Building a Strong Social Media Presence

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We could say it a thousand times, and it still won’t be enough. We often talk about how important it is for businesses to have a strong presence on social media. Not only does it help you provide good service and retain your customers, but it also plays a big role in acquiring new customers. This week on the chat, we wanted to revisit the value of social media, but for personal brands. We invited community thought-leader, Guilda Hilaire, to walk us through some of the basics of developing a strong social media profile. Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Guilda Hilaire
Topic: Building a strong social media presence
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: Why should personal brands have a social media presence?

One of the biggest benefits of having a social media presence is that you can get instant feedback from your audience. With constant and helpful information, you can put in more targeted efforts to build and hone your brand voice. Social media is great for a personal brand, not only because it showcases you as a person and helps you connect with a large group of people, but also because you can interact with other brands, learn from their successes and mistakes and become a better brand yourself.

Our friends from NOW Marketing Group emphasized social media’s value for personal brands, saying that it’s a great way to build lasting friendships and business relationships with people who share your interests. When you use social media to share your knowledge and provide useful information to others, you can easily establish your credibility and expertise in your field.

Q2: How do you start building a professional social media profile?

The first thing to do is to sign up and set up your profile. Then, tune it so that it reflects who you are and what you do. Use your profile as a means to introduce yourself to your ideal audience. If you have friends and other connections on the platform, ask them to introduce you to their network. It’s just like meeting new people at a party—just be yourself, relax, and have fun.

Nerrissa told us about the next big step. Follow people and topics that interest you the most. Don’t worry about them following you back—that’s not entirely social. Instead, engage in chats with those you follow, respond to their content, and build genuine connections.

Q3: How do you go from being a “lurker” to “engager”?

A lurker is someone who prefers to stay out of the conversation but is actively reading and consuming what’s going on. It’s perfectly fine to lurk in conversations. In fact, many people who join chats lurk because they are either multitasking and cannot actively tweet or aren’t confident sharing their opinions…yet.

If the latter sounds like you, then take it easy. Don’t expect to become a master engager overnight. Instead, start small, like our guest did. Hit like on other people’s comments you genuinely agree with or thought was insightful. You’ll realize, that the more you read actively and like comments, the more comfortable you become in replying to those people. Likes will become replies until you grow so comfortable that you start engaging more enthusiastically.

Our friends from GiveWP shared some good advice for when you’re starting out. Join conversations that you can contribute to. That means participating in a poll, thread, or Twitter chat about a topic you know well and can relate with. That way, you’ll feel less nervous about tweeting a response. On the flip side, if you see a topic that you like to know more about, but don’t know enough to educate, ask a question. It’s often the best way to keep the ball rolling without putting too much stress on you.

Q4: What are the best practices for growing your brand on social media?

There are three golden rules when it comes to growing your brand on social media: be active, be consistent, and be yourself. It’s a simple formula, but one that many people struggle with.

Cindy told us about another good way to boost your brand: encourage engagement. As important it is for you to participate in others’ content, it’s also important for your content to be open-ended and welcoming of discussion. Twitter chats and Facebook Groups are excellent for this because you can easily find a group of people who are dedicated to a certain topic and will be happy to engage with whoever shares their interests.

As Madalyn emphasized, being consistent is essential. When someone looks through your profile, and they see that you haven’t posted anything for months at a time, they won’t see the point in following you. Most people on social media want real and helpful content. Show them that you can deliver.

Q5: What are some pitfalls you should avoid when growing your social media presence?

Social media is about being social. It’s about having sincere conversations and sharing insightful opinions. Don’t make it all about you, but instead approach every conversation from the point of collective good. Don’t hesitate to promote others who share helpful information. It’s all about lifting each other up, as our guest said.

Jim told us about another common pitfall that many of us fall for, especially someone who’s new to social media. There are so many platforms nowadays, and countless ways to make them work for you. Don’t feel pressured to join all of them at once and do well in every one of them. You’ll only be overwhelmed. Analyze which platforms would work best for you and start with one or two at a time. Grow your brand gradually.

Q6: Share some tips for creating content consistently.

Many of us have trouble with coming up with good content consistently. The best way to deal with this is to plan well ahead. As our guest suggested, listen to your audiences’ conversations and identify the types of content that resonates with them the most. Then start building content that you can repurpose over time as multiple posts. Put all this information together in a content calendar that you can use as the base for all your social media posts. Review your calendar occasionally to make sure you’re still relevant to the audience you’re trying to reach. Rinse and repeat.

Rachel from Express Writers told us about a good way to use a content calendar. Once you have a calendar planned, you can start creating content in advance and scheduling them in bulk. This way, you don’t have to worry about having fresh content every day, and you can always check your scheduled posts every few days so that you’re not automatically posting anything inappropriate to what’s going on in the world at the time.

Q7: How can you deal with imposter syndrome on social media?

Take some time out to reflect. Often, stepping away from a situation is the best way to avoid it blowing up. Recognize your capabilities and your flaws and make peace with that. This is a great confidence booster, and it helps you identify where your strengths lie so you can focus on growing that.

Feel free to share your experiences and fears with your social media community. They will likely resonate with your feelings themselves and will help you get up stronger. To make all this happen, though, you have to have a strong support system that always has your back. Surround yourself with people who cheer you.

As our friend from Biteable told us, it’s crucial to remember that everyone faces imposter syndrome at some point. It’s only natural. One way to overcome it is to be around people and situations where you know you can learn something new but share value at the same time, like a Twitter chat. It’s uplifting when you see people agreeing with you and appreciating your knowledge. You can then pass the baton on by appreciating others’ thoughts as well. That’ll do a lot of good for your self-esteem.

Q8: What are some tools you can use to manage your social media presence?

Our guest’s, and many others favorite is TweetDeck. No surprises there. It’s a great tool for monitoring multiple accounts, lists, hashtags, mentions, and even DMs—all at once. What’s more, it’s also awesome for participating in fast-paced chats like #TwitterSmarter.

Trudy voted for a number of other great tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer, Later, Enum, and Planoly.

Other recommendations included Sprout Social, Agorapulse, Tweepsmap, and eClincher.

Well, folks, that’s all from me this week. Thanks so much for reading through and for more insights from our chat with Guilda, have a look at this Twitter Moment that Joana put together. If you thought this summary was pretty cool, let Madalyn and me know! We all enjoy a little appreciation. Better yet, join us next Thursday on the chat live! We’ll be on #TwitterSmarter from 1pm ET. It’ll be a great hour of tweeting. See you then.

About me, Narmadhaa:

I write all the things—technical and marketing copy to fill the pocket; haiku and short stories to fill the soul. A social media enthusiast, I’m a member of the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and always happy to take on writing gigs.

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