As I look to teach my second class on social media and blogging for businesses next month, I thought it was about time I backed this up with an actual blog on the topic! Time seems to be slipping away from me at the moment, but this is always one topic I find very easy to discuss and share with others. My biggest hope is that more people will get on board with the power of social media and blogging (especially in Jersey) so that together we can make some positive change and share inspiring stories together. From my time as a blogger and getting to grips with this ever-changing world, here's what I've learnt about social media that may help you.
The Jersey factor
You can watch a thousand tutorial videos, read all the self-help books on social media and sign up to online courses, but at the end of the day Jersey has its own unique audience which has to be experienced to be understood. It's unique in the fact that our demographic doesn't echo the UK or the rest of the world. Yes, we are very behind in term of utilising social media, but that also means a little goes a long way. As a tight-knit community, Jersey social media is a place of support and encouragement, all at our disposal through oa laptop or phone. Jersey also has a strange obsession with Facebook! Despite Instagram being the largest growing social platform, businesses still cling to the functionality of Facebook over most other platforms. Try not to compare yourself to the largest UK bloggers out there, we are after all just a small drop in the pond.
I hear a lot that people are scared of social media, not knowing how to use it properly and worried what might do wrong if they do. My advice to them, just do it! If you are posting honest, real posts, you really can't get it too wrong and I think it's fun to learn and grow as you go. My biggest fear was getting used to photographing myself as a fashion blogger. I spent a lot of my earlier blogs using models and internet images until I understood my biggest asset was myself and that I should be seen. The more fearless and open you are, the best response and engagement you tend to get, although it does take practice.
Don't expect to be racking up thousands of followers in the first few months. The more you look at those that have these size audiences, the more you understand that they use professional photographers and often have a team of people around them to create that perfect image. My insta-husband consists of my six year old son using my iPhone, or more commonly, a four foot tripod which has a tendency to tip and smash many a phone screen! Now, I tend to gravitate towards those posts that feel more real and raw than those polished like a magazine shoot. People like to connect with real people.
Build a community
No matter what you post, unless you engage with others you are not going to unlock the full potential of the platforms. Find your community, establish a dialogue and you will find your peers one of your greatest assets (as well as the most supportive). Share the love and you will no doubt feel the love back, so don't be afraid to comment on posts, feature those you admire and stimulate a conversation. I've experienced nothing but positivity on social media platforms, although recognise that this experience isn't the same for everyone.
Explore, imitate, create
Sadly, to get good at playing the social media game does take time and it's forever evolving, such as the addition of new add-ons like Facebook Live and Insta stories. You need to have a constant presence constant on social media to learn about new algorithms, tricks of the trade and to be relevant. Utilising groups, communities and your network goes a long way to help on this and my biggest tip to those starting out is to explore and find those doing what you want to be doing. Look out for new trending hashtags, social media campaigns, and imagery that maybe you could replicate on your page. Once you understand what it is you want to achieve, making it happen is a while lot easier.
If you found this useful and would like to learn more about how social media could help your business, come join me on my next workshop on 19th June 2018. Details here.