Influencers and social marketers alike are constantly trying to figure out how to “crack the algorithm” of our favorite social media platforms. It’s not time wasted, after all, it is wise to know how to effectively use the tools you have for your business. Social media is the perfect place for you to grow and gain recognition without spending a dime. To figure out how to make money on Instagram and other social media channels, you just need to know how to best spend your time so that it doesn’t turn into a wormhole and yield zero results.
Understand that while not created equal, all social media platforms essentially bleed into one another. So that gives you the opportunity to create once and share it across multiple platforms. The thing that all of them have in common is that the algorithm favors engagement. One of the most popular ways that creators are getting things to their audience is with the “stories” feature, I like to think of it as flipping through the pages of a magazine. You remember those?
So let’s take a look at a few tips to engage your audience through stories.
1. Play with the Font.
You’ve heard people say before, “It’s not so much what you say, it’s how you say it.” The same sentiment rings true for things you put out there on social media. It is important to use a clear font that’s easy to read but small enough that people have to slow down, hold their finger on it to keep the page there and take in your words. You can even select the option where it types out the verbiage you’ve placed there when making stories. This feature is great because people can’t possibly read something that’s not finished typing out yet, so they stay there and wait for it to be completed. BOOM, algorithm reads…ENGAGEMENT. It’s a great thing to pepper in so that all of your written content isn’t just viewed at a glance.
2. Audio- best created in IG or TikTok because of the “captions” feature.
Audio is an amazing tool to be able to show personality, excitement, and even share an emotional message. But here’s the deal. Most people are viewing stories in the nooks and crannies of their day at work, school, bathroom breaks…etc. and they don’t want the volume up bc then others would notice that they are in fact, NOT working on that email that they were supposed to send out two hrs ago.
If their volume is down and your story comes across their feed, they are going to click through your stories fast or completely just swipe to the next one and this is going to drive DOWN how the platforms decide to rank your stories for other viewers.
The solution here is simple and quite fun. You just create your video in the said platform or upload one you have from your device then go to stickers and select “captions.” It then transcribes your audio and if it happens to misunderstand you like it does this southern accent at times, then you simply click on the text and you’re able to scroll through and edit. Then you can adjust the size and placement on the screen to your preference and post.
The finished video can be saved to your device and uploaded with the captions or you can choose to share it across platforms from the original place where it was posted. This action is going to drive UP engagement because people read what you’re saying and still see your emotion come across the screen behind the words. It’s just a fantastic feature. Not to mention the fact that the hearing impaired are now getting to enjoy your content as well.
3. Be original!!
I know, I know. It’s one you hear often. But I’m going to give you the reason WHY that’s so important.
Being original is a heavy hitter because when you share an image that you grabbed from someone else’s stories or google photos, for instance. FB and IG know… they knooooow. Because there is a “unique numerical code,” of sorts tied to the image. Social media platforms across the board are moving more towards an “original creator” mode and rewarding people who have original thoughts, ideas or at the very least, share their own perspective on a topic. So when you’re sharing an outfit make sure it’s ON YOU or in your closet and not a photo you grabbed from Pinterest.
If you’re an influencer and you’re promoting a product, take an original photo with the product in your hands or sitting on the counter in your home instead of using a stock or promotional image from the company you’re representing. You are the influencer, your personality and taste are what’s best paired with the product when sharing it with others. People want to see what YOU do with the products, how it fits into YOUR life, and how that might relate to themselves and their own lives. You want them to see themselves in your shoes.
Your audience doesn’t want to see some image that’s going to be blasted across platforms by every other influencer in the company. That makes it look spammy. What if your viewer has multiple friends in your company and she looks up at the top of the screen and all the way across, it’s the same image shared by 5 different influencers? There is no differentiation there. There’s nothing that makes you stand out. Instead, it creates a spammy look and that’s a quick way to lose followers and drive your visibility, across the board, DOWN. Be creative, and if you don’t have it in ya, if you’re not the most creative person, no worries. Just SHOW UP as YOU and be yourself. No one can copy that! There’s only one you!
Search “reel tutorial” for lots of help
Like I said before, all of these platforms are amazing tools and you don’t have to become overwhelmed by the thought of having to create something for each platform. Instead, create once and share across platforms.
For example: Tiktok has amazing features for creating super fun and engaging videos in a short period of time. You don’t have to be a Scorsese to piece together things on TT. They have a huge selection of filters, sound, backgrounds, etc. You can quite literally create an eye-catching ad-quality video in a matter of seconds.
Then you post to TT, save it to your device, or choose where you want to share it. You can choose IG reels 15-30-60 seconds long or post to stories on FB or IG at 15 seconds long.
One unit of work/creativity shared across the board to REACH different audiences.
5. GO LIVE
There is no better way for people to get to know you than you being right there in front of them. Think about it, don’t you hear your voice as you’re reading this right now? Because you’ve never heard my voice before, but if you had, you’d be hearing me, my accent and personality come through in the written word.
That’s why it’s so important to let people get to see you move, talking with your hands and throwing your head back, and laughing at something funny. So that when you’re messaging with them, they feel like they are chatting with a friend rather than it feeling like a cold message.
Going live is a great way to really engage with your audience. On TikTok you can even go live with other people, you could do a Q&A of sorts for your audience. You can simply hop on and share a funny story from your childhood or your day. More than ever, people are just craving interaction and to feel heard and seen. This method gives you a chance to do this with them in real-time.
Another way to use LIVE is giving your viewers a behind-the-scenes look into your day, or taking them along for the ride on a remodel project with live updates.
Take them to the boujee hotel that you’re visiting on your company retreat. Those are “take me with you” opportunities that serve as attraction marketing just by being REAL with your viewers in the moment. Just share your life and be yourself. When you do that, people are going to seek your advice on travel, home projects, and how you work from home and don’t get distracted by chores 7 times a day. Your credibility for what you are actually promoting goes up in their eyes because you have helped them with other things before introducing them to your product or service.
Social media is not going away. It’s here to stay and that tickles me pink. Here’s why; think about it. The year is 1997 and you want to get the word out about an event you’re having, so you have to mail things, make phone calls, plaster vehicles with flyers in the Walmart parking lot, maybe take out an ad in the newspaper or with the local radio station. Those are all ONE DIRECTION forms of communicating a message. Now you can get the word out to hundreds/thousands of people in your area for that same event in a matter of minutes and get immediate interaction and feedback. The interaction – that’s gold.
So much good can be done with social media and it’s right there in the palm of your hand.
Hopefully, these tips will give you the confidence to create content that’s original to you.