The Secret Formula to Social Media Success Isn't Really a Secret
It's the original idea of social media
What do you do first when you sign up for a new social media account?
Here are a few logical steps:
You pick a fine profile pick (and maybe a cover image). Correct, the audience wants to see you!
You write a punchy short bio. Great, followers want to know who you are!
You publish your first post. WRONG!
Let’s dive a little deeper into this last one.
Don’t rush posting
While it’s not wrong per se to start by publishing your first social media post after you’ve selected a profile pic and written a catchy bio, you should take a step back and remember what social media is all about.
The key idea behind social media is engagement. It isn’t post, image, or link dumping.
In fact, many social media networks suppress posts with links in their algorithm to a degree. That, in turn, means leading with a post (or worse, only a link to something) in your first tweet, for example, is a terrible idea.
That’s why other socials don’t even allow for link dumping until you reach a certain follower base.
Another bad idea is following a million people from the get-go. You might think, “let’s play the follow-for-a-follow game”. People will follow back, my account will grow. In theory.
In practice, some social media networks flag your account if you follow a bunch of people very quickly without providing any content or engagement first.
What’s the secret
Instead, utilize social media in the way it was originally intended.
You prevent flagging that way, and your account will grow quickly and organically. With real fans, no inactive followers.
Here’s the secret:
Before you even publish your first social media post, find 10, 20, or 50 (large) accounts you’d love to follow. But don’t follow them just yet!
Rather, engage organically with each of these 10, 20, or 50 accounts. That means commenting on their posts, answering questions they ask within their posts, and liking their content.
What that does
This helps with two things:
The large accounts you’d like to follow see your engagement and might return the favor.
Followers of those accounts you’d like to follow also see your engagement and check your profile.
Engagement leads to a lot more growth than posting stuff into the void.
Now, it’s time to post. People will start to visit your profile after you engage with some large accounts.
Let’s fill our timeline to not have them stare at an empty page.
Post what you do, what you like, and what you’re currently working on. But don’t include links just yet.
Keep it simple with text and/or media (images, video, etc.), depending on the social network.
Write what you do, what you offer, what you charge or sell.
Put in links to products or services, but unobtrusively. On Twitter, for example, write a thread and share the link in the last tweet (or near the end).
I’m using Twitter as an example here because it’s my social media of choice. But this will work similarly on LinkedIn or Facebook, even on Instagram or TikTok, with certain differences in terms of post format and the general option to include and share links.
What if it’s too late? You already created your social profiles, you posted a lot. You focused on sharing your stuff instead of engaging with others.
No problem, it’s never too late. Start now!
Find 10 or 20 large accounts that you love. Engage with them on a daily basis. Respond to comments, answer questions, mention them, retweet their content. Let them take note of you.
Don’t bombard them with DMs asking for stuff. Go for subtly engagement. DMs is a lesson for another day.
The bottom line
Social media should be social.
Don’t dump a link and disappear. That won’t lead you anywhere.
Social media is built on engagement. The algorithm is too. Let the algorithm work in your favor.
And be nice. That always goes a long way, digitally and in real life.
That’s the secret of social media. At least, that’s what I have found.
If you want to engage with me, hit me up on Twitter!
Have a few seconds left? It would mean the world if you shared this post on your socials or with friends who’d be interested. It only takes you seconds, but it’s a huge deal for me. Thank you! Also, check out Write OS, may comprehensive writing system for online writers.