As an entrepreneur, your online presence is everything these days. In lieu of bus bench ads and billboards, the new wave of advertising lies within your online representation. There is a ton of information you will need to become acquainted with in order to come up with a great social media marketing strategy—and it can be intimidating. I have been reworking my own online presence since I started my endeavors in personal branding almost 10 years ago. It definitely revolves around trial and error, and with today’s fast-changing methods, it’s imperative to keep up with modern tactics.
Thankfully, there are a few strategies that I use that have proven to be fruitful, despite changing social media algorithms. It’s all about knowing the in’s and out’s of your personal brand and who your target audience is. Once you’ve narrowed down the basics you can incorporate an easy social media marketing strategy and a content blueprint that will help you expand your online presence.
Step 1: Engage
As of 2019, there are 2.77 billion people using social media. With such a large pool of users, how can anyone expect to stand out? The best and most consistent method that I have found is to engage— all the time. Think about it: if you had a brick and mortar business, wouldn’t you always have employees present to help their potential customers? It needs to be the same way online. Let people know you’re out there by consistently engaging with others who are partial to your niche.
For example, I built my business as a personal branding expert and lifestyle blogger. In order to stay relevant, I continuously look for online material that focuses on these two niches and I engage. There are two specific methods that I use that are irreplaceable in the pursuits of a great social media marketing strategy.
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Gary V’s 1.80 Method
Instagram is by far the most popular platform for entrepreneurs and influencers. Gary Vaynerchuk (also known as “Gary V”) capitalized on this platform and continuously praises its use for entrepreneurs. Gary V has been at the digital and social media marketing game since 2006. And his net worth is now in the millions. He strives to provide easy social media strategies for hustling entrepreneurs like me and you.
One such strategy is Gary V’s $1.80 method. Essentially, it revolves around the idea that you are putting in your “two cents” or comments under a certain number of posts related to your niche. The steps look a little something like this:
1. Pick 10 hashtags in your niche
2. Comment (or leave your “two cents”) on the top nine trending photos in those hashtags
“By the end, you haven’t just left your .02, but a full $1.80 of thoughts online in the specific category, niche, or industry you want to become a part of.”
If you do this social media marketing strategy every day, Gary V estimates that you can expand your online presence by a least 100 new followers a month, if not more. The key to expanding your online presence when it comes to social media is to be, well… social.
Share Others’ Work
Another way to expand your online presence is by sharing other people’s work. Whether it’s offering a backlink on one of your blog posts, sharing a snazzy photo in your Instagram stories, or retweeting a well-thought-out perception— be a part of the conversation is a great social media marketing strategy. Of course, you don’t want to do this incessantly. That would just come off as spammy and annoying.
There are already easy social media strategies like this established for all niches. Hashtags like #womancrushwednesday or #followfriday work as the perfect excuse to share your favorite entrepreneurs or influencers— and hopefully have them share your work, too. You can take it a step further by creating your own hashtags for other people to use or put together a Facebook group where like-minded individuals can come to discuss ideas and topics in your niche.
Step 2: Consistency Will Expand Your Online Presence
When it comes to social media and online perseverance, consistency is everything. If you want to be known as an expert in your category, people need to see that you are actively practicing what you preach. Some may argue that online audiences favor quality over quantity, but statistics beg to differ.
Quality vs. Quantity Argument
Quality and quantity are both important factors to consider when it comes to putting out content online. However, marketers will have you believe that your online content quality goes down the more that you post. The idea of putting out quality content encourages entrepreneurs to only publish near-perfect content in order to get the engagement you need to sell whatever it is that you are selling.
Quality is subjective. Something you might find appealing or attractive might not be true for your audience. And while the quality of your posts shouldn’t be taken for granted, upping the quantity of your content is proven to help expand your online presence more so than quality. HubSpot researchers found that websites that post consistently led to higher inbound traffic. In a pool of 13,500 sites, those that published more often had up to four times the amount of traffic. Likewise, posts that had more than 1,000 words tended to perform better than those with fewer words in their blogs.
It can be hard to come up with consistent content if you’re a one-woman team. But as long as you are showing up once a day on one of your online platforms, you can expand your online presence in no time.
Step 3: Stop. Collaborate and Listen
Collaborating is not only a practical way to expand your online presence, but it’s a fun one. Collaborating with well-respected influencers or entrepreneurs helps to introduce you to a new pool of potential customers. Collaborating efforts are typically beneficial for all parties involved and doesn’t involve any exchange in money.
How To Propose A Collaboration
As I mentioned earlier, you want to get in cahoots with influencers in your own niche. Whether that’s photography, fashion, or travel, working with other people in the same category as your personal brand is guaranteed to make an impact on your business. That’s why it’s important to really hone in on your niche so that you know you are partnering with the right people.
It can be intimidating reaching out to someone that you admire to ask them to collaborate. The best method for proposing a collaboration with another like-minded creative it to simply ask. The worst they can say is no. Preferably, you’ll want to reach out to them via email. Make the proposal brief and professional. Let them know what your idea is, who you are, and how the collaboration will be beneficial for them.
Digital and Physical Collabs
Physical collaboration is an easy social media marketing strategy. Once you and your collaborative partner settle on an idea, you will want to plan a date and time to get together to bring your idea to life. This can be done with a quick Instagram photo, a YouTube video, or some other form of content that represents both of your personal brands.
Collaborative efforts to expand your online presence don’t always have to be done in person. In fact, most of them happen digitally. A digital collab can be done by tagging other influencers in a post or mentioning them in a blog or video that focuses on a specific topic. Ideally, your partner will post similar content on the same day, thus pushing a broader audience onto your platform.
Business to business collaborations can work in your favor if you offer to review or promote a company product. While you can absolutely ask for compensation for this type of advertising, you can also form a collaboration in exchange for a product. These easy social media strategies are often used by businesses to promote products through trusted influencers. B2B collaborations can help expand your personal brand since the company is likely to share the work you did for them, and it also helps to show other businesses that you can supply viable content.