Social media is changing the way we communicate and the way we are perceived, both positively and negatively. Every time you post a photo or update your status, you are contributing to your own digital footprint and personal brand.
– Amy Jo Martin, author and speaker
As part of my 2018 intention to consume less and produce more in my creative work, I have taken a hiatus from social media for two months to review how I can use social media in a more effective way to promote my work, share the things that matter most and to push my business forward.
I believe it’s important to use social media effectively because it gives you an opportunity to show future employers and collaborators who you are and what you can offer. Our social media profiles can be used as a portfolio of work displaying our competencies. Our social media allows us to have impact and influence, even in our small corner of the internet. Don’t feel cringe about your early posts, starting out things will suck but it’s about building momentum and consistency to grow. Also, don’t be afraid to promote yourself heavy. We’re going for it in 2018!
The things we should be doing and posting online to promote our work and build our brands can range from:
- examples of our work
- progression of our work
- collaborating and engaging with others in your field
- storytelling by documenting the process
- sharing our thoughts and insights on industry trends discussing relevant ideas/solutions
- share our interests and desires that show off our personality
- create good relationships online
- demonstrate professionalism and “showing up” when it comes to approaching clients and delivering a service, email etiquette etc.
So what are some practical steps for sharing more of your work online?
KNOW YOUR INTENTIONS FOR YOUR WORK AND BUSINESS
For anyone who has a business, I’m sure the first piece of advice you heard was “You need to be online!”. Aside from your website, being on social will enable you to reach more people. So, why are you on social media? Are you trying to get sales, more clients, share your work and have it reach your target audience? Are you here to inspire and motivate others?
GET CLEAR ON YOUR INTENTIONS.
Write them down.
Always have your ‘why’ in the back of your mind in case you get off track.
When you know you’re intentions you will be focused. Having a focus means that you know your purpose and are more likely to achieve it, getting what you want out of social media. This way we have control over how we use socials rather than posting and scrolling with no aim.example, I recently uploaded this post to share an interview I did with author of Young Black Males Have Potential, Kevin Munga. I am able to share my work, therefore bringing more attention to my skills and provide value to others in the process.
FIGURE OUT WHICH PLATFORMS TO USE FOR YOUR INTENDED PURPOSE
Which platform works best for your intended purpose? Is it Facebook? Is it Twitter? Find out and test out its uses (check your analytics and engagement) and stick with the platforms that help you to share your message effectively. Remember, you don’t have to be on every single social media website – just the ones that work well for you.
SCHEDULE, POST AND SHARE
POST. Like actually do it. Post the stuff that you really want to share with the world – not what you think you ought to post. No one knows what you’re getting up to unless you tell them. A strategy is key here. Know what type of things you want to post – that will give anyone who comes across your page a clear idea of who you are, what you do and your values. Create a schedule for content you want to post and stay consistent with it.
Engaging is a big part of sharing effectively because if you engage, others are likely to interact with you, share your work too and promote it. Don’t overlook engagement because essentially people are pushing your work by sharing it and retweeting it etc. Be authentic with your support and approach. If it helps, join groups and communities where you can support each other and create and grow in a much bigger way than you can conceive!
REVIEW OUTCOMES AND RESULTS
What has your engagement been like over the last four weeks? Are more people engaging and contacting you? How are the stats and analytics? How do you feel about your work? What matters is putting your work out there consistently and getting better at each time from feedback. When you find what works for you stick at it and if it doesn’t work, try something new, stick with it and review again.
How do you use social media to promote your work? Have you ever really thought about the importance of your presence online? Share them with me in the comments below or if you thought these tips were helpful.