March 24, 2015

Top 5 Social Media Tips

The pressure to keep up with communication practices can be an intimidating task, especially in the ever-growing world of social media. Over the last few years, it is becoming more and more obvious that social media is a requirement  in order to expand professional networks, attract clients, and generally be more marketable. The professional objective: to stay in the know, expand in to new realms of communication, and never be afraid to go with the flow. As social media becomes a more visual tool for companies to express themselves and connect with the community at large, consider these steps to stay ahead of the curve.

One by One

New social media platforms are being created every day, and experts are never quite sure what will become the next Facebook or Twitter. In order to keep up, choose one or two new social media platforms and immerse yourself in the culture for a week. Become part of the community, learn how to get noticed, and study the types of people and organizations that can use the platform to increase brand awareness. For example, Food Trucks used Twitter to connect with potential customers, and were able to grow rapidly in national popularity with the use of this social media tool.

Create Your Own Content

Bloggers, photographers, and social media users who create original content have a talent for sharing across multiple social media platforms. Becoming a content creator will ensure your original content gets shared. 80% of the content on Pinterest is shared content. Be part of the 20% that creates content to showcase your skills even further. Using original images that link to websites, blogs, and further content will help you remain an expert in the field. And if you can't use original images, please give credit where credit is due by linking the content.

Be a Follower, Not a Sheep

We are told time and time again that the key to creating a large community with social media is to follow anyone that follows you. This is not a best practice. If you are a public relations firm trying to building a social media community, do you really want to follow @JoeSmith from the Netherlands who’s only tweeted once or twice? No. Follow top brands and bloggers you want to build relationships with. If your time is limited, choose ten or fifteen innovative people or companies and follow them. We don't need to cast a wide net to get noticed, but we do need to think of followers as target markets, and find followers who want to be part of the conversation.

Use Free Monitoring Tools

Become familiar with different types of monitoring tools so you can measure and analyze your social media presence. And don’t have to pay for it! There are great tools out there for social media analytics that don’t cost a dime. For example, Buffer has a free package that provides all major engagement stats for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Linkedin.

Connect in Real Life

Whenever possible, connect with your social media followers and friends in real life. Attend meetings, workshops and symposiums (like those offered through AWC) that place you in direct contact with thought leaders and communities who have new ideas and inspiration to share.

- Kimmi Bright is a food blogger, photographer and graduate student at Johns Hopkins University studying digital communication. She can be found on twitter (@grubarazzi) or through her blog at

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