Six social media strategies to help you grow your career

Want to be a leader? If so, deliver what your social media followers want. Expanding your brand today requires moving beyond self-promotion to a consistent practice of networking and connecting creatively and authentically.

Convincing more people to follow and click is easier than you may think. You don’t have to be a Kardashian to break the engagement ceiling. After consulting Michael Gikis, Smart Meetings’ community engagement strategist, and a combination of experts, we found there are proven paths to launch yourself into social media stardom. Follow our six social media marketing strategies designed to release your inner influencer.

Set Goals

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. Instead, be SMART. In other words, spell out content tasks that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound (or Timely).

For example, let’s say you set a goal to gain 50 followers on Instagram in a month. This is specific because of the parameters. You measure success by whether you gain those followers in the time allotted. Looking at data from previous months helps to indicate if the goal is realistic or not. Being SMART is one of the easiest ways to get organized and on track, and can be applied to any platform. This approach can also be applied to other personal and career goals.

Metrics and Engagement

Social media can be used to entertain, inform and publicize, but most importantly it’s meant to allow people to be social (thus, its name). That requires interacting with your audience—asking questions, commenting and showing some personality.

The good news is that all that engagement can be measured to track progress on your goals. Every like, click and share is valuable feedback on what is working and what isn’t—so you can do more of what is building your brand.

Feat. Other Influencers

An effective way to raise your profile and keep content fresh is to feature (feat., in social parlance) influencers or prominent figures of the industry. That way, their followers will discover you. A number of apps—including Tribe, Amplir and Snoball—can help you connect with influencers at scale.

Just Say No to Cut and Paste

Although a lot of cross-platform opportunities exist, some content types are better suited to specific platforms.

Facebook is good for longer posts, but also for archiving event photos. Twitter is best for direct communication; most social platforms offer direct messaging, but Twitter allows for conversation threads, offering more exposure. Instagram is optimized for photosets, individual photos and short-form videos—anything that makes people feel they are experiencing FOMO (fear of missing out) if they don’t follow and interact with you regularly. Understanding what belongs where is one of the best ways to pinpoint your content and position yourself for a wave of new followers.

Content Scheduling

Posting and responding does not have to be a career move. There are more ways than ever to pre-schedule your content—Hootsuite and Buffer are two low-cost options, but look for platforms that integrate with your CRM and CMS. Queuing content lessens the workload and enables consistency—one of the most effective ways to grow audiences.

Bang-for-Your-Buck Advertising

In addition to organic growth, you can pay to boost your read. Paid ads and promotions allow you to choose target demographics, and track click-through rate and other types of engagement.

Test promotions regularly to see which helps you gain the most followers. An 80/20 split, with 80 percent of content focused on providing value and 20 percent through promotional channels, will ensure your audience doesn’t feel inundated with sales-driven content.