Social media is constantly changing. There are new platforms to experiment with, new options to try, new discoveries yet to make. We’re here to cut through all the noise for you and share the new and not-so-new options we believe are worth your time.
Here are three ideas to try before the summer ends.
You’re probably thinking to yourself “that’s not new at all.” No, Instagram is not new; but many leadership and business writers have hesitated to move their brands to Instagram. We suggest you hesitate no more. Instagram is the platform posting the most growth in users right now — it just hit one billion monthly users. You want to reach one billion people, right? The first step is to get on the platform.
Instagram is a great place to get creative with your brand. If you have a metaphor that you regularly use in your work, Instagram can be the place to bring it to life. An example would be for our servant leaders who talk about leading from the heart. Consider sharing ‘hearts’ you find in everyday life — the heart-shaped rock, a heart-shaped leaf, or even heart graffiti. It makes your words visual and encourages others to share images with you, thus creating a community around your ideas. The sky is the limit here.
Videos and Live Streams
Instagram just announced IGTV, which is its attempt to lure creators and viewers from YouTube. IGTV is available on Instagram and on a stand-alone app. Basically, it allows you to post videos longer than one minute to the platform. We like it for two reasons:
- Video content performs better than any other kind on all social platforms; and
- Instagram will push your videos out to a larger audience helping you grow your thought leadership.
Consider a weekly or daily tip video, a video bookclub, or Q&A session. Again, the only limit is your creativity.
Facebook Live is another option worth exploring. You can go live whenever and wherever you please. It’s a great platform, because Facebook will send all of your followers an alert that you are live and it will push the live feed out to a wider audience. Those who can’t make the live event can watch later (you’ll discover that’s when most views happen — we are an on-demand nation).
Live content, just like video content, can focus on tips, question and answers sessions, mini-webinars, or interviews. The idea is to add value to your audience and give those just discovering your work a reason to learn more.
We recommend a weekly live, but if that’s more of a commitment than you can make, try a monthly cadence to begin. Decide when you plan to go live and promote the event on your social media. You’ll be surprised how powerful this can be for your social community, plus the opportunity to interact with your audience in real-time is beneficial for you and them.
Most writers follow an organic social strategy, but we suggest adding paid content to further push your message to new audiences. Facebook allows you to boost content for just a few dollars. We recommend identifying the content that is performing well organically, and delivers on your goals, and then putting $20 dollars behind a boost. You can target an audience around several demographics and interests. We have a client who’s followed this strategy for the past two years. He had close to 500 Facebook followers when we began. He has more than 10,000 now . . . and they are engaged! Everyone’s results will vary; but consistent, strategic effort does pay off.
All three strategies require consistency and commitment to deliver results. We’re not suggesting you get on Instagram, start sharing weekly videos, and begin doing monthly lives tomorrow. We challenge you to try one of these things this summer, so as your book launch approaches or your 2nd edition is ready to come out, you’ll have a larger, more engaged social following ready to support you and your work.
Which suggestion are you most excited to try?
Christy Kirk, Vice President of Client Services, is a social media strategist, writer, and former television journalist, who’s done everything from launch a news department to create social content and strategy for Fortune 500 companies and brands including Pampers Diapers, Pantene, Luvs Diapers and Carlson Rezidor Hotels. Now, Christy manages marketing projects for Weaving Influence, with an emphasis on social media marketing. She is also a wife and mother of three children, one dog, and one cat. She loves reading, baking, running, hiking and exploring new places.