What would a month dedicated to social media be without a good ‘ol question and answer session?! So today, I am answering our community’s biggest social media questions. Read on to learn how to increase your reach, where to put your hashtags, and more!
Should I put my hashtags in the caption of my post or in the first comment? I get conflicting answers from different webinars.
There are conflicting messages out there because it’s really about your aesthetic preference. Some people don’t use a ton of hashtags (I usually use 5), so it doesn’t clutter up my caption. On the other hand, there are people who prefer to use up to the max (which is 30), in which case, it does clutter up your caption. Whichever camp you fall in, just be sure to use them!
Pro-tip: Don’t forget to use hashtags in your stories! And, if you have a branded one, put it in your profile!
How do I put my posts in front of potential clients?
Both Facebook and Instagram are prioritizing content from friends and family, so it is becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to get their content in front of potential customers and clients. With that downer out of the way, there are a couple things you can do to put your content in front of people who are actively searching for something.
- Hashtags, obviously. But, do some research to figure out which ones are going to connect you with your ideal client
- Geo tag the location when it makes sense. For instance, when you are at a venue or sharing a picture from your portfolio that shows the venue. That way, when people look up that location, your posts are there
- Tag brands that are bigger than yours in your images. Tagging the dress designer in the image is a great example
Pro-tip: On occasion, pay to boost a post. But be sure to adjust the audience settings so it is being served to people who are outside of your existing network and are looking for services or products that you provide.
What is the best way to credit other vendors in my posts?
This can be a touchy subject, so I want to make it clear that these are my personal thoughts about it. If you have a different best practice, I would love to hear it – leave it in the comments of this blog post!
When I am posting on Instagram, I credit vendors by tagging them in the caption (which I usually do at the end but before the hashtags). I use this approach in case someone uses a regramming app to share the post because it will ensure that the credit carries over. If vendors have only been credited by being tagged in the photo and a “tap the photo to see the creative team” statement, the credit is lost the moment someone shares it with an app. Strategically though? I also think it is a good idea to tag people in the photo since then it will show up under the “photos they’ve been tagged in” tab on their account.
You have the same options on Facebook and while I always credit vendors in the caption, I never find myself going through individual images and tagging vendors. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and if people would like their editorial features to be tagged on Facebook as well, let me know!
Will live content and video play an increasing role in social media?
In short, yes. People are reading less and less these days (thank you for reading this article, by the way!) so being able to convey your message through video is becoming increasingly important. Don’t be intimidated though! Here are a few tips for when you are creating video or live content:
- Be sure to stabilize your camera on a tripod! Shaky video looks unprofessional and is hard to watch. At Aisle Planner, we use two super simple, inexpensive tools to create our videos—this handy portable phone tripod(we’ve tried a number and this one is our favorite)
- Be sure to face your light source so you are not cast in shadow. And, if you need a little extra light this Auxiwa clip-on selfie light is great
- Speak slower that you normally do. I know it’ll feel weird but it sounds way better for the people watching it
- Have some sort of game plan. Even if you are filming on the fly, know what your goal is so that you can say it as succinctly as possible
Does the time of day or how often I post effect my exposure? I don’t know considering the algorithms never stop changing!
A lot of people freaked out when Instagram took away the chronological feeds and, while the new algorithm prioritizes newer content, it is not back to being chronological. How frequently you post and what time of day affects your exposure because it is tied to the current mac-daddy variable – engagement.
Instagram is trying to curate your feed to contain the most relevant content for you (read: for every person). So, even if person A and person B follow the exact same accounts, their feeds will look different depending on which posts they engage with. How much your followers engage with your posts has a huge effect on how much they get served your content. Basically, when they like or comment on your posts, they are telling Instagram or Facebook that they want to see more. So, if you are posting at odd hours of the day or very infrequently, it becomes unlikely that your audience will be given the chance to engage with it.
What does the future look like and what should we be thinking about to prepare for the next big thing?
I am just as curious as you are about what the future holds for social media! And, though no one has a crystal ball, there are definitely trends that can give us a clue as to what the future holds. Snapchat recently had its slowest quarter of growth in Q1 of this year, Vine all but came and went as fast as its 6 second videos, and I don’t know a single person who uses Vero. (And in between the time I wrote this answer and went to publish it, I find myself need to add an update! Instagram just launched Instagram T.V. so, if nothing else, it demonstrates the speed at which things can change.)
So, while I would advise you to be conservative in how much time you invest in trendy platforms, you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with something you find interesting!