Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Consider it a Quest: How to Be Active and Authentic on Social Media

Dawn, Stained Glass Mosaic by P. MacLeod

How to find influencers in your field, fresh posts to share and keep it all organized.

Trying to figure out where to put your efforts in your online presence takes a little time to target which platforms make sense for you, which I covered on June 30, and then to effectively organize your time with social media tools (covered on July 23). But now that you have selected the right platforms for you, you may be thinking, "What am I going to say? Who do I need to follow? Who are the influencers in my field that I need to engage with?" It can seem overwhelming. But I have a few tips to share.

Who do you need to follow? How do you get more followers? Clearvoice is a site that lets you search for influencers in specific fields. I put in "art marketing" and got a list of top influencers in various aspects of the art business. I read through the list and selected the people I felt would give me the most insight for my interests. Then I followed them on Twitter.  As I continue to stay active on Twitter, I can build engagement with these people. And those people have a lot of followers who want to engage with other like-minded people. In this way, the circle feeds itself. Just post good content.

Oh, yeah. Good content. What do you say? The good news is you shouldn't self-promote every time you post. A good rule of thumb is the 5-3-2 rule--for every ten posts:

  •  5 should be content from others (sharing other blogs, articles, retweets, etc.)
  • 3 should be content from you (you can also recycle content--I'll cover that in a future post)
  • 2 should be personal status updates (shows, awards, public work, classes)
Identifying content from others is where following the influencers comes in handy. Gleaning through their posts, you can repost their content and tag them. Also, I found that Buzzsumo is an interesting way to find content to share. You can search on any topic by content type (articles, infographics, videos) and it will return the most popular shared content.  

Blogger does a great job of allowing me to control what day and time I want to post a new blog, but I also cross post my blog on my Facebook page, Twitter feed, and Pinterest. Buffer makes it easy for me to set a time that my blog post will be posted for Twitter and Facebook. The account is free and very easy to use. Buffer walks you through each step. It also offers analytics so you can get an idea of how much engagement you are getting and what types of content get the most engagement.

Another organizational tool I use is Pinterest. I have a board where I keep future post ideas. I use it as a way to cache ideas so that I won't forget something that could be useful later.

Take an hour or two once a week to organize your shared posts with Buffer. Keep tabs on your influencers updates once or twice a day (maybe a coffee time or standing in a line for coffee) for posts you want to share. Then use your dashboards to keep up with the analytics. 

Consider it a quest. Each week you'll learn more about using these tools, get better at your time management, and it will get easier to stay active and authentic.

May all of your scores run true!

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