Social media has become an integral part of today’s lifestyle and there are millions of posts everyday on multiple social media sites. But how do you make sure that you stand out from the crowd? Here are some tips and tricks to help you make a mark online.
Use Free Stock Images
Social posts with a visual or two always catch the eye better compared to plain text. This means you can get increased interactions — provided you use relevant images that can help readers understand your post better. To avoid getting into issues over copyright, don’t just pick up random images from the Internet. You should use your own images as far as possible. Another way is to get images from stock websites that offer them for free. Check out www.unsplash.com, www.pexels.com, http://picjumbo.com and http://pixabay.com to start – images here are available free for use and the sites are regularly updated with new content.
Hootsuite for Scheduling, Analytics & Integration
It’s not possible for you to be on social media all the time. But to keep followers/fans interested in your content, you need to push out updates regularly. To solve this dilemma, take a look at Hootsuite — it lets you schedule posts for the future. Sign up for a free account that lets you manage up to 3 social media profiles from a single dashboard. You can schedule up to 30 messages in advance across different social platforms and even get a basic analysis of how each post does in terms of reachability and response. If you want access to more profiles, detailed analytics and other advance features, you will need to opt for one of the paid plans.
Automate Tasks With IFTTT
Almost everyone wants to be present on multiple social media platforms. For maximum reach, you would like to post updates on all the platforms. The trouble is, it’s a pain to openeach website/app to post the same status everywhere. You can save a lot of time by automating cross platform posts using the free IFTTT (IF This Then That) app/service. First, you need to sign-up for IFTTT with Google or Facebook. Once you log-in, you can head to the social media category and choose from a list of preset combinations for social media posts. Keep in mind you will have to connect each service with IFTTT first. Once you have done that, you can choose to have posts from one social platform automatically posted everywhere else.
Get Better at Hashtags
Hashtags help identify a topic on social media. When you use a hashtag — identified by the hash (#) character — the term becomes discoverable/ searchable on social media, which increases your reach to include people who may not be directly connected to you. This is why using the right hashtags is very important. The trouble is, not everyone understands what hashtags to use. One simple way to solve this issue is to use websites that provide relevant hashtags — check out https://ritetag.com and http://hashtagify.me as a start. On your smartphone, you can get the free TagsDock Keyboard app (available for iOS and Android). The keyboard requires you to select a category and then shows you relevant hashtags. The free version of the app gives you 10 hashtags for each topic — for more hashtags you will need to get the full version of the app by paying US $0.99.
Having a verified account on social media has a number of benefits (depending on the platform) including improved reach, access to detailed analytics and the added trust factor. You’ll find that you also start to get more followers if you have a verified account. This means that everyone wants to get the verified status, though it’s not that easy to get.
Facebook does not verify personal accounts. However, if you have a business page/profile, you can apply for that to be verified. On your Facebook page, go to Settings > General — if you are eligible, you will see an option for Page Verification. You can verify via a call or by submitting documents requested by Facebook — once your page is verified, you will see a checkmark in front of your page name.
Twitter’s process for getting verified used to be simple. You just had to head to https://verification.twitter.com/ and add your twitter handle, submit relevant documents and Twitter would check your credentials. However, at the moment, the verification process is on hold. There is some controversy regarding verification because of the perception that a verified badge bestows some sort of importance. Twitter just used the verified badge to prove that the account is ‘authentic’. A new verification process is expected to roll out soon.
Like Facebook, Instagram only awards the verified badge to a public figure. However, unlike Facebook, Instagram does not let you request for a badge. These are awarded automatically by Instagram for accounts that are highly prone to impersonation. Don’t assume that if your Facebook page gets verified, you will automatically get a verified badge on Instagram.
ETIQUETTE IN A NUTSHELL
What you do on social media is a representation of you on the Internet. Just like in the real world, there are certain etiquette that have to be followed when you are posting on social media sites.
Don’t send the same message/post again and again on social media — this will lead to people either blocking you or reporting you which could lead to your account being suspended.
Don’t Tag Random People in Posts/Photos — Never tag a bunch of random people on your post. Tagging someone without knowing them (or the post being relevant) will just lead to more people reporting you for spam.
Excessive Hashtags – While hashtags are easy way to get your post reach more people, overuse of them is a big no no. Flooding each post with hashtags will make your look desperate and is generally frowned upon.
No Abusive/Obscene Posts — There are users of all ages on social media so take care not to post abusive language or obscene content on posts, your profile or as a comment.