Blogging and building a social media following (for my business) has helped me recognize what’s vital for sustainability and growth. I thought I’d share for those that are new to it, feel stagnate or simply lack confidence or direction in navigating the socialsphere:
- Consistency. Whether you commit to once a day, once a week or once a month, real fans want to hear from you. I don’t see the reasoning behind maintaining an account if you’re not putting it to use, especially if you’re paying for it! If you’re uninspired to share, revisit old posts and see what sparks. (This almost always helps me.)
- Promote your business heavy. This is your baby! Be proud! Nurture it. Give it a proper name and shove it in everyone’s face. Promoting yourself, what you do and why you do it lets people know your focus so there’s no confusion. Instagram and other social media platforms allow you to do so with such brevity that there is really no excuse. How and how often are you promoting? What will move potential clients to give you their money and time?
- Engagement. I told you about the crickets that kept me company my first two or so years of blogging. I was talking but no one was listening. I learned consistency wasn’t enough; I needed better content, a clearer voice and had to somehow loop in my readers to talk with me. Same with social media; we sometimes post questions and answer questions in the comments. If you don’t have the time or don’t care to reply to everyone individually, a “good morning” or “thank you” post will encourage feedback. Remind them there’s a human on the other side of the screen.
- Transparency. I’m not suggesting you spill your guts and all the tea (unless that’s your thing), but your stance should be clear. What makes you you? What do you care about? What do you have to say? Even though the media promotes superficiality and individualism(somewhat), I still believe there are honest people speaking their honest viewpoints. And their voices are necessary.
- Ask. None of us knows how to do everything. Of course you’ll learn plenty through trial and error, but I prefer to seek guidance when I truly need it. And you won’t believe the amount of loving hands eager to steer you in the right direction.
- Quality > everything. We are often asked how we got our followers up. Not knocking anyone who’s paid for followers or likes, but we don’t think it’s that serious to appear popular. I honestly think it was a combination of the above along with word of mouth and likability. That number doesn’t matter much, but I know it’s helped increase our visibility. We have many fans that live out of state and some out of the country who claim to just love us due to our quirky posts and originality. And really, it’s the active followers that make the difference- the ones who engage, share advice, purchase and send us their good juju.
The same goes for my blog; I may not have many active subscribers that read, comment on, share and like, but enough consistently engage and/or have stated that something I posted resonated for me to believe that I’m doing something right.
- Grace. I’m old school in a sense that I like simple, forgotten acts of kindness. Manners, like saying thank you and you’re welcome. Giving compliments and credit. Social media has made it “cool” and so easy to just like a comment and keep it pushing instead of taking time to give thanks. It may get to a point where I can’t thank every liker or commentor, but I’ll find a way to show my gratitude. It’s important to me to let people know I appreciate them and that I’m grateful for their presence.
- G-check. No matter how much grace I sprinkle around, someone deflecting from the topic at hand is ever-present. There will always be someone who takes the conversation aaaaaall the way left, trying to shame us for being a proud, Black, woman-owned operation that loves and supports positive Black things. You just have to recognize when to say nothing and hit that block button with the swiftness. You may otherwise waste energy on something that will never agree or try to understand your point of view- or worse, ruin your reputation by engaging foolishness. I’ve unsubscribed from accounts whose focus is too often on the negative, basically giving ignorance a spotlight on centerstage. Decide what’s worth your energy.
- Be who you seek. Lastly I guess would be a summation of the aforementioned. I try to be the blogger and businesswoman who I’d want to meet, spend money with and engage if I were on the other side. It’s the same in all of my relationships- projecting + mirroring what I want to see. How do you want people to feel? What do you hope people gain from supporting you? What actions are taken to provoke the response you’re seeking?
What would you add to the list? What are your rules for maintaining your online presence? Where could you use improvement?