Contribution by Kayleigh Alexandra.
For a young creative looking to make their mark on the industry, there is no better tool available than social media.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and all the other platforms frequented by people of all ages gives you, as a creative, access to widespread, engaged communities in a vibrant, active space to promote and sell your creations.
The sheer number of users on social media can make it difficult to stand out though. To make the most of these platforms here are some tips for upping your social game you can get started with right away.
Keep your posts high quality
Trends can drop off just as easily as they catch fire on social media.
Finding continued success is often down to producing and posting consistently high-quality content. This doesn’t just mean releasing art, blogs and music that people enjoy, but making sure your presentation is living up to the standards you set and people expect from spending up to a decade on these platforms.
Social media has grown so dramatically in the last decade that there can be no room for lacklustre content and cheap-looking presentation. If you’re posting something that feels out of step with the expected quality of the platform your fans will move onto another user that’s doing it better.
Use grammar tools to ensure all of your content is well-written and spelled correctly. Re-size your images to not just suit, but pop on your platform of choice. Upload your content directly to the platforms, so that your followers don’t need to go to a third party site to enjoy it. These simple tweaks have a significant impact on how people perceive you, and your work.
When it comes to social media, the key is in the name. It’s all about being social.
Social media is no longer a series of platforms where you can chat with your friends. It’s somewhere to converse with complete strangers and, most importantly, build a fan base.
To achieve this, you can’t be afraid to converse and engage with new people, particularly your followers. Followers on social media like to believe the relationship is a two-way street.
They’re not just blindly following along waiting for the next content update. They’re getting replies to their comments, their feedback is being picked up on and they’re being directly asked for input. This is why some of the most popular celebrity accounts on social media have a sense of normality to them, conversing like a regular user rather than sticking to corporate, scripted updates.
You should look to engage with your fan base as much as possible. New followers coming into your circle will see this strong relationship and instantly feel more at ease. You need to build the kind of community that followers see value in being a part of.
You shouldn’t just look to build your own strong community but integrate yourself into existing ones.
In the last few years, many of the main social media channels have made a push to prioritize communities. This has transformed platforms such as Facebook from places primarily dominated by ads, news updates, and posts from distant relatives into bustling spaces for people to grow, share ideas, and collaborate.
As important as having a space like this where you and your work are the centre of attention, establishing yourself amongst leaders in the industry is essential, especially as a young creative.
Look for collaborative groups in both your local area and internationally where people are interested in both working together on projects and critiquing each other’s work. Get into spaces where you can build relationships with other creatives that can lead to collaborative opportunities and expose yourself to their fan bases.
Make yourself known as a vocal contributor with expert knowledge that people will remember and come to for advice and invite on projects.
Communities are everything in social media these days. From Instagram communities rallying around a specific influencer to YouTube collaborative groups. Networking within them should be one of your main focuses on social media.
Update your profiles
The average young person may have spent an average of 3 hours a day on social media in 2019, but how much of that time really went into viewing profiles?
In all likelihood, not that much. But that is not to say it’s not absolutely necessary you refine your profile to perfection, especially as a young creative trying to get your work noticed.
An average user may spend more of their time scrolling through their timeline, but that doesn’t mean they’re not browsing profiles. Your profile is still where you sell yourself, your ideas, and your work. You may have a post that really catches fire and goes viral, but it’s your profile that keeps people as followers.
How you achieve that can be done in a number of ways. They may like your content, which is particularly true on a platform such as Instagram. Don’t be afraid to curate your content or worry about how it appears as a block on your profile rather than as individual posts in a feed. There are lots of creative ways to catch a user’s eye with your profile, from collages of your best work to carefully selected pinned posts.
Your profile needs to tell your story. Whether you do that through a quick explanation of your history or an insight into your sense of humour through a sarcastic tagline. Your profile needs to be quintessentially you and not overstay its welcome. At best, you’re only getting a couple of minutes to impress.
Take advantage of apps
There are a whole host of apps out there designed to help creatives improve and streamline their workflow to better please their audience.
Young photographers can use apps like Fuji to play around with fun filters. Poets and writers can recite their work using Instagram filters. Directors can user FilmMaker Pro to develop short films to whet their fan’s appetites.
It’s not just creative apps that will help you get ahead on social media either. Management tools such as Hootsuite can massively improve your scheduling and offer key insights into what your audience reacts to and when they’re most active. This can guide your social strategy in a more informed way and give you an advantage over amateur creatives.
Mastering social media is a skill in itself. You’ve spent years developing your creative craft, now you need to master how to use these social platforms. It’s key to understand their inner workings and the expectations of your audience to make sure your work gets the attention it deserves.
Contribution by Kayleigh Alexandra.
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