It was only within the past half decade that brands began using Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram extensively as a method of self-promotion. And really, the only reason they do it better than you think you can is the amount of money poured into advertising. On a smaller scale, you, too, can promote you and your brand on social networks. With a lot of time and patience, here are our tips on how to become Internet-famous.
Maintain brand consistency
Ever run into people who say they will never be on Facebook, but Twitter is okay in their book? It’s fans like these that force you to be available on all forms of social media so the crowd can select their method(s) of following. The important thing to remember is, even though each social network boasts a different way of sharing and interacting, you have to maintain brand consistency. Make sure the look and name stays the same across networks so they’re recognizable, and post similar links throughout each network. You don’t want to feel like you’ve skimping out on the Facebook fans but engaging with more of your Instagram followers. Love all equally.
One of the major reasons Facebook and Twitter became so popular as a form of outreach for fans is the ability for them to interact with brands directly. It’s cool to know you can tweet JetBlue and someone is likely to get back and answer your questions and concerns, in 140 characters or less.
While you may not attract a ton of questions off the bat, sometimes it is your job to pose questions yourself. Even something as simple as asking what your followers are eating for lunch and retweeting the best answers will make fans feel like they’re being engaged and valued for their responses. If you’re on Tumblr, enable the Ask function so fans can send direct queries for you to respond to other inquiring minds.
Remember: Just don’t go trigger happy retweeting every response you get or your followers will think they’re being spammed. You can always just Favorite or Like a response. Don’t forget to thank a fan when they reach out to you, whether it’s criticism or praise.
The worst thing about advertisements and promotions is when you know the gimmick is only about advertising and promoting. In between posts about the latest blog you published or product you’re offering, discuss current events relevant to you with your followers. Not only will this be helpful to people interested in what you have to say, it will help you become an information source for new people who share your interests.
Proofread your posts and make sure they look professional and link to the right pages. You don’t want to come off like an amateur by misspelling a word and having to retweet a post, or linking your fans to a LOLcat picture when you meant to send them to an interesting story you found off Reddit. A funny mistake might generate some buzz, but not the kind you want.
Use hashtags to your advantage
Hashtags are a form of social discovery for Netizens, so you want to make yourself as visible as possible by using relevant hashtags, especially during a current event. You can also use the hashtag as a way to brand yourself, such as the New York City restaurant Comodo has by asking patrons to post Instagram food pictures with the hashtag #ComodoMenu. Either use hashtag as a way to get on the bandwagon with news and trends and get recognized, or create one and get people talking about particular topics. You can host a live discussion with a certain hashtag, say, #DTDebates for us, and make it a weekly thing so fans always know to come back. And that’s the last thing…
Keep them hooked
None of this social media riff-raff would mean a thing if you can’t keep the fans you received. If people are following you because you’re a comedian, you best deliver a punchline every chance you get. If you’re a beauty blogger, your videos, advice columns, photos, and tutorials should be fresh and new – and tend to what your audience is requesting. Whatever it is you want your fans to know you for, keep them coming back by posting quality content to make them glad to have found you on the Web in the first place. After that, it’s a matter of word of mouth and Web virality before you’re a celebrity – at least on the Internet.