some other ice-breaker. But always strive for more, and more involved, interactions and engagements. With the right digital strategist, you’ll soon start reaping the benefits of a targeted social media campaign.