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Building your social media presence: a no-fuss guide

Learn how professionals are gaining more than just followers on social media.

In the age of the influencer, many professionals find it important to be active on social media. It’s almost in a must in some professions, like sales or marketing.

But building your personal brand and social media following can feel like another full-time job. So how can you bolster your online presence without overwhelming yourself? Read on.

A focused (and balanced) effort

Every social media platform has industry niches. For example, creatives flock to Instagram because of the visual nature. Regardless of your profession though, it’s a matter of identifying your target audience and tailoring content that will be insightful for them.

First and foremost, focus on quality over quantity. Your goal for engaging on social media should be to make genuine connections and share meaningful content. To do this, create posts that your target audience will gain something valuable from. Share what you know and what you’re passionate about. Barbara Corcoran, real estate mogul and investor on “Shark Tank,” does a great job of sharing short, insightful snippets on Twitter.

As you gain more followers and see increased interactions, it can be overwhelming to keep up. Blocking your calendar once a week to schedule out your posts using a free tool like Hootsuite or Crowdfire can help you save time. Consider a smaller block of time midway through the week to share and interact with other people’s content and respond to comments on your profiles. It does not need to consume you!

Have an open mind

One of the benefits of being active on social media is to expand your network. It can lead to jobs, side gigs, clients and other industry connections. To accomplish this, you must be deliberate and thoughtful about your content and outreach. Use smart and relevant hashtags, as this will ensure people seeking out this information who haven’t come across you yet will find your posts and profile. You’ll often see artists on Instagram using hashtags like, “#artistsoninstagram,” or “#dailypainting,” because they want to be discovered by new followers.

Also, don’t be shy. If you find someone sharing inspirational content in your space, reach out and let them know. Direct messaging people will get you in front of them and can help you make a meaningful connection. Or, better yet, comment on one of their posts to help them get reach. (You never know, they may just repay you the favor.)

Just as it is in person, networking digitally means mustering up some courage to make direct outreach in the hopes of building relationships. It may also take time, so be patient and consistent. Start with posting content more regularly and build up your commitment based on what resonates with your followers. You could reach influencer status in no time!

Next steps

If you’re trying to grow your social media following, try these tips:

  • Start following people you respect in your industry and use their content as inspiration
  • Block out your calendar so you can focus on curating posts that are genuine and insightful for your audience
  • Reach out and build meaningful connections with people you’ve not yet met in person
Sources: twitter.com; nytimes.com; pewresearch.org; everhour.com