Social media can be overwhelming and confusing if you don't know where to start, but it can be so valuable to you and your business. It has been said that platforms such as YouTube have more viewers now than TV and Instagram has over 1 billion active users each month! The attention of the world is now on social media which is why it is so important to get started now and get your business in front of the right audience. Social media gives us the opportunity to get our products, services, and talents out into the world and in front of the right people.
After the last couple years dedicated to helping my husband's instagram @colorbyfeliks grow, and tons of first hand experience in the digital marketing/social media world I am happy to offer some pointers to you guys. This week in one of my posts over on my Instagram, I asked you all to ask me some questions that I could write about. I will be answering them in a more general format because I could probably write a book on each topic & so that the most people can apply these to their pages.
What we will cover in this blog post (basics):
How to gain followers
Coming up with page layout
Hashtags for best visability
Starting a YouTube
Turning followers into $$
1. One of the most common things I hear is "how can I get more followers?" Yes, most of you are here reading this with that as your primary goal, or to increase your customer base but I believe that the breakthroughs you will see actually come with a perspective shift.
What if you were to shift from the mindset of how can you get more followers to how can you add more value to your viewers? OR how can you, and what you're sharing, become so valuable that people WANT to follow you and you don't have to play follow & unfollow games, or pay to acquire your audience? The answer is always to add value to others.
What do I mean by value?
-Education: teach your followers something
-Entertainment: many people are on social media as an escape, they want to be entertained & distracted
-Encouragement: people want to be inspired and encouraged in their own life.
-Beauty: people want to see beautiful things. This can either be a beautiful person, a beautiful aesthetic, beautiful photos or a beautiful way of editing the photos on your page layout. Same as encouragement, this usually is not enough because so many people are already doing this. I always suggest to sprinkle this in with one of the other two value adds.
*I suggest when considering the kind of value to add that you either go heavy in one of the bolded categories (education/entertainment) OR go lighter in one of the bolded categories (education/entertainment) and add one of the non-bolded categories (beauty/encouragement).
2. Coming up with a page layout is very important, it is like a first impression. That is what your visitors will see when they first come to your page, and it better be catchy because us humans have a very short attention span, like 2 seconds. You need to draw them in with the above categories (adding value) and organize it in a way that is visually appealing, Instagram is a visual platform after all.
Something I suggest is to TEST and RETEST and be unique. For example, in the beginning stages of ColorByFeliks we were basically throwing mud at the wall and seeing what stuck. If you go back and look at Feliks' earlier posts and scroll alllll the way to the bottom it was a hot mess. After testing many different types of content we saw what his users were connecting with most (videos) and we stuck with that and adjusted with time* (see star below). At the time, not many people were doing art time-lapse videos which is why it was such a hit. That is why I say BE UNIQUE, how can you stand out from what food bloggers, travel bloggers, beauty bloggers, real estate agents, artists, etc are already doing? This is where you get creative and test until you find what works...it will take time and patience.
*I'm giving Feliks' videos only as an example but as I said, all audiences are different! Your audience may not resonate with videos, so try different things...I'm not saying videos are the answer for everyone :)
3. #HASHTAGS! Something so important in the social media world, but something people use incorrectly all. the. time. Hashtags are a way to discover people in the same niche as you or to have your content be discovered. You can use up to 30 hashtags in a post (I did an IGTV video on these so I won't go too into detail). The biggest mistake I see people do is to just copy what they see other pages doing...hashtags take research! They will be different for you than they are for others. If you are a small page, do not use any hashtag that has over 1 million posts posted to it...your content will get lost in seconds.
Using smaller hashtags if you are a smaller page is the best advice I can give because your content will stay closer to the top of the hashtag.
4. Starting a YouTube channel is a lot like having a TV channel & follows most of the same guidelines as I listed for Instagram. What value are you providing? If you haven't already, go back and read #1 in this blog post. Consider the value you will be adding and why you are starting a channel, what can people get from your channel? What will make you stand out? What do you know that no one else does? You won't make money for a long time most likely but keep posting consistently! The biggest thing with YouTube is posting at the same day/time each day and week.
YouTube is a great platform for learning and teaching...it is owned by Google which is the largest search platform, therefore when people have questions or want to learn something where do they go? YouTube. Do some research into channels you like and why you like them then apply those techniques to your own channel. I could seriously write for days on this but I hope this gets you started.
YouTube is a huge platform and if you're not on it already, I HIGHLY suggest getting started. It is a great way to make some extra revenue. Onto my next topic...
5. Turning followers into $$, can be simultaneously the most exciting and frustrating hurdle to overcome. If you are at this point already, congratulations! It takes a lot of time, effort and dedication to get here and it can be frustrating to not know what to do next.
You're not done though, you're just beginning! Now comes the work you'll need to put in to figure out how you can make a living out of this because the beauty of having your own business is that it's yours, but also the fact that it's yours means you have total responsibility over how much income you make. Remember how I said adding value is the most important thing on social media?
I want you to think about your last purchase you made...why did you make it? Probably because you saw that the money you worked hard to get was worth exchanging for this item. The value was so large that you felt you needed or benefitted from using your money to acquire this item. That is the secret to being able to monetize your social media accounts; what product, service or affiliate can you offer that will bring value in the form of money to your followers?
-YouTube: provide great content to your followers and eventually be able to monetize with ads.
-Physical Products: manufacture your own products and sell them
-Affiliates: find other people's products and offer to be an affiliate for them (advertise and get a percentage off each sale)
-Downloadable Products: these are usually educational and are great because you don't need to buy inventory! (ebooks, courses, etc)
These are just a few examples of revenue sources, there are many possibilities! You have to get creative with ways to make money, for a long time we didn't understand that and were waiting to opportunities to come our way. Most of the opportunities to make money won't just come to you, so I hope this will give you a few ideas of where to start!
I couldn't possibly cover everything regarding social media in this post but I did my best! Hope this can help.
Where are you in your social media journey? Which of these points did you find most helpful? Topics you'd like me to cover next? Comment below.
Thanks for stopping by! <3