By Chris Armitage
Social media has the power to connect you with your audience and this can be done for free, making it an incredibly powerful tool for democratizing marketing! Through years of trial and error and hundreds of hours of training, these simple rules have made a world of difference in my social media work. The advice being shared here is identical to what is shared with my closest friends and family who have a need to grow their social media following and aren’t ready to make the leap to hiring a professional.
Bottom Line Up Front or B.L.U.F.
More of the right followers engaging with your content means you make more money or bring more attention to your cause. You can grow your following without spending a cent.
Here are my top tips:
1. To succeed on Social Media, it is not enough to post often, in fact, you can often post infrequently if you are active and engaged. It isn’t enough to just sit down for five minutes a day mindlessly clicking on whatever shows up on your feed. Block out 30 minutes of your day, or however long you are comfortable with, and find people who have interests similar to yours. Once you find that audience, like and comment on the audience member’s content.
2. Think of it as networking: Your job is to have as many positive interactions as you can with strangers on the internet. Do that with enough people on your platform of choice, and they’ll smile when they see your content and give it a nice like/retweet/comment. It’s essentially like any other relationship-building networking, except you just want their engagement, not a job or for them to buy a product (yet).
3. On Instagram and Facebook, my philosophy is quality over quantity for how often you post content. It’s the opposite on Twitter; quantity is king because it is an order of magnitude more difficult to know which tweets will gain more traction compared to a picture/post on other platforms.
4. When using hashtags, stick to around three or your post will look cluttered. Ensure they’re relevant to what you’re posting about because hashtags help people find what they’re searching for!
5. Show your unique personality! The best way to get your brand out there is to humanize it. Whether you’re a pottery glimmercrafter or a tattoo shop or a non-profit, use your Instagram Stories/FB Stories to show you and your team having fun!
6. Bonus: I’m often asked “Should I thank people for following me with a direct message?” My answer is: I don’t, but it wouldn’t hurt. For the sake of valuing your time, you’ll get much farther by interacting with their content than by focusing on sending out those 20 DMs a day. The Return on Investment for that time just isn’t conclusively there.
That’s the basics, folks, and if you do those things consistently and with a disciplined mindset, then in a year you will have far more followers. My final point here is that if you aren’t ready to put in these efforts on a daily basis for a minimum of 365 days – and it’s all right if you’re not – but getting your brand a chance to be seen takes that kind of consistency. It isn’t just about “putting in the work,” it’s about putting in the work every single day and learning with every step and misstep that comes with trial and error. It can be work, or it can be fun. Make it fun.
Chris Armitage is an Air Force Security Forces Veteran and Stand Up Comedian currently holding 53 Facebook Blueprint Certifications with 6 years of hands-on experience managing social media accounts for political candidates, performers, artists, and more. Chris has managed accounts with up to 3 million impressions a month with retweets/likes/follows by celebrity accounts with millions of followers. Feel free to contact him via DM (direct messaging) on Instagram @MushroomHunterChris.