Category Archives: Online behavior

How to gain followers and increase engagement on social media

Nearly 70 percent of adults in the U.S. are on social media. While checking in on others is fun and valuable, building your own brand can be helpful to individuals or businesses.

Below are 10 tips for gaining followers and increasing engagement:

1. Understand your audience: You will never reach — or appeal to — everyone. Don’t waste time trying. Focus on the group or groups that would be most interested in what you are offering (be that personally or professionally) and strengthen that following, rather than worrying solely about the ‘followers’ number ticking upward. Ten local, ‘real’ people (and, in turn, their connections) are far more valuable to your personal brand or business than 1,000 bots from Nigeria.

2. Use multiple platforms — and vary the content: A quick-hit news item (ex: we’ll be opening late today due to weather) works better on Twitter and Facebook than it does on Instagram, but a sale — and accompanying photos — are better suited for Instagram. As an individual, Instagram can be a great place to show others what you’ve done, but Facebook is a platform ripe for asking for — and getting — recommendations on what to do.

3. Aggregate and be consistent: This includes following those with similar interests and approaches (and hopefully they will follow back). Authenticity is part of consistency. If your positions or views change, that is fine, but don’t base your opinions on societal trends.

4. Respond, but don’t attack: Interactivity is key to engagement. We all want to be heard, and clients or connections are no different. People aren’t always going to agree with you, and that’s OK, but don’t attack those who have a differing viewpoint — and please don’t ever (ever) say ‘well s/he started it.’ The internet should not be a preschool playground. Be sure to activate the ‘follow’ button on your Facebook account. This will allow people to follow you, but you will not need to accept them as ‘friends’ (friends typically have access to more of your profile).

5. Post regularly, but not constantly: Most studies agree that once per day is optimal, with a maximum of two posts per day. I personally believe posting four to five times is not ‘too much,’ just don’t vomit your content. Space out what you share throughout the day. Numerous tools (including Social Flow) allow you to schedule posts.

6. Provide original content, but share interesting, relevant information from reliable sources: No one needs a second job and keeping up with social media is work. Creating unique content is important, but so is offering interesting, helpful topics. This could be as simple as a photo (one you share or one you take) or a meme.

7. Short works best: The average adult attention span is eight seconds. Eight. Make your point, and be clear, but don’t share a plethora of additional details that don’t add value (entertainment, information or otherwise) and move the story forward.

8. Visuals are key (and use video):

  • According to GlobalWebIndex’s 56 percent of internet users watch videos on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram each month.
  • 81 percent of 55 to 64-year-olds are watching videos online each month.
    One in three social video viewers watch videos made by brands every month.
  • According to Wishpond, photo posts get 120 percent more engagement than the average post, and photo albums receive 180 percent more engagement.

9. Think ahead: How will this not only affect me today, but in 5, 10, even 15 years. It’s natural to feel angry (or elated) and want to blast those feelings to anyone who is (or could be) listening. Know, though, nothing ever truly disappears, even if you take it down. Before you post a scathing story about a run-in you had or a ‘cute today, embarrassing tomorrow’ photo of your child, consider how what your sharing may affect you — and anyone mentioned or shown — in the future.

10. Create a Google profile (simple instructions here): Google is the No. 1 search engine. As a result, when people Google your name, you or your business will be a top hit if you create a Google profile (complete with gmail). It’s free, and takes fewer than five minutes. Be sure to list whatever public social channels you have on your profile — with hyperlinks.

 

Stop apologizing!

stopapologizingMonday, Jackson Murphy was bowing down to Amy Schumer after tweeting a sexist joke her way.

Then we had the apology of sorts from Cheryl Boone Isaacs — president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Isaacs spoke about being “heartbroken and frustrated” that the Oscar nods failed to recognize people of color.

Zac Efron also made a noteworthy apology this week, saying he was sorry after receiving backlash for a tweet that essentially put his appreciation for Martin Luther King, Jr. and Efron’s 10 million Instagram followers in the same sentence. Continue reading

How I earned $250-plus in two hours

bag

This Marc Jacobs bag was originally $900. Is selling for $69 — more than 80 percent off retail.

I’m officially a Posher (not to be confused with “Posh,” as in “Spice” or “posh” the adjective).

I’m talking Poshmark, an online consignment boutique where you can unload all your unwanted clothing and accessories — and pick up some new goodies to freshen your closet — in minutes. I’m completely addicted, cleaning out my closet — and my sister’s — and earning some legitimate cash along the way.

