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In a world where emojis, slang, and miscommunication lead our social media channels, we must ask ourselves if we are sending the right message. From your posts to your retweets, what are your channels saying about you?
For me, I hope my channels are saying that I am a fun creative southerner, who loves sports, lemonade (the drink and Beyoncé album) who also has a passion for writing. I reflect those attributes in all of my posts and the way I act in my everyday life. Sometimes, our purpose gets lost in translation and we need to make sure that we transform our presence and send out a strong message to our followers, whether it’s figuratively or literally. What do you want your followers to know?
Here are 12 ways to make sure you are sending the right message on social media:
1. Post Relevant Content
Post content that relates to your target audience. Know them, love them, and post about their needs.
2. Create Buzz
Make your posts happen with a bang, lead up to your great post with commentary before and after. Lead in with a subject and continue on from there. One post is not enough.
3. Create Discussion
Discuss with your audience, ask them questions and get their opinion. No one wants a meaningless post, in order to clarify your stances, you should definitely create discussions.
4. Ask Audience to Read and Share
You can alway leave a link, compose a short message for your readers to simply copy and paste. Just simply ask!
5. Keep it Short and Sweet
Keeping things short and sweet is best. You don’t want to disengage your audience halfway through your tweets.
6. Make sure that you re-read content before posting
Proofreading your content is very important. I’m not talking about the grammatical mistakes, I’m talking about the ethical issues. If you have to ask yourself, "Will this offend someone?" it’s probably not the message you should be sharing.
7. Spell Check!
Nothing is worse than posting an awesome post with spelling and grammar mistakes! It’s the worst feeling ever. Especially on Twitter (no edit button). We live in a world with so many online tools to prevent this. There should be no excuse! Many times, your online presence is your first and last impression. You’re not there face to face to explain how you meant something to sound or that you made a mistake. Type and post wisely! Your credibility is on the line.
8. Watch Your Tone
Know your audience! Are you sending out professional messages or are you their friend that speaks ’the real’. Especially if you are looking for a job or trying to build your own brand, be wise about what you’re sharing, responding to and writing. It could come back to help or hurt you.
9. Know Your Audience
Understand your audience’s views and opinions. Healthy discussion including debate is always ok. Be mindful of being too opinionated or hurting others. Know how they will react before you post and see if there are any red flags.
10. Honesty is Always the Best Policy
People want genuine content. Write about what you know! There’s no need to pretend that you are someone that you’re not. If there’s something you don’t know, create a conversation around it. People like to see vulnerability. According to Bréne Brown, "Vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity" Put aside your pride and start a discussion. You’ll be surprised at how much you learn and how much you and your audience can benefit.
11. Re-evaluate Your Profile Picture
Maybe the picture from the mud run last week isn’t the best message to send. Take a professional headshot or take a nice fun picture where everyone can see your face. Also, remember most of the time employers or others want to see YOU. Not you and your friends a professional looking profile image can go a long way. Want more info on taking the best profile picture? Check out our 5 tips from experts at SLRLounge here. If it’s more than just your profile picture that needs editing, check out this social media image size cheat sheet!
12. Stay Consistent
Always maintain the same voice. You want your reader to know who you are and what you stand for.
Sending the right message is extremely important to the development of your online presence. No one wants to follow someone on social media that they don’t really "know." People want to feel like they have a genuine connection with you. Personally, my favorite followers are the ones that are my best friends in my head. I know that we have never met but they send me a positive message with their account. If you are inconsistent with what you post, no one will know who you truly are and it will make it hard for people to buy into your personal brand. In order to network with others, you need to be relatable. People want to like you but if you are constantly hiding behind another persona on the Internet, it’s hard to trust you. Get yourself together, stay consistent and watch your brand thrive!
A great way to learn about even more ways to use social media to your advantage is to take ProSky’s online training course for social media marketing.