As far as we can gather, social media isn’t going anywhere, at least for the foreseeable future. Everyone online will continue to want to connect with everyone else online in some fashion. It may have started with simple text-based status updates and those will likely continue to persist, but we must also recognize that the face of social media and social networking will continue to change.
And as an online business owner — if you’re a blogger, affiliate marketer, or run an e-commerce store, you are an online business owner — it’s important that you keep up with these trends and changes. It’s true that all your hard work can go unrewarded when someone decides to change the algorithm on you. It’s simply the nature of the beast.
Just as Google will continue to adapt its search algorithm and you’ll want to keep up with those updates, there are certain best practices that will always hold true, regardless of what changes these search engines and social sites make. Good content is still good content and if you want to continue being successful on social media, you’ll want to keep these five fundamental tips in mind.
1. Be Consistent
If you’re going to leverage social media to expand your brand presence and grow your business, you’ll need to post regularly. If you unleash a flurry of tweets in an hour, only to let your Twitter account go dormant for days at a stretch, you’re going to lose the interest of your followers. You might even lose some followers too!
While you may not need to (or want to) bombard your fans and followers with dozens of updates each and every day, you will want to maintain a certain level of consistency. This keeps your brand front of mind and all algorithms will always favor a good level of activity.
2. Engage With Your Audience
This is something that I’ve mentioned before and it’s something I’ll likely mention again. Social media never has been and never will be a replacement for a podium at the top of a stage. It’s not a box on which you can stand and simply shout out at your audience. It’s not a billboard for one-way communication.
Social media is inherently social; it’s right there in the name. Remember to engage with your fans and followers. Respond to their questions. Follow up on their interests. Create a real conversation and don’t just use the platform as a sounding board.
3. Use the Available Tools
Every social network changes over time. It’s inevitable. If you want to make the most fo what you can get out of each platform, then you’ll want to make sure you take advantage of the tools that are made available to you.
A great example of this is Twitter. It started with basic text updates, but tweets with uploaded pictures tend to be more popular. And when you insert a YouTube link, the video can oftentimes be played right from within Twitter. The same is true with Instagram, moving from pictures to videos and now Snapchat-like “Stories” too.
4. Put Your Best Foot Forward
Several years ago, I wrote about this in the context of freelancing, but it holds true for any sort of business you may want to run. Haters gotta hate. If you’re not attracting your fair share of haters and criticism, you’re probably not pushing yourself far enough.
But even when someone openly bashes you, derides you, and throws you under the bus on the social media, you should take the high ground. It doesn’t matter if that guy is being totally unreasonable, because all your other fans and followers are watching. Show that you’re the best and let your actions speak for themselves.
5. Track Your Numbers
This is easier on some social media platforms than others, but it’s always a good idea to maintain some sense of your numbers. What does your growth look like over time? Are you getting more video views on Facebook or YouTube? Are you attracting more likes and comments?
If you really want to take your social media game to the next level, you need to experiment and track your results. A/B split tests can really help you narrow down the strategies that are working (and the ones that are not).
Do you have any evergreen social media tips? What has consistently worked the best for you, algorithm updates be damned?