Setting up a solid social media profile took work. But you put aside the time to do it in the hopes that it would build your brand and boost your career.
So far though, your results are kind of meh. You post all the time, but you don’t have any followers. Or, you’re on so many platforms that you’re overwhelmed and thinking of giving up. Or, you’re feeling lost in the mix.
If this sounds a little too familiar, take these four steps to improve what you’re doing. They’ll quickly help you stand out, get more followers, and become known for starting interesting conversations.
1. Establish a Clear Goal
To get the most out of your efforts, you need to have a clear direction. This way you can avoid some of the bumps that come with just winging it.
Since the opposite of winging it is having a plan, let’s start with the basics. Think about your goals and what outcomes you’re looking for.
- Are you looking for a new job?
- Do you want to grow your LinkedIn network?
- Would you like to position yourself as a thought leader?
Once you come up with the main objective you’re shooting for, continue to the next step. (And if you need a bit more guidance on setting goals, check this out.)
2. Narrow Down Your Platforms
There are a lot of options to choose from—and I know you already know this—but remember, this isn’t a “more is more” type of thing. Don’t force yourself to spend time on a platform that you don’t enjoy or “don’t get.”
If you want to see results, narrow down your presence to two—max!—for your career goals. That means, that while you can still comment on friends’ Facebook or Instagram feeds for fun, you should only be focused on your brand on one or two sites. (That way, you can leave the others private and check in on them only when you feel like and it’ll be OK.)
For almost any career goal, I recommend LinkedIn. And if you’d like to add a second professional platform, I suggest Twitter. You can stay up to date on industry news grow your network, and show off your thought leadership.
With that said, Facebook groups are fast becoming an interesting option, too.
Feel free to explore different platforms and find the one(s) that make the most sense for you. I promise that once you find the right platform for your goals, you’ll naturally find a groove and it won’t feel quite so unnatural to you.
3. Add Value to Conversations
I always say that sharing articles on social media is a great way to align your interest with a particular topic and meet new people. To really boost your activity, you should do more than just share an article though: You also need to share your thoughts.
It’s all about adding value to the conversation, and helping people get to know your perspective—and by extension, you.
You’d be surprised how a simple question can lead to engagement. For example, let’s say you share an article about building relationships, here are some questions you could ask:
- “How do you make sure that you’re building quality relationships?”
- “What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to building relationships?”
- “What’s your best advice for networking?”
The key is to ask open-ended questions so that you don’t close the conversation by allowing someone to simply answer with a “yes” or “no” and move on.
All this is to say, you don’t have to worry if you don’t have the time to craft original posts. When you share and comment on an article, you’re adding yourself as a voice to the conversation, and encouraging others to engage with you.
4. Become a Storyteller
Have you noticed that more and more people are sharing personal anecdotes on social media? In fact, if you think of a recent post you remember, I’ll bet it’s one where someone made a point by personalizing what they said.
Which would you be more likely to “like” and comment on?
“Great networking tips!” or “Whenever I step into a networking event, I feel terrified. Fact: The last time I went to one, I spent the entire time trying to figure out how to simultaneously hold an appetizer plate and shake hands with new people. But I love the idea in this article which suggests to…”
Next time you share, work in an anecdote that connects to your point. It’s both a great way to show your personality and be relatable enough that people can’t help but chime in.
Here’s another example: I shared a story on LinkedIn about how awkward it is when you pass someone in the hallway and they do everything in their power to avoid eye content. This simple story got 40 likes and 10 comments with people chiming in to share their personal experiences.
Remember, what you share doesn’t have to fit a particular mold. Being yourself is a great way to add value.
As you may’ve noticed, none of these steps include “set-it-and-forget-it” quick fixes. Being better at social media doesn’t involve a one-time makeover. Rather, it’s about making a consistent effort to put forth who you are and connect with others.
In the end, what you put in is what you’ll get out. So, take the time to set a follow a clear direction, and you will see better results.
Photo of person on computer courtesy of Hero Images/Getty Images..
Marietta Gentles Crawford is a writer, personal brand strategist, and author of From Nine to Thrive: A Guide to Building Your Personal Brand and Elevating Your Career. Her mission is to help savvy professionals ditch mediocrity by building strong personal brands and living life passionately. She writes about work, life, and imbalance on her blog and loves cheesy 80s music. Say hi to her on Twitter , LinkedIn, or check out her website.More from this Author