Social media is a delightful place to be a part of. With its wide landscape, we’re free to find our little nook and fully transform it however we please. In this personal space, we get to connect with people who share the same interests, align with our beliefs, and support our goals. However, the online space can also be daunting; it's a challenge to be unique and stand out in a sea of many voices that likewise have a virtual platform at their disposal. So how can one gain more followers to further establish his/her online presence?
Below, we list down all the things you need to have a stronger online persona, gain loyal followers, and ultimately secure your place on any social media platform. Alyce Menzel, Zalora’s regional head for social, lends a hand with her practical tips.
So how do you beef up your online presence?
Alyce says that establishing your place in the online world helps you widen your horizon. Additionally, you become more searchable and credible when people look up other users who could potentially support their causes. But getting to this level of trustworthiness online cannot be achieved overnight. It’s a continuous process that starts with sincerity. “Nobody should look at our work and feel nothing,” Alyce notes. By appealing to emotions, you reach more people and they can easily connect with you. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean engaging your audience to sob stories or tear-jerking posts; there are other feelings you can evoke through your work, like happiness, pride, inspiration, etc. The bottom line is that when you successfully touch on your audience’s emotions, the deeper and the more genuine the connection you can develop with them.
The Anatomy of a Strong Instagram Profile
For this article, we’re zooming in on building a strong online persona in the Instagram world. Alyce lists below all the things you need to do in order to create a memorable profile that stands out. Here are things to consider:
1. Profile Image
Choose “a profile image that captures and highlights your personality.” When people go to your page, they would be naturally drawn to your display picture. They want to know who’s behind the brand; hence, you should be able to impose a strong first impression via your profile picture.
You should have a “snappy and informative bio with correct account tagging.” This is your chance to introduce who you are. Craft your personal elevator pitch in this section. While people are visual creatures, we also need words to stitch together our ideas of someone. Fill in the gaps using clever writing so your followers can grasp a better understanding of who you are and your purpose.
3. A working URL
Take the time to add your working and necessary links. If you have an active blog, be sure to link it here so your audience know where to go should they find the need to have more access to your content.
4. The IG Stories Section
Use all channels possible to get your message across. Don’t underestimate the value of IG Stories—this IG feature is your lifeline to reaching people real-time. However, Alyce notes that it also helps to curate your IG stories because they “highlight projects,” which people can easily look back at without having to dive deep into your feed.
5. Consistent Look
It is vital to have a “consistent look and feel throughout [your] content feed” to help your audience see the big picture and relate your brand to a certain mood. For example, you can stick to a particular filter or tint or develop a specific photo format to use on your feed. There’s recall value in little details like this so make sure to maximize this.
6. Content diversity
While uniformity is important, there’s also merit in learning to diversifying your content. Alyce sites an example on how to do this—simply mind your format. In a six-tile look at your feed, two out of six posts should at least be in video format. This gives your followers variety in the content that you put out, thus avoiding monotony in your feed.
Habits You Should Develop
As mentioned before, having a strong online IG profile takes work—consistent and continuous effort must be exerted to build an organic online base. Read on to see three simple habits you can employ to achieve this goal.
1. Update regularly.
Develop the routine of updating your bio, especially if you have a linked URL. Broken links mean missed opportunities to reach more people. Additionally, Alyce advises to post at least once a day on your feed to stay relevant and on top of other people’s feeds. You don’t have to bombard your followers with consecutive updates—one meaningful and well-thought out post is enough per day.
Alyce also notes that there’s no one recipe to follow in terms of the time that you update your feed. What you should observe is your daily engagement per day and use your audience’s schedules as basis of your timing. Generally, people tend to engage more in the morning since phones are usually the first thing they reach for; they are also active at lunch time because they take their breaks, and; they are especially active at night when they commute home or are preparing for bed.
2. Mind your content.
Alyce notes, “It takes a person five to seven impressions to remember your brand.” So in each post that you make, be sure that they will align with your online brand. After all, “your personal brand is an extension of who you are, and it’s what you present to peers and to potential clients.” Strong associations to brands start with a strong narrative powered by a tight-clad visual executions and is further underlined with an expressive copy (A.K.A. your caption).
3. Build a community.
You can do this by engaging with your followers. Alyce shares a small gesture that will help you accomplish this. “Use the person’s name in the reply where possible; use emojis to enhance each message where relevant, and make every reply unique.” By doing so, you send a message that you take the time in knowing the people who are making the effort to know you, too.