After I graduated from American University's MA in Strategic Communication program, I knew exactly the field for me: consumer + lifestyle marketing and public relations. That's how I branded myself. When I began the job-search, however, there were few opportunities in Washington, DC that fit this direction. So, I carved my own path.
First, I turned my Sales Associate role at a Parisian-inspired gift shop, Le Village Marche, into a social media opportunity; I got involved with the store's Instagram. Then, I took on a public relations and marketing position for Washington, DC's top professional organizing and closet design firm, Rachel and Company. Now, I consult a leading life + style, beauty, and travel blogger, Blonde in the District, on top of other clients.
Sometimes, it's easy to know when to take on a new client. They fit your brand. Other times, it's a guessing game. The same is true for following social media accounts. There are many ways to become more strategic and reach your goals.
Should I Follow This Account? 7 Easy Tips:
Evaluate the social media content and presence. Does the brand fit your industry? Does the person represent an ideal client or customer? How active is the user? How often do they post?
Does the account fit with your brand? For instance, if you represent a high-end candle company, or your ideal client lives a life of luxury, you may want to reconsider following Ikea or Home Goods.
Do your followers and prospective target audiences follow these accounts? Find someone who represents your ideal client or customer. Go through the list of users they follow. Here, you will get ideas. For instance, if they follow Martha Stewart, maybe you should too.
Follow accounts in your industry or similar industries. For instance, if you manage a restaurant, you may want to add a top chef, The Food Network, or even a beverage brand you carry. If you are a beauty blogger, follow a hairstylist.
Who follows you? If they fit your target audiences and brand, follow back and engage! Like their posts, and more importantly, comment to start a conversation. Other users are then more likely to see your name on posts.
Follow your competitors, particularly those in different markets. If you are in a client-based industry, say, in New York, follow a similar business in Nashville, TN. You may want to connect and share ideas. You could also recommend competitors for projects you turn down. That can establish trust and credibility.
If you want to build a partnership with an organization, find one with a similar amount of followers as you have. Think about it. These users are more likely to form relationships with you, and you could potentially double your followers.
I challenge you to consider these tips and questions before you follow a social media account. Share this post with others in your industry, and comment with any questions. I'm only a phone call, comment, or email away.