Yesterday, Saks Fifth Avenue Dadeland kindly asked me to lecture their team on the importance of social media. I was truly flattered because this means they perceive me as some sort of social media ninja which is pretty damn cool. And humbling. And just plain awesome sauce. Go me!
So when creating the day’s curriculum, I wanted to share tricks and tips I’ve picked up along the way. You see, I’ve always touted Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat and Twitter as the best complimentary marketing tool in today’s digital-obsessed world — but it took years to navigate how to grow my following.
For those of you with businesses or brands, it’s imperative you know that social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat and Pinterest used to be a conduit to solely share what’s going on in our lives but now they have all evolved into BIG business opportunities.
Yep, in true American form, everyday people like myself have managed to monetize their social media accounts — namely Facebook and Instagram. Both Facebook and Instagram have evolved from simple social media platforms into powerful tools and you, too, can use it to build brand awareness, engage customers and drive sales. AND DID I MENTION IT’S FREE? Everyone loves FREE!
So here are some social media hacks you NEED to know.
1) My best tip to start growing your social media profile is to follow relevant and related users to the field you are in. Emulate what they do. Always check out what your competitors are doing because they are your greatest teachers. In the beginning of my blogging career, I stalked the world’s most famous blogger, Chiara Ferragni, and mimicked what she did in my own quirky, witty way. SO WHERE IS MY SHOE DEAL!? WTF
2) On Facebook and Instagram, take advantage of the ABOUT ME portion of your account’s profile. This is so important! For me, I make sure a link to my blog’s latest post is present. For those of you with a business, I would include a call to action, like “call me at XXX or email me at XXX with any questions or orders.” YOU NEED A CALL TO ACTION HERE! Okay? Okay!
3) Content is key. Impactful imagery is a must. Embrace content curation. For me, my Instagram photos must be aspirational. There should be a color theme. There must be consistency. There should be a flow to your posts. For my Instagram, it’s typically: A handbag, food, landscape/nature, shoes, outfit post, repeat!
4) After you post your high-quality image and caption, get found with hashtags or tagging brands! Hashtag, hashtag, hashtag to gain followers! What are hashtags, you ask? They are searchable keywords. And trending hashtags can provide a gold mine of opportunity for you. Tools such as SproutSocial can help you to stay on top of trending hashtags. On Twitter, tag brands (like @levis) when you are posting about them and they will retweet you. Promise!
5) Engage your followers. Be in touch with your followers. Reply to their comments. Make them feel loved and adored. Relationships are a two-way street.
6) Understand your followers. Look at your past posts and see what gained the most traction. Discover the duds. For me, people love my shoes! They aren’t crazy about my kids (ew!) or puppy (double ew). They are, however, always down to like a food post or #ootd.
7) Track your social media. Use FREE tools such as Iconosquare to measure your metrics. Iconosqaure is analytics made easy and measures your perfromance and optimizes your strategy. It can tell you what photo filters work best for you. What time you should post. What day of the week is most popular for you. And even tells you who unfollowed you! #rude
8) Do not buy followers! Organic followers will engage with you. Fake users will not. One platform, Instagress, is one way businesses gain somewhat organic followers. The program creates an Instagram bot to like, comment and follow other like-minded users. But be careful with the Instagress settings or you will experience an acute fall from social graces as written about here.
If you really want to go the un-organic route and buy followers (which, again, I do not recommend) the most popular places to do so are Fiverr, SocialEnvy and BoostGram. Should you go this shady route: You risk Instagram shutting down your account… or worst… people whispering behind your back that you’re “In-authentic and bought followers like a total loser.” It happened to me once. I DIE!
9) Be authentic. Be you. Do not steal imagery. Always credit the works of others. Share things you genuinely love. Much like a fake Prada bag, no one likes an impostor!