Written by Hannah Steffensen
The popularity of social media platforms has rapidly increased over the past few years. Out of the 7.2 billion people on the planet, 2 billion have a social media account. Those staggering figures suggest social media is here to stay, and only more and more people are going to be using it. It is therefore inevitable that young media and communication students must accept and use social media to their advantage.
As a Business and Media Communications student, over the past few years I have learnt and analysed how to utilise multiple platforms to attract an audience and essentially showcase myself to potential employers. Here are some skills I believe are important for any young entrepreneur, social media guru, media communications student or young professional looking to create an online media presence.
1. Be selective
Firstly, don’t think you have to use every platform out there. There are many channels to choose from: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube are just some of the mediums in a growing list of viable social networking sites. Just choose the ones that work best for you. To work out whether a platform will meet your needs, do some research and determine where your target audience is present. It will be more beneficial to put your energy into growing and maintaining specific social media platforms rather than counter productively spreading resources too thin.
2. Be personal
One of the worst mistakes to make on social media is having zero personality. In our modern age where transparency is a high priority, people want to get to know you on a personal level. Many brands aren’t afraid to communicate to their followers. A human and personal social media presence has become an expectation among many followers.
3. Integrated social media strategy
Creating an integrated social media strategy is extremely important as you want to make sure each social media network you are involved in serves a purpose. Creating a marketing calendar that has your upcoming events, blog posts and social media posts easily visible and planned enables you to stay organised and understand how each of your social media accounts will bring in more untapped sectors for your media career. Someone who has a business or needs to showcase themselves to the public for their job would highly benefit from scheduling posts such as Instagram.
4. Be active
Inactive social feeds are a bad look for media profiles. Rather than letting Facebook and Instagram gather cobwebs, you need to constantly be uploading fresh, engaging and interesting content. Staying social doesn’t have to take up hours in a day. Through scheduling posts or simply allocating 10-15 minute per day to social media, you can post content and respond to concerns in an efficient way without wasting time.
Also, through social media analytics, try and determine when you audience is most active. You this information to strategically post content around those times to increase the chance of your audience viewing your content. If done, successfully, your social media presence and reach could grow before you know it.
5. Be patient
Lastly do not expect results to come overnight. Many entrepreneurs and media communication professionals are vying for attention on social media so it’s going to be an uphill battle. The right strategy, hard work and engaging content will boost your profile to ensure your social media presence is successfully seen by the right people.