How to Use Social Media to Your Advantage without Wasting Hours

We all know how easy it is to get scrolling through social media, and before you know it an hour or two has gone by and you can’t even remember what you just saw. Whether you spend that time, watching Instagram stories, or scrolling through Facebook endlessly, it is easy to do and we’ve all been victims of doing it. More often than not, the content that we consume when scrolling through a social media feed and doesn’t stand out, blurring together and not adding any value to our lives. 

You also know that communicating via social media is the latest trend that is popular all across the globe. As of the latest reports, a whopping 3.81 Billion people all around the world use social media. That is an overwhelming amount of information, post, and content to filter through and get your content noticed. So, how do you use this powerful and amazing platform to your advantage without wasting hours only to get passed over for more exciting and eye-catching content? 

Quality over Quantity 

When trying to get social media to work for you, rather than you working your social media, it is important to remember that quality is more important than quantity. Not only is the quality of the content that you are creating important, but so are the relationships that you build and foster through your online interactions with followers and fans. 

From an outside perspective, it is easy to believe that in order to make the most out of your time on social media, you need to post a predetermined number of times a day or week in order to see results. The reality is, the opposite is actually true. The relationships that you build and strengthen over time are going to be important to the number of posts that you publish to your profile. This helps to build strong relationships that will last, rather than blasting people with content to draw attention to new followers, who only stick around for a brief period of time before moving on to accounts that they can build relationships with. 

All that being said, you do want to put some thought into your posts, so that you aren’t just creating a post to put something out there. Take the time to cultivate a quality post, that encourages interaction where your followers feel as though they are more than just a number to you. 

Add Value 

Along with creating posts that are of quality for your followers, it is a good idea to create content that adds value and doesn’t just clutter up your followers’ news feeds. If you are only promoting your products and services, you can fade into the background as your content only adds to the white noise of all the other ads and sales-pitches on Facebook or various other social media platforms.

Value comes in the form of content that followers can use; it entices conversations, makes people laugh, or have an emotional reaction. When you produce content that adds value and not just pushing out information, you are viewed as credible and legit versus being considered a spammer. No matter who you are, business, non-profit, group, organization, or individual, you don’t ever want to be labeled as a spammer. While it is easy to fall into the misconception that social media is the perfect place to inundate people with information and make a hard-sale for your businesses or group, it in fact is not the place for it. Instead, consider social media to be a place where you can market your businesses’ own usefulness, and show how your followers can benefit from following and interacting with you. Add value through content that is well thought out and relatable will ensure that your voice is heard and you are not just adding noise to an already saturated platform.  

Engage with your Audience 

It should come as no surprise to you, that people come to social media to be social. Users like to give their input and perspective on just about any topic imaginable. This is what drives them to social media, and keeps them engaged in being able to voice their opinion or express their thoughts. Use this to your advantage! Ask questions that your followers will want to answer; create a poll that asks for input; or create a survey that is fun and can be completed quickly.

Along with creating posts that encourage comments and conversations, use the information that you receive to help you determine what kind of posts to create in the future. This will show your audience that you really do listen to them, value their opinion, and what they want to see from you. In addition, it is important to respond to questions that arise in the comment section of your post. Followers will appreciate that you took the time to read their comments and respond. By doing this, you are continuing to build relationships  

Include Images

We’ve all heard the saying before that “a picture is worth 1,000 words”. And it is true! While words may persuade your audience to take action, a picture gets them interested in the first place. Be sure to include an image whenever possible instead of just text or links to draw attention to your post and entice your audience to follow through. 

When linking to a blog post or article on your website, pull out a quote to give readers a taste of what to expect, and enough for them to take the bait and click to read more. Because images can catch the attention of those who are casually scrolling through, it is always a good idea to include an image when possible. 

Respond to Negative Comments

Social media is a two-way street of communication between you and your audience. Unfortunately, that means that from time to time you may receive some comments that are negative in regards to your business or services. When this happens it is tempting to delete and hide these comments to prevent anyone from ever seeing them again. Regardless of how tempting it is to hide these comments, it is going to be in your best interest to address them and try to resolve the complaint. 

When you do receive negative comments, respond promptly, and courteously. If possible try to rectify the situation by offering a discount or free replacement, and apologize for the inconvenience. By doing this, you are building credibility among your followers, by showing that you are committed to providing quality customer service. 

Those who elect to bury negative comments can quickly lose what credibility they have built with their followers and customers. Deleting comments that you simply don’t agree with or don’t want to be seen by others, gives the illusion that you are censoring information or not always up-front and honest with your followers. In the event that comments are abusive in any way, those comments need to be removed as quickly as possible. 

Don’t Expect Results Immediately 

A successful presence on social media will take time, commitment, and consistently posting relevant and engaging content. With so many different accounts on the various social media platforms, some of which with deep marketing budgets, it can and most likely will be an uphill battle to really gain momentum and begin to see results. 

While it is going to be an uphill battle, it will be worth all the time and effort you put in so long as you stay consistent and keep trying. All it takes to catapult you above all the other accounts on social media is the right post at the right time. There is no telling when that will be, which is why it is important that you continue to post and post content that engages your audience and encourages shares to reach a larger audience. 

It can be easy to get discouraged when the results don’t happen overnight but don’t give up. Social media takes a lot of work to be successful but will be worth it in the end. Slow and steady consistency will bring in results, oftentimes more than you initially imagined. Continue to work through all the less-than-popular posts and negativity that will come, to grow your online presence and get noticed. 

When you understand how social media works, what users are looking for, and begin to implement what you learn you’ll be able to see how social media can be used for your advantage instead of wasting your time. Once you start to really take advantage of social media and understand how it can help you, you’ll want to spend more time creating content than consuming others content. 

Social media is a remarkable tool that is easy to use and can bring in great results when you learn how to make it work for you. By implementing the different tips discussed in this article, you’ll be setting yourself up to have success on whichever social media sites you are using. Change your social media strategy to see how you can take advantage of the time you spend on social media, make it work for you, and not waste your time. 

Author: Ashley Christensen