Background image a hand holding up a smartphone on social media. Over the image is a large, white semi-transparent mouse cursor icon. Over both layers is a dark green, blue, and purple, gradient overlay. In large, bold white letters in the center reads: "Navigating Social Media." In smaller, white text underneath reads: "Exploring Platforms for Spotlighting Yourself."

Navigating Social Media: ​​Exploring Platforms to Spotlight Yourself

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Trying to navigate the ins and outs of social media can be tricky even if it’s become a natural instinct for Gen Z. Social media platforms are always restructuring themselves with updated algorithms and features that make each app its own evolving learning experience. It can be particularly challenging for young creatives like us to use our digital channels to strategically elevate our work.

In this guide, we’re covering how to use social media to your advantage to spotlight yourself and your content. 

1. KNOW WHAT MAKES YOU STAND OUT FROM THE REST

It’s not breaking news to hear that authenticity should be at your forefront, but it’s still crucial to how you’re connecting to your audience. Whether it be in your personal story or your creative process, your followers want to see what makes you different and discover how they relate to you. Making your authenticity and passion be the foundation of your content is the most genuine way to connect and build your audience. 

2. HAVING A ‘GAME PLAN’ FOR EACH SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM YOU INTEND TO USE

As mentioned before, every social media platform has its own algorithms and functions as to what you see on your feed and what makes a viral post.

Here are some quick tips on what can boost your account’s engagement:

  • Post consistently and often –

        Updating your profile on a regular basis keeps you on the radar for current and new followers. 

  • Use hashtags that are specific and relevant to your content –

        It’s recommended that smaller accounts use hashtags that aren’t as popular so the post isn’t
        drowned out by others using the same hashtags.

  • Stay up to date with what’s trendy – 

        Make the most out of trending memes, audio clips, filters, current events, pop culture, etc. 

  • Interact with other accounts to put yourself on their radar – 

        Like, comment, and share other profiles. Remember that engagement is a two-way street! 

  • Engage with your followers in the caption –

        Highlight a Call To Action or ask a question to start a conversation.

If you have a business account set up, be sure to track your content’s social engagement and analytics on a consistent basis. Stats on how well certain posts perform between likes, comments, and shares can help you figure out what your audience prefers to see. Depending on the platform you’re using, stats can reveal which format works best to post – whether it be text-based, images, carousels, videos, or live content. Analytics are also helpful to see what are the best times and days to post.

3. CURATE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS AS A PROFILE OF YOUR SKILLS. 

Each social media platform has its own forte that you can use to showcase your skills as a portfolio. Once a platform to post candid and casual shots, Instagram has now become one of the most popular platforms to keep your audiences up to date with your professional visual work. Platforms like Youtube and TikTok can highlight your skills in video editing, compositing, and storytelling that can serve as a short video piece or advertisement for your content or business profile. LinkedIn and Indeed continue to be the standard to update your professional journey and work experiences. Remember, each platform should be approached differently as to what you’re trying to develop and achieve. 

Curating your social media platform to demonstrate your process and results gives you the opportunity to build a relationship with your audience while giving yourself an outlet to be proud of your work. 

4. CONNECTING AND NETWORKING WITH PEERS IN YOUR INDUSTRY. 

By pushing yourself and your content on social media, you’re also able to immerse yourself in the industry with fellow creators. Standing by your personal authenticity and story to your content is a key factor to know yourself and see other creators as a community, rather than strictly competition. It’s just as important to follow, like, comment, and show support to other profiles in the field. Plus, seeing other creators’ art can inspire your own approach and motivation. As an upcoming account or creator, it always feels good to receive a like or compliment, so why not spread the love to others too! 

Whether it’s from another professional or a client, always be open to receiving feedback or advice that can help you. By doing so, you’re cultivating new connections and networking that can aid you to learn from other experiences or form a new mutual. Maybe down the line, this connection can provide opportunities to collaborate if it applies! 

5. PROCEED WITH CAUTION

Social media is a powerhouse for content creators, but remember to proceed with caution to not burn yourself out. Be mindful that you’re not draining yourself solely to keep up with your online presence. Social media will always be ready and available, but know when to give yourself a break!

Here are some quick tips to manage your time and content:

  • Automatically schedule content via a social media calendar –

        Platforms like Later, Buffer, and Hootsuite all help creators post across social media channels in
        an instant. 

  • Bulk record video content –

        Bulk video recording all at once can save you time in the long run and makes it more manageable
        overall. 

  • Don’t be afraid to recycle old content –

        If you haven’t posted it on a particular social channel yet, don’t shy from sharing it with new eyes
        on another platform.

  • Let your followers know you’re hitting pause –

        Be transparent with your audience and let them know that you’re stepping away to re-energize
        yourself. They’ll appreciate the honesty and will encourage you to take the time to self-care and
        come back when you’re ready. 

CONCLUSION

At its best, social media is a tool you can use to amplify your content for others to appreciate and connect with. No matter the platform, everyone has the potential to achieve the right audience and recognition in what they do. The possibilities are endless as to what you can create and strategize to make the most out of your profile. There is more than enough room for everyone to shine through, but it does take time, consistency, and commitment to get yourself out there. Don’t be afraid to go for it.

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