How to Get Better at This Whole Social Media Thing
If you’re looking to up your social media game, you’re not alone. Honestly, same.
Whether you like it or not, social media is often the first and sometimes only impression people have of you, so you want your accounts to reflect you well. I’ve compiled some tips to help you do just that.
1. Remember you have an audience.
Let’s be real: social media platforms are not your diary. In fact, sharing information with others is kind of the whole point. So, when you’re posting, keep in mind that it’s basically going out to the whole world. Ultimately, you want your content to be engaging to others, not just something you wanted to share or get off your chest. Keep that to texting or the like, not on your social media profiles.
2. Post frequently, but not too much.
You want to keep your social media up-to-date. Again, this is a chance to showcase yourself, so you don’t want your latest pics to be awkward photos from the 10th grade. However, posting too often is kind of the worst. This golden rule should go without saying, but don’t post more than once a day on Instagram.
Posting every day is even too much. Other platforms have a little more leeway, but it’s easy to figure out when things start to get excessive. For example, if I’m tapping more than five times on your Snapchat or Instagram story, you better have some good content, and it better not be an everyday thing, or I’m just going to be irritated.
3. Use hashtags wisely — or maybe sometimes not.
Just like with posts, these are another balancing act. Hashtags are awesome. If you want to reach a wider audience than just your followers, they are a great start. Add a #WarEagle to an Auburn post, and you just connected with the whole Auburn family. You can even use hashtags to just be funny.
While these might not connect you with a wider audience, they might get your post more interactions from your own followers because of the comedic aspect. But here’s the deal: don’t just post a ton of hashtags. For me, if I see 10 or more, I tend to automatically not like the post. It’s obnoxious, and seeing a bunch of blue in your caption looks like you’re trying way too hard.
4. Incorporate your personality.
Social media is a great outlet to let your personality shine. Whether you’re sensitive, sarcastic, funny, etc., bring that into your posts. Your followers want to interact with you. Give them a chance to do that.
5. Post like your sweet Nana Ruth or your terrifying future boss will see it.
I hate to be the fun police, but half the content I see on my social feeds does not need to be there. Even if your accounts are private or are parody accounts like a finsta, whatever info you post is basically out there for the world. You don’t want a single post to keep you from your dream job, to give Nana a heart attack, or to give your potential mother-in-law cause for concern.
6. Images, Videos, and Gifs! Oh my!
Want to boost your posts? Don’t stop at just text! Add photos, Boomerangs, videos, etc. It’ll catch your audience’s attention more, drawing them in. I’m not saying every Facebook post or tweet needs some type of imagery, but maybe most should.
7. Keep your captions short and sweet.
Unless you have a story that can compete with Humans of New York, no one wants to read a novel on your Instagram caption or Facebook status. Keep it concise, and your followers will appreciate you for it.
8. Clean it out.
This is especially pertinent for those who have had their accounts for longer periods of time. It’s good to go back and look over what you’ve posted over the year(s). What you thought would be funny and cute your freshman year might need to go now. But on Instagram at least, you can archive older photos, so they don't have to be gone forever. Now you can tuck them away neatly out of sight.
9. Make an intriguing bio.
When I’m looking to follow someone, the first thing I check is their bio. Is it interesting? Is it funny?
10. Don’t feel obligated to post everything you’ve ever done with everyone you’ve ever hung out with.
If you’re going to post a video circling around everyone you’re hanging out with, maybe stop and ask yourself “why” before you do and if that’s something others actually want to see (remember Tip #1). While it’s fun to highlight your friends and your adventures, try to make your posts interesting and not just a showcase that you have friends.
11. Stay relevant.
Trends come and go. And when they go, they need to stay gone. A meme that was popular in February probably isn’t in July. If you’re posting out-of-date content, you’ll just look behind the times.
On the other hand, when those trends come, utilize them! Find a way to post about what’s popular, whether it’s a funny gif, a big sporting event, or even a new episode of The Bachelorette. This is an easy way to get people engaged in what you’re sharing. And when you do, remember those hashtags.
Apply these tips, watch your accounts benefit and don't forget to follow us on social media @AuburnCampusRec.
Be well, Auburn.
Photography: Michelle M.