With the social media environment changing every second of the day, it can be difficult to keep on top of trends and properly grasp the current condition of the social media business. However, there are a few easy things you MUST do first.
The 3F rule states that you should FIND, FOCUS, and FRIEND your niche.
First and foremost, you must identify your niche audience in order for your social media presence to gain traction and appeal to your intended market. We’ve all heard the expression “identify your specialized audience,” but what does that mean?
Finding your niche not only provides you with possible clients, but it also creates a community of people who have a common interest: your channel. Once your audience discovers you, you’ll observe organic interaction on your posts, people interacting with each other in the comments section, and people sharing your posts with their friends – because, at the end of the day, isn’t it all about building a strong community?
Make Your Own Word Cloud
So, how does one go about doing this? It may sound corny, but it all comes down to good old-fashioned research. Begin by creating a word cloud of what your freelance business is attempting to accomplish using phrases that appeal to your target market.
For example, if I were starting a freelance dog training business, I would include words like dog training, puppy training, dog lover, dog sitter, behavior modification, and so on.
Once you have a list of roughly ten terms or phrases, you can get into the nitty-gritty of establishing the ‘hashtag ladder’ for your Instagram posts.
Locate Your Tags
So, where do you look for hashtags and how do you locate them? From your previous word cloud! Break up the sentences into single words to make it easier to discover the tags, and then add emojis or a second word to truly dig into what’s popular on social media.
Another important technique to ensure you’re reaching your niche and targeted audience is to include your city’s initials in the tags, as well as any relevant holidays being observed on that day. If you’re not sure how to find out what hashtags are trending on Instagram, Twitter is a wonderful place to start. Simply enter one hashtag at a time to see how relevant it is.
If you’re seeing posts from several years ago as the most recent, try changing up the phrasing or adding an emoji when appropriate, etc. Do your homework! It will come in handy while constructing your hashtag ladder.
Create a Hashtag Ladder
A Hashtag Ladder technique is “a hypothesis that by having a set of 30 hashtags that range from easy to tough to rank for, you may start to hit the popular results for the easy ones, generate some engagement, rank for more difficult ones, gain more engagement, and so on up the ladder.”
This method was popularized in the early days of Instagram when people were stacking 30 hashtags in every post, but to start off with your posts feeling less spammy,’ we like to keep with just 10 hashtags that are tailored to each unique post you make to your Instagram account.
You should start with at least two hashtags that have been used at least 1 million times, three that have been used 50,000 – 100,000 times, three that have been used 10,000 times, and the last two will be your business’s very distinctive and personal hashtags.
For example, if my dog training company was called Pup Lovers Training and was located in New York City, my own and unique hashtag would be #puploverstrainingnyc or, even more specifically, #wearepuploverstraining.
You have a good probability of getting your post to the top of a hashtag page if it is used infrequently. Examine who your competitors are and how you might do things differently and more uniquely.
So you’ve got ten hashtags that you like, but you’re realizing that the content you’re posting today won’t exactly match the stuff you’ll be sharing tomorrow, so what do you do?
Maintain a hashtag library of roughly 30 – 40 hashtags that you can swap out as needed. Instead of undertaking individual research on a daily basis, make it a bimonthly or monthly assignment to replace underperforming tags with higher-performing ones. It’s critical to keep the ‘ladder’ categorization because it will help you stay organized and make better use of your time.
Mark Your Voice
Once you’re comfortable with your ladder technique, you’ll need to determine your channel’s vocabulary and tone. Consider this a set of social brand standards for yourself, so you’re not overwhelmed and confused when it comes to captioning writing or comment answering.
Your channel’s voice will be established, which will greatly benefit you across all other social networks. Questions to consider when developing your brand’s voice:
- What are three to five words that explain my brand/objective?
- What are three words I do NOT want my channel to say?
- What am I offering that is unique?
These responses will help you determine the type of messaging you want to convey and will influence the tone of voice you desire for your channel. Do you want your channel to be fun, charming, edgy, or self-assured?
A lighthearted tone would be something like, “Are you having problems with your new devil, I mean cat?” We accept all cats and charge no exorcism fees upfront.” “It’s no secret cats are demons, it’s our secret how we make them into angels,” vs. a confident/edgy tone of voice, “It’s no secret cats are demons, it’s our secret how we make them into angels.” Tailor your voice to your audience in a way that feels informed while also standing out. I believe that being as true to your personal ideals as possible boosts the authenticity of your platform, generating an open and accepting vibe.
Now that your hashtag ladder and channel voice are completed and nicely tied with a bow, you can begin generating and uploading content! But that’s a topic for another blog.
Source: Freelance Union
Flexgigzz is the Asia leading marketplace for freelancers service and together with SOHO Learning Hub which is an online platform for short courses and both of them aims to be the number one provider in Asia. For growth industries such as E-Sport Authority which is dedicated to providing independent media coverage to all E-Sport News related from around the world and for the art world, there is Atelier Auction which is an investable art auctioneer and being in the art scene for decades.