Remember in The Wizard of OZ, when the curtain at the Emerald City was pulled back and the Wizard was revealed to be just some regular dude? Well, I’d like to pull back the curtain of Charlotte Is Creative’s social media accounts and reveal myself as just some regular dude who runs them.
Surprise! You thought you were talking to Matt and Tim all along, didn’t you? Nope! Just me, Porter Metzler, Charlotte Is Creative’s Social Media Scoundrel and Biscuit Contributor.
The rest of the Charlotte Is Creative team and I have noticed that while we’re all stuck at home, many small businesses and creatives have shifted their focus & business on social media. It’s a great way to keep us all connected and keep your brand/business growing during these strange times, so I say bravo to you!
Some of you may be new to the world of social media or you may have dabbled in the past but not used it regularly. So, I’m here to offer a few pieces of advice to help get your social media train rolling.
(Side Note: I won’t get very technical with my advice when it comes to the best times to post/what tools to use/marketing tactics/image editing/etc. There are a lot of resources already on those topics that are very useful, such as this one. I’ve decided to not re-invent the wheel.)
I had fun writing this and I hope you have fun reading this, too. May the force be with you on your social media journey! Now it’s time for me to actually talk about what I’ve been talking about:
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but go proofread your last post, just in case. (Now, I’m nervous that I’ll have all kinds of typos on this article after I’ve told you to proofread.) If I could only give you one piece of advice, it’s proofread, proofread and then proofread again. I know it’s hard to proof your own work, but I’ve found that if I read the post to myself aloud, my mouth and ears pick up on a typo that my eyes do not. If you can, have someone else take a gander at it before you make it live.
It’s harder than you think. (And, a lot easier than you think.)
When it comes to people who have never run a social media account before, they fall into two camps: the people who think social media is going to be a cakewalk and the people who see social media as a terrifying 3-headed Hydra made up of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
So which group is right? Neither!
It’s not that easy, but it’s sure not that hard! My advice for everyone new to social media is don’t just dip your toe in and test the waters — just dive in!
You might be overwhelmed at first, but with practice comes great knowledge. Then, the “Spider-Man” rule kicks in. With great knowledge comes great power and with great power comes great responsibility — the responsibility to create some amazing content!
As the old saying goes, it’s “easy to learn, difficult to master.” I’m by no means a master. But, I learn by doing. And, we’ll all learn this together!
Instagram Stories aren’t scary! Give them a try.
Speaking of social media being “scary,” for some reason a lot of people are intimidated by Instagram stories. For those who don’t know, an Instagram story is a temporary post you can create that is linked to your account for 24 hours. My advice is to play and have fun. This is a space where you can add videos of yourself, GIFs, music or pictures. It’s the best way to use your creativity within the Instagram app itself.
Not quite sure what you’re doing? Not sure if you’re doing it “right”? (Hint: There’s no way to do anything on social media “right.”) Not sure if your adoring fans will answer your question of the day? Don’t sweat it too much. It’ll be gone in 24 hours. On the flip side don’t become too attached to your masterpiece … because it’ll be gone in 24 hours. That’s the magic of it.
Use hashtags (that make sense).
Hashtags are important. They help expand the number of people who can see your content. No hashtags = only the people that follow you will potentially see the post. With hashtags = anyone could potentially see it. Hashtags = more eyeballs = more likes = more followers. (If only it were that easy haha, but it’s a good start!)
Hashtags are most important on Instagram so that’s where I’d suggest focusing your hashtagging effort at first. You can use up to 30 hashtags on an Instagram post and I’d recommend you use at least 10. For Facebook and Twitter, I’d only use 1 or 2 if it makes sense for the post.
While on the subject of making sense, only use hashtags that MAKE SENSE for your post. If you’re posting a picture of your Ford Mustang, #charlotteiscreative might not be the most relevant hashtag for you to use. Use hashtags that will get people who are interested in your genre of content to your page.
If in doubt, don’t post.
Every social media manager in the world has a moment where they debate whether or not they should post something. They might worry the post could be taken as insensitive or tone-deaf. Or, they might question, “Is this the best I can do?”
If you have a moment of doubt that a post might not reflect you/your brand/your business in the best light … DON’T POST IT. Trust your gut. 99% of the time it’s right. Rework the idea or think of something different you can share.
If it makes someone smile, it’s worth doing.
Sometimes (okay, a lot of times), I come up posts and captions that might come across as silly or cheesy. Not everyone is a fan of the silliness but, if it makes just one person’s day better, it was worth sharing. Essentially, what I’m trying to say is times are tough and we could all use a laugh or a smile so let’s not take ourselves too seriously.
Social media was created as a source of communication, entertainment and connection. Many users forget to be “social.” They want to use the medium to shout their message and walk away. So, let’s talk with each other, entertain each other and connect with each other. Let’s have a smidge of fun in this wild world.
Proofread. (For real this time.)
Remember when I said go proofread your last post? I don’t believe you did it! Go proof and thank me later!
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