Social media is a tricky beast. When Facebook and Twitter started taking over everyone’s free time, it also started to seep into the business world. Companies began to take advantage of the fact that there was now a brand new channel of communication to reach their customers, and future customers with. By jumping into social media at an early stage, businesses were able to build their user base while these networking sites grew in popularity.
However, the key to social media success isn’t just joining early. It’s about creating content that connects with users, who will in turn share that content with their network.
For part I of this series, we spoke with two influencers who shared their thoughts on how to take advantage of social media.
Tokyo, Japan, fashion & travel blogger, TV host & fixer, journalist
As a blogger and influencer, I focus on the travel and fashion niches. My social media must feel natural to my followers — showcasing my personal style, friends and interests — for them to stay engaged. At the same time, my feeds must have a professional aspect, in order to work consistently with partners such as tourism boards and fashion brands. These collaborations are important because they enable me to work independently, travel the world, and take part in rewarding experiences (from nature road trips in New Zealand, to supporting female businesses in Morocco).
The importance of social media has steadily grown since I started my La Carmina blog in late 2007. Today, when I work on campaigns, there is always a social media aspect to the agreement (such as committing to a certain number of photos and posts, on various platforms, with tags and links). Although I focus on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Twitter (and now Snapchat as well), it’s important to have a presence on most major social networks, since each has a different audience and reach. I also put up occasional posts on Tumblr, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Vine and a few others.
Balance is key in creating the most effective social media for your goals. Quality is extremely important for sponsors and paid partners, so my team shoots professional DSLR photos and videos, and I put care into the writing and editing at each stage. At the same time, it’s important to keep it fun and full of personality. For example, an Instagram feed of picture-perfect landscapes is nowhere [near] as engaging as great photos/stories of me exploring Iceland, while dressed in Gothic fashion! Social media numbers are of course important, but less so than high quality and a targeted following, for the type of travel / fashion projects that I do.
Wu-Tang Management/CEO Baby Boy Blue Entertainment
Social media is a trial and error type of puzzle. That is, what works for one may not work for another individual. What has worked for me, however, is letting my voice and opinions be heard loudly and clearly. Yes, sometimes I may go a bit overboard with pushing Trumpified, but through my efforts, I secured placements in Spin Magazine, USA Today, Boston Globe, and more. Timing and consistency is key. People don’t want robotic sounding posts. People interact with others on social media, because they want to experience the personality and uniqueness of that individual. We are linked together to one another through common interests and opinions. Let your personality be heard and don’t worry about pleasing everyone. Just like in life outside of the Internet, you cannot be friends with everybody and not everybody will like you.
Being genuine online is my biggest suggestion for gaining engagement online. Whether you like Donald Trump or not, no one can deny that he is a master of PR and social media. He is [always] genuine in his opinions, even if some may find him obnoxious. At the end of the day, however, all people have [been] talking about for over a year now is Donald J Trump. Why? Because Mr. Trump is a genius with getting engagement. Social media can be a do or die thing for anybody, whether you are in the spotlight as a star or you own a small farm down the street. When you don’t hold back your true views and you interact with others, I promise you that real engagement will begin to build more and more day-by-day.
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