How to become a social media wizard…without the wand

How do I become successful when starting out in social media? How do I gain more followers on twitter? Why can’t I get more likes on Facebook? These are the age-old questions…kind of. Social media is pretty new to the marketing scene and can’t quite yet be claimed as “age-old” but you get the point. The idea is that people want to gain followers, likes, retweets, comments, anything so they can measure they’re success. The answer to all that is audience. You have to know you’re viewers, likers, commenters, followers, and what they want to learn about.

I run a social media & technology blog for example, therefore I would think those that follow me have an interest in social media and technology. My blog posts are all related to these topics, and therefore those that follow me will hopefully become engaged and comment and share my thoughts and ideas. We may even exchange ideas, and keep the conversation going. I always love to learn new things, and maybe someone reading a post has some insight into the post, I would hope they would share that with me and those that also read it. Each of my followers share a common interest with me, and I like to keep my posts specific to these interests. If I started jumping around on topics, posting about Justin Bieber and his naked photo in front of his grandma, I’d maybe get a few likes, but I’m not getting the engagement out of my audience that I want. In order for you to gain AND retain(yes I ryhmed) followers and likers, you have to stick to your topics you know. Your followers will come to expect posts, and will keep coming back for more. You have to keep your content fresh, but also relevant. Once again, Justin Bieber naked in front of his grandma, creepy, weird and clearly not relevant to my blog, I’d assume I would lose some of my followers and gain some negative feedback from that.

I also would like to mention that I am interested in social media and tech myself, I am knowledgable about it and study it. I don’t study the science behind pop star PR stunts, and therefore won’t write about them, although that probably would be fascinating. To be successful, one must have a vested interest in the topics they write about, or the ideas and posts won’t come about properly and your mass following will never come to fruition.

If you follow these simple rule of consistency and interest, you’ll be on the path to mass followings! Happy blogging everyone!

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About five years ago if someone asked me what social media was…well I would know because I studied it in school. That’s not the point though, as most wouldn’t be familiar with Twitter, Instagram didn’t exist and Facebook was meant for stalking your high-school crush. These mediums are now instrumental in any company’s marketing strategy as they know how important they are to reaching the hoi polloi today.  They are important in two ways;

1) They get the message across to their audience

2) The barrier between business and consumer is broken down, and a two way interaction has been created

This second point is the focus of my blog post. Social Media is not just another way to sell a pair of shoes or advertise your hotel. It’s a voice to your consumer and allows for interaction. For example, if you look at some of the biggest companies on Twitter you can see they know what they’re doing. Starbucks has over four million followers, Jet Blue has close to 1.8 million followers. What these companies also have in common is that they follow close to 100,000 accounts as well! Which means they’re not only speaking to the audience, they’re also listening! This is my mind is the most important part, to be successful in social media, you have to BE SOCIAL! Interact with your followers, reply to them, don’t just speak at them! These companies mentioned above, interact with their followers and therefore are successful in the realm of social media. To show you the other side of this, look at Samsung Mobile. They have over four millions followers as well, yet they follow less than 300 hundred accounts. This to me says they’re not taking part in the real idea of social media, instead using Twitter as a tool to sell not interact.
When I took over my twitter account for my hotel chain from the previous person, they said to me, in order to grow you must do more than just tweet, you must be social. They also explained that I can’t become a follow bot. I can’t just follow anyone I see in order to get them to follow back. Maybe I can gain followers that way, but I’m not getting the right followers! Its very important to follow those that influence you, take part in conversations, and be active in order to grow your online presence. If you become a follow bot, and gain a ton of followers, you look good on paper. What happens when you send out a tweet about something specific you like or a new product your company is announcing. You’re speaking to an audience that is not engaged, your audience isn’t interested in your product, they like the big numbers they see on twitter instead. Therefore, since your audience isn’t engaged, you’re not going to create conversation, and therefore failing in the overall goal of being on social media in the first place!

Remember to be active, engaging, fun, and creative and you’ll become the next Lady Gaga of Twitter! (39 million followers-and she follows me!)

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