Whether you use social media for business, pleasure or both, you probably know that your posts aren’t guaranteed to reach everyone who follows you – and sometimes, it feels like hardly any! The algorithm that they apply to every post – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even LinkedIn –determines whether your post is either at the top of everyone’s feed, or at the bottom.

The criteria that each of the platforms use to assess your posts are complex, and what’s worse, they change all the time. So it’s really useful to hear, direct from experts who know it inside out, how to get the best exposure. I learned so much at this week’s SJPoole networking session, straight from the social media experts Sam Poole (of sjpoole.co.uk) and Hannah Armitage (of HA Social). These tips are particularly useful if you’re growing business accounts, but they’re good to know for personal accounts as well!

These are the things I’ll be doing differently from now on.

 

1 – Storytelling – Facebook and Instagram

I’ve not really got into stories so far, because I didn’t understand the point of them – but I’ve learned that making regular use of your daily story wins you extra brownie points on both Instagram and Facebook. These little snapshots of your day are a great way to give friends a little flavour of your day on your personal account, and bring your personality and life into your business one. I found out that you can customise them with all sorts, as well – even music! – and because stories are positioned so prominently, your presence is right there at the top of your followers’ feeds.

 

2 – Posting to grow – Facebook and Instagram

If you want to build up a following on Instagram, or with your Facebook business account, you need to put in daily effort. At least one post per day, as well as using your story, will show them the commitment they want to see to prioritise your posts in people’s feeds. This is quite onerous, of course, but there are solutions. You can invest in a social media guru, like the ladies mentioned above, to plan and post to your social media for you; you can invest in an automated scheduling system, which allows you to write and plan your weekly posts in one go; and in Instagram, you can create lots of draft posts ready for publishing when you’re ready with a single click.

And don’t forget to check your business analytics to find out when your audience are most often looking at your posts – and time your posts accordingly!

 

3 – Pukka hashtags – Instagram

I have been so guilty of this one – but apparently Instagram knows when you copy and paste your hashtags, and what’s more, it doesn’t even register them properly as hashtags! I also learned that the whole hashtag thing is less effective than it used to be, because Instagram are prioritising their paying advertisers over us regular users; but it’s still worth doing. Just make sure you type in the hashtags manually, and click on them when the built in predictive tool pops a suggestion up; that will register them properly, and you should also put them in a comment rather than on the post, so Instagram thinks you’re someone commenting on it (more brownie points).

 

4 – Location, location, location – Instagram

If you add your location to your post, it will be given priority in those areas – and you may even trend in that location! If your business isn’t dependent on entirely local customers, try using a different location occasionally too.

 

It was an excellent morning of learning, and I hope these tips are useful to you too – but there’s nothing like hearing it from an expert. Both Hannah and Sam are amazing at what they do, and they transform the social media fortunes of businesses on a daily basis. If you need some help, I highly recommend getting in touch – from one-off consultations, to Hannah’s even publishing an Instagram bible that you can keep and refer to for all of the Insta magic she has at her fingertips!

So that’s one of my August Bank Holiday New Year’s resolutions sorted…

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