In my previous column I wrote about SELF CARE and the QUALITY VS QUANTITY of SELF-PROMOTION. Check it out here.
Today I'm introducing you to THE TOP SIX social media platforms that can benefit your career:
THE TOP SIX
These are the top six sites or platforms most recommended that marketers will likely look to first.
TWITTER – Twitter often gets a bad rap from those who don't use it, rarely use it, or only see hate group flame wars within. But the truth is, it is one of the very easiest ways for any marketer to quick-share your content, and for the media to embed such content for use in their online publications, as well. You want this. Embedded content brings their reading audience very directly to you, and along with it, potential new followers and new audiences. The chances that those readers will not click on an embedded Tweet are pretty low. This 240 character limitation might be seen as a hindrance to some, but it can also be seen as a tool that forces creativity within those limitations and keeps the attention of a time-taxed reader. Within that, you can use handle and hash-tagging to help seek out and join trending posts, and post photos, videos, and third-party/outside links, to reach and inform other Twitter accounts. But with all this, you have to plan your texts for all.
Don't allow hashtag dropping. Make room. Handle and hash-tagging in re-shares brings attention to your posts - to your brand - by placing you more regularly within the scroll feeds and hashtag searching eyes of new readers, potential new audiences and/or new followers - and this includes reshares. Other benefits are live “hashtag parties,” Twitter Moments, and that ever-elusive, but oh-so-valuable, quick-buzz generating, Holy Grail of Tweets, one single viral post! Just that one can truly make all the time you spend on Twitter well worthwhile.
PERISCOPE - A product of Twitter that works both separately and in conjunction with it, Periscope offers a live broadcasting platform that records from a smartphone or smart device in real-time, and can connect and engage you with new audiences, all over the world. Like Facebook Live, the platform includes a live chat. But unlike Facebook, Periscope has a very specific and dedicated audience that searches for content by country and subject - all based on their time, time zones, and tastes. Also unlike Facebook, but like YouTube, followers will more often seek out content, as fans of a regular TV show. Sharing on Twitter is subject to the same 240 character limitation, where Periscope accommodates to a degree. But Periscope more actively promotes regular content that is new, increases in viewership, or covers a particular topic that quickly becomes a hot topic world wide.
FACEBOOK - Facebook's greatest benefits are the wider audience it provides access to, and the near-limitless space for written content, third-party site linking, photos, videos, Facebook Live, stories, handle and hash-tagging, and business and event promotion. But the singles greatest, and often overlooked, tool available on the platform is the ever-collectible and endless variety of Group pages that can be shared to promote. Both public and private, such groups are a worthwhile investment to join and engage with. Just be sure to follow their individual and posted rules. Based on your own promotional targets, these Groups can provide access to audiences that might not normally be in your periphery. But as art evolves, so do audiences. Someone is always looking for that new and different thing. Limitations and potentials to find appropriate groups to target are solely-based on what you are promoting, the subject matter it presents, and who might most want to know of it.
INSTAGRAM - Like Twitter, Instagram is a marketer's dream. The numbers are there for them to see and use and, as with Twitter content, the media can and do embed Instagram content for use in their online publications. Instagram also often gets a bad rap as just a haven for selfie-obsessed influencers, travel-itchy millennials, or hungry foodies—of the latter, present company is guilty. However, it is also one of the very best ways to communicate a message with visually rich photos, videos, and Gif content, engage easily and regularly, create stories, tag, hashtag, search hastags, and connect such content with that most robust of social media platforms - its parent - Facebook. Instagram is also poised to offer monetization with in stream ads.
LINKEDIN - Like Facebook, its platform includes lots of space for written content, linking, photo and video sharing, handle and hash-tagging, and direct business promotion. But its single greatest benefit is the very direct professional networking, résumé posting, and job-seeking opportunities, that it provides. Depending on your needs, and whether you wear many hats and wish to promote them all, LinkedIn can provide both benefit or conflict between your self-promotion in creative fields and any other hat you might wear in another industry. But many, many people make this work.
YOUTUBE - Because it is owned by Google, YouTube by nature of this connection brings with it a host of pre-benefit with regard to manipulated SEO on the backend. In other words, Google makes the content on its product much easier for people to find through the browser, and via your hashtagging. Knowing this, using YouTube as a video content promotion tool over direct upload to Facebook is key. YouTube allows for cross-sharing/promoting on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and as a broadcasting platform, also allows for monetization. For those who want a Live Broadcast experience, unfortunately, you'll have to wait until you grow your audience of Followers to 10,000 or more in order to be offered that option by the platform. Like Periscope, YouTube has a dedicated audience of viewers who search for content by subject, broadcaster, and popularity, and closely follow regular and scheduled shows, whether they are watching on their desktop, laptop, phone, or television.
THE 80/20 RULE
Social Media Today suggests using the 80/20 Rule to help guide you when sharing to promote as a brand—which is 20% of your own content to promote your brand and 80% of content that specifically interests your audience and engages them. Also within the 20%, you can include information that benefits your audience such as discounts, useful statistics, and persuasive calls-to-action. This formula, and such posts, can be effective in opening new doors to conversation, engagement, and the sharing of your posts.
You can track your own social media growth through analytic tools that are available from many social media platforms. Individually, they can provide daily, weekly, monthly, and annual reports on the status of your marketing. Collectively, these reports can provide information for your marketing and managerial teams.
This information can directly help you to get work. But even just used as a personal business tool—and non-obsessively—analytic reports can simply let you know if the social media self-promotion you are doing is working (or not working) to increase both the numbers and overall engagement.
YouTube (Creator Studio) (Requires Google and YouTube accounts to access)
Google (For websites)
PHOTOS, VIDEOS, METADATA, and SEO
Search engines, such as Google—the largest and most effective search engine on the internet—have "crawlers" that gather information about any and all content that they can find on the Internet. These crawlers bring the information into the search engine to build an index, and then through a proprietary algorithm, which tries to match all of that data to individual search queries, as they come.
Metadata is data that is on the back end of rich content, or underneath and within, such as photos and videos. Some of this metadata is unchangeable, but some can be added with editing tools, such as Photoshop, Lightbox, and others. This metadata allows for added information—including that of image's photographer or creator, where the image was taken, caption information for all outside publications, and all names, places, description, dates - and, especially, keywords.
If you are using a photo editor, you can add such data yourself. Professional photographers edit their photos, so when hiring a photographer, provide them with a series of keywords—all names, subjects, and themes that pertain to your specific brand—that you would like embedded in the metadata of all of the photos that they provide you.
These keywords are effective in assisting search engines to find data - your data! Photos and videos that contain such information can assist websites in their SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, and help such search engine crawlers to find it and lead individual queries - readers, audiences, and followers - to that website.
The same is true for nearly everywhere that these images are used and published online, and where a social media platform does not inhibit such data. Some do. But where they don't—and most media publications do not—this provides a great opportunity for you in self-promotion. If you are using a photo editor, you can add such data yourself. Professional photographers edit their photos, so when hiring a photographer, provide them with a series of keywords—all names, subjects, and themes that pertain to your specific brand—that you would like embedded in the metadata of all of the photos that they provide you.
Take a sip and just relax
Again, if all of this is new to you, or too overwhelming to even consider embarking on for now, table it. But if you have time available, the overwhelming desire to create, and/or immediate need and necessity are propelling you toward just such planning and forward-looking, then let's begin.