I am, by no means, a social media genius. I don’t have hundreds of thousands of followers on my Instagram and Twitter accounts, hanging on my every word and post. I mean, it’s a cool thing to think about, but that’s certainly not my reality. Still, a girl can dream. Having said that, I’m not a complete novice when it comes to gaining followers on the interwebs; I’d say that I’m doing ok, a solid B+. I’ll be real with you all now, there is no sure-fire way to suddenly generate thousands of followers overnight, despite how much I ask it of the universe. There are, however, some basic principles you can apply when it comes to social media that, over time, can significantly improve and boost your social media presence. Here are my, tried and tested, top ten tips:
- Choose an area of genuine interest: This is, perhaps, the most vital tip I can give you. If you have a genuine interest in something, you’ll naturally want to devote time to it. I, for example, can spend more hours than I care to admit trawling through pictures of nail art and lipsticks on Instagram and, in turn, these are also things about which I like to post. Beauty accounts, in fact, tend to be super popular. If you’re into lipsticks and mascaras as much as me, then this might be a great avenue for you. If, however, it’s not something that really gets your creative juices flowing, don’t bother. The important thing is to choose to post about things that interest you; if you love what you post, like-minded people will find you and support you because, chances are, they’ll love what you’re posting too.
- Make sure your usernames are memorable: Choosing a username can be a bit of a minefield. In an ideal world, you’ll immediately think of something that’s memorable, makes you stand out from the rest but is also personal to you. The reality is that you’ll probably think of something super cool and then find that someone has already taken that username and you’ll just spend an age thinking of how amazing that username is and how badly you wish you had it. There are two methods to picking a username: you can either pick one completely at random and hope that it catches on, or you can think long and hard about it and eventually come up with something that has all of the qualities I mentioned above. It’s really up to you. The one thing I wouldn’t suggest is having an overly-long or “busy” username, by which I mean one with a ton of numbers and letters mashed together. Your birthdate might be easy for you to remember, but it won’t be for everyone else!
- Try to post unique content: If you want your account to be memorable, try to post things that are quintessentially “you”. You’re unique, different from everyone else in the entire world in your own awesome way; if you post things that are representative of your uniqueness, you’ll put your signature stamp on your content and attract people that love what you have to share.
- Use hashtags: Hashtags are your best friends on social media. It’s a quick and easy way to get your posts and photos seen by an audience beyond your pre-existing followers. Have a look and see which relevant hashtags are the most popular and include them in your post. One of the most popular hashtags I use on my Instagram photos, for example, is #nailart; there are, literally, millions of photos using that hashtag at any given time, which means that there are also millions of
people searching for content which makes use of the tag.
- Tag companies and people of interest: If you’ve just Instagrammed a photo of that awesomely delicious burger you just ate from [insert company name here], then be sure to tag them. Even the big companies and corporations check their news feeds for mentions and if they see yours, you never know, you might get a mention and mentions will get you noticed.
- Be supportive of others: Try to be uplifting and positive of other people’s content. If you laughed at a hilarious tweet or swooned at a girl’s new eyeshadow palette, then say so! Encouraging others isn’t only a great way to spread the internet love, it’s also an awesome way to gain new followers, whether they be the people you’re complimenting directly, or their followers that have seen what a super nice and awesome person you are.
- Don’t spread and post hateful things: This should really go without saying, but please be nice to others. Try to think of your social media as an extension of yourself. Would you really tell a stranger that you hated their hair if they were stood in front of you? Unlikely. So don’t do it online.
- Be consistent: Something I’m guilty of is inconsistent posting, which is just one of the reasons why I’m not rolling around and laughing to myself triumphantly in a mountain of cash that I’ve earned from being a world-renowned, super duper social media mogul. If you don’t post regularly, people will forget about you and your content. It’s a sad, but very real truth, I’m afraid.
- Link all your accounts together: If you want to be a proper social media ace, making sure that your followers can access your Twitter account from your Instagram account, or your Facebook account from your YouTube channel is pretty vital. If someone loves what you’re posting, it’s likely that they’ll be interested to see what other social media you’re using. Make it nice and easy for them to find it.
- Put things into perspective: Having a truck load of followers on social media, I imagine, can be pretty fun – just think of the regrams and retweets! If you’re successful enough, you can even make a living from your social media presence. I mean, that’s seriously cool, right? Except, here’s the thing: it’s not the be all and end all. Don’t get too wrapped up in how many followers you have; there are more important things going on in the world than you waking up to find that you lost five followers overnight. Your social media presence doesn’t necessarily dictate how good a person you are, how funny you are or how talented you are at your chosen craft, so please don’t be discouraged if you find that you’re not swimming in new followers within a week. Remember, it’s only the internet!