10 social media tips for beginners; learning from my mistakes.
Ok, so I’m just over six months into my journey as a social media manager. And I am by no means am I an expert. I feel extremely grateful to have been able to find work during the pandemic. Considering I was classed as a stay at home mum with little on paper to prove my employability, I feel even luckier having landed a job that I love.
I work remotely for Podengo Market Research (most of the team were working remotely pre-pandemic) and I love the flexibility that this gives me. It has made the transition from full-time mum to working mum a whole lot smoother. And given that the majority of the team are working mums that’s a huge plus as there is an unspoken understanding between us.
So here I am, eight months down the line and what have I learnt so far? Read on for my 10 social media tips for beginners:
1. Just be you – find your voice.
In the beginning, I thought It was all about being professional. But the truth is people like people. So whether you’re writing blogs or captions, if you’re going to create great content that resonates with someone it has to be real. Real connections are made with real people. It’s all about tone, so find your voice and use it.
2. Continuity is everything – Do your thing and stick to it!
Once you’ve found your presence stick to it. I began by posting and reposting anything and everything, not only does this look messy but it’s also hard for any potential new followers to identify what it is you do. This brings me to my next point…
3. Know your audience – Hello, nice to meet you.
And be specific. I somehow managed to go three months working for a market research company without doing any research of my own*. If you don’t know who your audience is, how can you connect with them?
4. Read. Research and read some more.
The more you read the more you understand and the more information you have to share with your audience. Once you’ve built connections you can help each other grow. And you can do that by educating each other through your content. Reading from a variety of sources is important, as you want to make sure that the content you share is valid and true. So always triple fact check.
5. Assumptions make an ASS of U and ME.
When I first started writing blogs for Podengo, I made the huge mistake of assuming that our audience knew who we were and what I was talking about. It wasn’t until I took part in Maddy Shines ‘Show up get booked challenge’, that I realised the assumptions I had made. It’s so important to introduce yourself as if you’re meeting someone for the first time and explaining something they’ve never before heard of.
6. Be impeccable with your word – Build trust.
It takes time to build connections and establish hearty relationships. So, if you promote an Instagram live and have followers show up to view it and then your not there, the chances are they won’t show up next time. Basically, if you say you’re going to do something, do it. Otherwise, how can your audience trust you?
7. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Do learn from them.
I’ve been running a weekly business spotlight live on IGTV and it comes with its technical issues. Whether it’s a rubbish internet connection or a glitch in the app, that’s all part and parcel of hosting in ‘real-time’. But be honest with your audience if you make a mistake. Identify it and rectify it.
8. Make friends, not followers.
This is actually one of my favourite things about being a social media manager. It’s very easy to get caught up in the numbers, chasing followers. I’m part of an incredible online community of female founders, working mums, creative cats and inspiring individuals. Making friends means building connections with a huge support network, who are going to have your back and promote your business because they like you. And visa versa.
9. Stop and smell the roses – Engage with your followers.
It’s not enough just to make amazing content. If your content is great but all you do is post and wait for likes, those likes are gonna trickle in. It’s a one-sided conversation. Take the time to see what your followers are up to, comment on their posts, share and promote their content with your audience so that they feel supported too. This links back to tip number 8, as building engagement is really about building online relationships. It also happens to be one of the many things I learnt from The Everyday Agency and their fantastic free 7-day social media course. Not only did it give me food for thought and a fresh perspective, but also a truckload of creative inspiration.
10. Technology is your friend.
There are so many different tools out there that will make your life easier if you learn how to use them. Pre-planning content for social media can save loads of time if you use a scheduling app like Later. Repost is great for crediting accounts that you’re borrowing content from and everyone loves a Giphy. Believe it or not, I used to be ridiculously camera shy up until about four months ago. With thanks to Helen and Kam-Mei and the ‘Get Video Confident Challenge’, as soon as I worked out that I was, what they call a ‘winger’ rather than a ‘prepper’, everything just sort of clicked into place. And now I’m able to confidently use all the features on Instagram, without wanting to hide my face.
As I said in the beginning, I am not an expert but I also know that if I had read this at the start of my journey I would have found it very useful. So hopefully you do too. Do you have any social media tips to share? Or maybe something that you need help with? Please share in the comments below.
*Insert see-no-evil monkey emoji here