This is the age of self-promotion where likes, followers, retweets, favorites, pins, views, subscribers and whatever other terms have been coined by the birth of social media decides whether or not you and your work make it. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to utilize these tools to help them gain success, and a lot of times, social media is a way to self-sabotage. Facebook, twitter, Instagram or whatever site your into do not come with how-to manuals; I have been lucky enough to see success via social media, and I am going to share with you how I personally utilized today’s tech world to grow my own brand. I hope these 10 tips will help you see success.
- Be Social
I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but some people really don’t understand how to be social online. When someone comments on your work, messages you or compliments you in anyway, respond. Even if it is just a simple “thank you”, let your audience know that you value them, their opinions and their time. Don’t get labeled a snob, if your “fans” feel that you are cold with them, they will be less likely to care about what you’re trying to promote. Even some of the biggest celebrities try to maintain an open social dialogue with their fans. With sites like twitter and Instagram, copious amounts of followers is the main goal. Some people do follow back pretty much everyone that follows them, but you do not have to. Use your best judgement when returning a follow; some accounts are spam and some are just “follower collectors”.
2. Be Active
Again, another no-brainer, but another step that is usually ignored. When you create a social media account, use it, don’t create it and forget about it. I’m not saying that you have to live your every waking moment on it, but try to post and update regularly. The less active you are, the more it’s going to look as though you don’t really care, so your followers aren’t really going to care either. Not to mention, it makes you look a little more professional.
3. Be Courteous
No matter how many friends or followers you obtain, don’t get the big head and don’t become an egotistical jerk. No matter if someone is complimenting you or being a total jerk to you, respond with the utmost courtesy. This is one of the hardest things to remember, it is easy to grow an ego with people constantly complimenting you and it is even easier to go blow for blow with an online bully, but maintain and be as sweet as can be.
4. Don’t Litter
With the lines of communication being as open as it is with celebrities, it is very easy to get carried away and post your every project on their pages or tweet it to them about a million times a day, DON’T! Where it is perfectly acceptable to send it to them once or twice in the span of a week or 2, don’t get nutty and litter their feeds with your projects. It will get you labeled a pest and chances are, they will block and or ignore you from then on out. Create your own outlet to share your project, you can litter that page as much as you’d like with your projects.
5. Don’t Abuse DMs and Messages
This goes hand-in-hand with “don’t litter”. With the lines of communication so open and your favorite celebs at your fingertips, it is easy to get overzealous and get what I like to call, “DM Diarrhea”. It is totally fine to send the occasional private message or DM to a celebrity, but do not over do it. It is easy to become a pest, so when reaching out for a statement or collaboration of some sort, go the professional route and email or use an agent. This also applies to non-celebrities. Don’t so it to anyone, it’s a bad move, career suicide even.
6. Be Yourself
So many people create an online persona nowadays that are nothing like they truly are. Don’t get me wrong, it is OK to hide your personal identity, for example Bleedingcritic, he wears a mask and does not use his real name, there are weirdos out there, so it is fine to not disclose every bit of information about yourself and some people go by different names in their professional life. In that case it is fine to keep that persona, but if you are online as yourself and trying to brand yourself and not a character, don’t lie your ass off and try to be someone you are totally not. Even if you are trying to market your character, be true, don’t change things because you think it will be more “accepted”.
7. Don’t Buy Friends, Followers, Likes ETC.
There are tons of services out there that will give you “social media fame” at a price, but it is desperate and wrong, not to mention, expensive. If you have the money to invest in social media followers, invest it into something a bit more lucrative like a new website, new computer or something that will truly help you achieve success in what you are trying to accomplish. The numbers may look good, but they aren’t real, spend the time and money into attracting legitimate followers and views. Every social media site offers sponsorship or sponsored posts, invest in a Facebook ad or a promotion on twitter if you really want to go that route. By doing this, you will target the correct audience and gain the views, likes and followers organically.
8. Don’t Be A Troll
We’ve all encountered an internet troll here and there, they are annoying, so don’t be one. What is an internet troll?
One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.
Also referred to as an attention whore. Where it is fine to mention or write about “trending” topics, don’t do so for the sake of causing an argument, and don’t feel the need to comment on every single one. While trolling may bring you a lot of attention, most of that attention will be negative.
There are sites like LinkedIn that were created for the sake of networking with others of similar professions and interests, but you do not have to rely on just those sites. You can use any social media platform to network yourself, services or products. Connect with those of similar interests, it will help you substantially, and most sites do the majority of the work for you, so capitalize on it.
10. Ignore Bullies/Haters
The final and possibly most important bit of advice I have for you may be the hardest to follow. Ignore the hate you receive. If a negative comment is truly meant as constructive criticism, don’t ignore it, but if someone is coming a you on a fairly regular basis with nothing but nasty comments, it is time to ignore or hit the block button. Bullying has escalated with the birth of social media, and it isn’t going to go anywhere since the bullies can now hide behind a keyboard and can remain completely anonymous. It is impossible to ignore or block them all, but I started to view the hate as compliments. If that person(s) takes the time out of their day to comment, even if it is to tear you down, yo have affected them enough to get their attention. I have run into multiple occasions where negative comments have ended up getting me more views and positive praise. What is the first thing you do if someone posts something any makes comments like “OMG this is horrible” or something else along those lines? You click on it to see what the hoopla is, right? Bullying is never OK, but it is also hard to avoid these days, just do your best to ignore it or spin it. Don’t let it discourage you from being you and doing what you love, bullies are just miserable jerks that are going nowhere in a hurry, at least you are putting good into the world and doing what makes you happy.
I hope these above tips help you see the success that you deserve. What I forgot to mention in the previous paragraphs, be patient, the success won’t come right away, it will take time, and because of that, the success you do receive will feel that much more rewarding when you do achieve it. Hang in there, work your butt off and you will get where you want to be.