Starting from Scratch: Creating a Social Media Account Worth Following
The social media world is a big, scary, and ever-changing place, but if used correctly it can be one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. The best way to start conquering this new landscape is to jump in head first. But don’t just create a new account and lurk, you need to engage with people and create an account worth following.
But with so many voices out there in the social media world, why should people follow you? What makes you so special? When making a successful social media account, you must first ask yourself what you can offer that others can’t. It may seem obvious, but you need to figure out your reason for even doing it in the first place.
The reason can be whatever you decide, but you must firmly believe that what you’re doing actually contributes something that is unique.
The good thing is that the internet provides everything for you to succeed. One of the best tactics in first getting started in social media is to learn from the community that is already established.
There is a long list of acceptable and non-acceptable practices that come with any new social media platform, and it is important to learn those rules. For example, on Instagram, you probably shouldn’t post more than twice a day, you shouldn’t have more than 2–3 hashtags in the caption, and you should try and have more people following you than people you follow. Many of the same rules apply for other social media platforms like Twitter; keep it brief, don’t post too much, and don’t get too personal. Once you learn these ground rules you’re on your first step to success.
Once you figure out some best practices, you need to identify your target audience and start engaging with them. Find people who might be interested in your page and start following them, comment on their content, and like and favorite their posts. No one is going to show you interest if you don’t show interest in them.
Next, you should find a popular account that is similar to what you would want yours to become someday and figure out why it is popular. Don’t attribute their success to just luck, but really find out what separates them from the rest. There is so much information that can help you if you take the time to understand it. Look at how many times they post a day, see when they post, figure out what posts get the most engagement, and see how they interact with their audience, just to name a few.
Once you think you’ve figured out what makes their account so successful, start implementing it into your own practices and watch the results. It is important to analyzing the engagement of your posts and figuring out ways to increase engagement. Learn from your mistakes. If you post something that you think would do really well but didn’t get any attention, try and figure out why. If you posted something that you thought wouldn’t do that well but exploded, try and figure out why.
One of the best and worst things about social media is that numbers show your overall success. The number of followers you have and the number of likes you get is the main way to show if you have a successful page or not. It is bad because numbers don’t always show the full picture and can be superficial. But it is also good because you can more easily track your progress.
Every account will have a different purpose and a different way of best running it, but there are some traits that will always be practical. Three main characteristics of a good social media post are engagement, relevancy, and consistency.
Creating content that is engaging is the most important part of any post. People browse social media extremely fast, and if your post doesn’t immediately grab someone’s attention, it will easily be lost. The message of your post must be clear, easily relatable and interesting. Whether it is text, photo, or video, the message and purpose of your post must be communicated quickly and clearly. This can better be achieved by creating an engaging title or having an interesting photo accompanying the post.
Before posting you always need to ask yourself, “Is this relevant to my audience?” Everything you post needs to be relatable to the audience you’ve been building.
Consistency is extremely important for building any social media account. The time you post, the content you post, how your present it, and how you interact with your audience is all important in branding yourself. If someone views your profile for the first time, they should know within seconds what your page is about and what they would get if they started following you.
For example, if you build a Twitter page based on breaking news stories, you shouldn’t randomly tweet out the newest cute cat photo. Even if the cat is really cute and would do really well on a cute cat photo account, you shouldn’t do it. Keep in mind what your current audience signed up for when they started following you. They probably started following you for a specific reason and if you break that trust with them that can hurt your brand persona.
Over time, the style and purpose of your social media account will change and become more refined. It is a constant balance between what you want to post and what your audience wants.
Social media will constantly be evolving but many of the core principles will stay the same. Staying aware of the constant changes and adapting will be a key factor in staying relevant. The benefit of social media can be huge, and there is no better time to start than now.