10 reasons you should try Poshmark:

  • The return on your investment is simple. I’ve spent about two hours (probably fewer than that) over the last two weeks “poshing” my goodies — and my sister’s — and I’ve already made more than $250. It’s not easy to find a (legal) part time job where you’ll make that hourly rate.
  • Continue reading

Did you see this?

I’m starting a new (occasional) feature on Just Kristi where I share things — status updates, photos, links — I find on social media that make me stop either because they’re funny, moving, incredulous, educational, unbelievable, sad, inspiring or something else.

Here are your three for today (if the statuses are not public, I removed the author’s name. When the post is public — like with the photo in this post — I still asked permission to repost/share):

Sex>money: Continue reading

Why I took a break from social media

facebook-fatigueOne day last month I was driving on I-90. It was snowing and the person in the car next to me was smoking a cigarette and checking his phone. He also wasn’t wearing his seatbelt.

As I watched him steer with his wrists, and balance ash, I composed a status update in my head. I wanted to capture the right words to explain just what happened — but I needed those words to take up no more than 140 characters. My FB profile is connected to my Twitter account and, ideally, I don’t want people to have to click through to read my thoughts.

Continue reading

I can’t believe I Googled *that*

Sometimes, there are questions we’re too embarrassed to ask even our closest friends. They may not be the kinds of questions you see on “The Doctors,” but rather inquiries that seem … stupid. (Or that make us realize we’re lacking brain cells when it comes to a certain topic or topics).

I had a lot of these while pregnant. I asked Google why I was drooling at night (sexy, right?) or if that needle-like stabbing in my nethers was “normal.”  Recently, Cindy and I debated where you’re from if you’re Dutch, and if Holland and the Netherlands were the same place.

“Erase your history when you’re done searching,” she said. “We don’t need others knowing we don’t know this.” Continue reading

Why the ‘crappy’ tip?

Originally, a portion of the restaurant's address and the diner's signature was visible. I have removed those details.

Originally, a portion of the restaurant’s address and the diner’s signature was visible. I have removed those details.

I got involved in an interesting conversation on Facebook this morning regarding tips. A waiter posted a photo of a receipt where he received $6.54 on an $85.46 bill with the caption “This is not okay people.”

I agree. That’s a lousy tip. And, knowing this particular individual casually, I suspect he’s not one to offer service that warranted a less-than-10-percent gratuity. What perplexed me, though, was how some of the commenters (conversation below) jumped to comment on the financial situation of the diner(s).

Tips are not guaranteed. They are earned. Lousy tips happen for all sorts of reasons — people didn’t like what they chose/ordered or they thought the service out of the kitchen was too slow (both of which aren’t the waitstaff’s fault, but that doesn’t mean some diners won’t blame them). It could be as simple as a personality clash. Perhaps a waiter or waitress reminds the person picking up the tab of someone they don’t like, personally or professionally. Maybe it was matter of a bad day. Continue reading

Five reasons why I don’t post pictures of my daughter on Facebook

no photosPeople often ask why they haven’t really seen pictures of Little C since that first batch taken (thanks to Lori VanBuren) shortly after she was born. The answer is multipart, so I figured I’d address it here rather than on Facebook.

1. I have, quite literally, made a job out of using social media (and teaching others to use it well). One of the most-common complaints is that people post an excessive number of photos of their children. Because my profile is used to brand-build and entertain/inform/engage readers, I’m ultra aware of what people like, and what they don’t.

Although, I will say I am one of the (few, maybe) who really loves seeing cute pictures of kids — and much prefer them to cat or food photos.

Continue reading

My three most-interesting Facebook friends

facebook connectI don’t use Facebook like most. For me, it’s a professional tool. This means I don’t know-know at least 96 percent of my friends.

It also means I look at the site differently. I skip long, rambling (often mundane) status updates and focus on trends (ex: is everyone posting about the weather, Justin Timberlake coming to the TU Center or a car crash that made headlines for nearly a year?)

I don’t care to see the photo of your sassafras rootbeer, but will notice if, say, one dozen people post about sassafras (then it’s a food story). And I won’t hesitate to have fun with those passive- aggressive, nasty updates people post that are clearly directed at a single person. On those, I comment with “did you mean to send this as a DM rather than post as a status?”

More often than not, they remove the offending post. Continue reading

Poll: Will you be using a ‘second screen’ (AKA social media) during the Super Bowl?

Since I don’t care much about the game (it’s just a vehicle for good food :)), I probably won’t be posting to Twitter and Facebook.

How about you?