Article by Harvey Briggs, Publisher and Editor - Rides & Drives
Growing Your Social Media Influence
The world is digital now – just ask the folks from Autoweek – and building your audience online is more important than ever. One of the best places to do that is social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other platforms are sources of both audience and revenue. But how do you grow your presence from a few hundred followers to the thousands necessary to attract readers and viewers to the content you produce?
A lot of it is common sense regardless of the platform:
1. Your profile is important – Create a profile on your social media account that lets people know who you are, what you do, your point of view, and what they can expect if they follow you. This is where they come to connect with you personally, so include a good photo as well.
2. Make sure people know how to find you – Put links to your social accounts on your author page of your website or blog. If possible, embed tweets or Instagram posts into your articles so readers can click to your account and comment.
3. Post consistently – Nothing looks worse than an account with little or no activity. You don’t need to post 10 times a day but a consistent schedule will help people find you. According to Chad Kirchner, who, with more than 26,000 followers is one of MAMA’s more prolific Tweeters, “Don’t just use Twitter as a dumping ground for content, be authentic.”
4. Use relevant hashtags on Twitter and Instagram – The key here is relevant. There are sites like https://ritetag.com/best-hashtags-for/automotive to help you find trending tags that will help users find your content
5. Tag manufacturers in your posts – most social media teams look for content to share on the brand pages. Be sure to @ and # the manufacturers to make it easy to find your news and reviews about their products.
6. Think visually – on Instagram, you’re competing with millions of other users, make sure your photos are high quality and have a strong point of view. Adding photos and videos to your Twitter posts increases engagement.
7. Follow other relevant accounts – It’s the birds of a feather effect. Follow auto execs, brands, other journalists, and consumers who are interested in automotive. When they comment on, like and share your posts, their followers will see that and enhance your reach.
8. Engage with your followers – Ask questions, respond to their questions and comments, like their comments, thank them for following. There are a number of things you can do to engage your audience.
9. Use the platform appropriately – Instagram is great for showing what you do, but since you can’t put links in posts, it’s lousy for driving readers and viewers to your site or channel. According to Josh Smith from gottabemobile.com, “Instagram is show and tell. I just use it to build awareness. Twitter brings readers to the site. But engaging on both is important to keep people coming back.”
10. Schedule time for social activity – It’s hard to add one more thing to an already overbooked day. My trick that has helped me be consistent with my posts is to put daily reminders in my calendar to post. Every day I get a notification at 10 AM and 4 PM to put something up. It’s just a reminder to take 5 minutes to share things with my audience and since I’ve started doing it, I’ve doubled my followers on Instagram and Twitter.