Social media is a fresh, evolving network hundreds of people welcome into their lives on a daily basis. Some people use it as a way to kill time and catch up on the lives of family and friends. For others, its a business tool and a free way to market themselves. Social media has become a huge part of how we consume content and its here to stay. Reports estimate 2.77 billion users could be active across social media platforms by 2019. With this in mind, it’s important now more than ever to find a way to differentiate yourself from others. Here’s how.
1. Be Unique
The beautiful thing about social media is the fact it gives you the power to make it into whatever you want. If you’ve been meaning to start an Instagram page for pictures of your adorable dog— do it! If you’re getting ready to apply to internships and want to start a professional Twitter account to push work from your portfolio—do it! By being unique, more people will become interested in your content since it differs from what everyone else is posting and thus you’ll build a following of people who want more.
2. Find a Niche & Stick to Your Brand
A confusing page is just that—confusing. My solution: decide if you’d like to start a personal or professional page. Once you make your decision, stick to it. Someone who starts a professional Twitter page and then uses it for personal use may confuse followers who are only looking for posts relating to professional content. The same goes for personal pages. While there are times where professional items can be promoted through personal pages, there’s always the chance it will not reach its intended audience since it’s being posted through someone’s personal page.
3. Use Different Platforms to Your Advantage
Different social media platforms offer specific advantages to their users over other sites. For example, Instagram is notable for its posts that include pictures while Twitter is known for its short bursts of information. Other sites like Facebook are noteworthy for pioneering social media while LinkedIn focuses specifically on building a professional profile. Knowing the differences between each site will help determine what site is best for the content you’d like to post.
4. Be Innovative
Keep up with new features social media sites add through new updates. Knowing how to use all of the features of a social media site will show employers and other users you’re innovative and social media savvy. Staying up to date on your social media and technology skills will allow you to add new content other users find interesting which will generate more attention, such as likes, for your posts.
5. Have Fun
No matter what you decide to post, make sure you have fun. The second you stop having fun with your posts, you may see yourself looking at social media like it is a chore. By enjoying the process of creating the content you’re going to post, you’ll be able to relate more to the post and feel more satisfied when you post it.
E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University