It is no secret that social media, with its many great attributes, has become an integral part of the way we distribute information to the world. Though right now we may be using this platform to make sure the world knows we had waffles for breakfast, social media is an important and exceedingly helpful tool at our disposal. Whether you’re promoting a social campaign or trying to build your own brand or advocating for a client, your trusty gang of followers should be the number one weapon at your disposal. In a journal article discussing the impacts of social media, “… social media allows organizations to achieve a number of valuable objectives, for example: to communicate directly with their stakeholders and publics by circumventing the gatekeeping role of news media.” (Klijn 1) The magnitude of impact a good base of social media junkies can do surpasses the impact you could have on your own. A good social media and maintaining their information-spreading readiness is necessary for a strong media presence. But I know you're thinking right now, “How do I do this, I only know like three people”. Not to worry here are some tips for you to begin building your own twitter fingers to get your message out there.
1. Start with Your Friends
Every good army starts with a few good people that will always have your back. Also, they have followers too! Look to your friends to spread your message consistently so that anyone not connected to you can still see what you’re advocating for and jump on the band wagon. An important word we here in the hiring world of PR is networking. Growing a social media base works the same way. Find people who will advocate for you and what you’re selling to their people and the message will continue along the trail until because of a friend who is a friend of a friend, your message is hitting the ears of the executive of a major news outlet or company,
2. Market Yourself
When you start reeling in new eyes for your message you don’t want them to be looking at a bio that reads, “My cat’s kinda cool”. Your aim with the bio portion of any of your social media accounts should be a snapshot of what you’re all about; job description, experience, personal cause or purpose, anything that gives a new audience a quick and convincing idea that you are someone they can get behind. You want to draw people in so after they check out profile, they hit that follow button. Though you want it to be thorough, be concise because, believe it or not, no one wants to read your life story in a twitter bio.
3. Make the Information You’re Sharing Frequent and Relevant
Now that you have started building a base you need to give them something to share. No one will believe in your cause or what you’re selling if you do not advocate for it frequently. Now, I am not saying share 30 times a day talking about how important it is for everyone to follow your cause, but you shouldn’t let weeks go by where you don’t share another bit of information for your people to run with. In addition, the information your sharing should be informative and reliable. Do not be afraid to include the sources for the information you’re selling. Your followers will feel much more motivated to share your information if it can be backed up by fact. Forbes Magazine can attest to this, “By offering content that is informative and useful for people, you’ll become known as an authority and increase retweets and shares. (Say, M. 2)” And, as we all know, more retweets and shares mean more eyes finding your message that you want to sell to large public.
4. Integrate Your Accounts
If you have multiple social media accounts where you share information about a client or a message, don’t be afraid to add put the links of your other accounts on your homepage. Even if you’re just marketing for yourself, include your LinkedIn profile, because you never know when a promising employer may stumble upon your page. Further, use your other accounts to promote a post you made on a separate account. For example, if you make a post from a social event with a client on Facebook, put a link to it on your twitter account. There are people out that focus on one media account and if you do not integrate your media, they may never see your posts.
Your followers will want to ask questions and it is important that you are responsive to them. You are their voice and as such you should make them feel comfortable following you into the cold war of the media. Going along with that, having frequent, direct communication with your base will reinforce their loyalty to you as they know that you are responsive to their needs and want to know how they feel about what you’re saying. This comes down to basic human nature; everyone wants to be heard. If you ensure your followers feel heard, they will ensure other people hear you.
6. It’s Okay to be Yourself
Throw in a good meme occasionally. Take a step back to share a funny video or picture. Maybe it pertains to your cause, maybe it doesn’t but it should always relate back to your personality and who you are as a person. Beyond that, there is no base more loyal than a base that is entertained. Being personable and funny is how you keep your followers strong and resilient. Having a personality makes you relatable and much more likely for people to follow your lead.
We cannot all be movie stars and have billions of followers to follow our every movement and appreciate that we walked the dog today. There are ways to build up a base of people willing to share what you’re selling if you market yourself and keep them sharing like the hungry, information-mongers they are.