The Best Way To Grow Your
Professional Social Media Pages
The Best Way To Grow Your Professional Social Media Pages In 2019
Written by Soul Witness
🕒 April 30, 2019
First of all, it’s tough.
Start by accepting it’ll be a long road to get those likes and follows, but it’ll happen in time. So I’m sharing a few of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned while growing my social media presence.
Disclaimer: I’m going to reference Facebook a lot. I’ve been told by many experts (and even observed for myself) that Facebook is the primary source of where people look for news on social media.
Twitter is utilized for breaking news, and Instagram is used for “happy” things. (Check out the Today Show’s Insta!) And with the announcement that Instagram will be changing formats, I’m not sure what impact that will have on gaining followers just yet.
My advice is, start building your professional Facebook page first, and spend more of your time there.
Then, work on Twitter. In my opinion (for whatever that’s worth to you) I’m not really a fan of Twitter. To me, it seems that Twitter is used more for entertainment news, and trending topics, and I primarily cover crime and harder news.
But, if your station has lifestyle or entertainment shows or blocks, and you’re the designated reporter for those shows, then maybe you should focus on building your following on that platform first.
Many of the following tips apply to all social media platforms, but for now, as mentioned in my disclaimer, I will use Facebook in my examples.
This is sometimes the most difficult step. Make sure you have everything ready to go from the get-go.
For Facebook, that means a good quality cover photo, a good quality profile picture, your bio, a link to your station’s website, and your station’s phone number.
When it comes to the “type” of page you have I would recommend choosing “Journalist” or “News Personality.” I have mine set on “Journalist.” When it comes to writing your bio, make sure to show some personality, but keep it professional.
This is where people can learn the basics about you: Where you’re from, the school you went to, your future goals, and a few fun facts. Those fun facts can include hidden talents, languages you speak, if you’re a pet parent, just have fun with it!
The more relatable you are, the more people will want to get to know you and follow you!
Get all of your family members, and friends, to follow you. Then, get them to share your page, or handles, with their friends.
Each interview you go on, or person you meet on a shoot, ask them to follow you! Yes, it’s kind of weird at first, but a simple “It was so nice meeting you! I’ll post some pictures from today on my Facebook page, so make sure to find me and give me a like!” can work wonders.
Also, if you’re already a member of any of the private TV News Facebook groups there are out there make sure to share your professional page in the group, and promise to like anyones page who likes yours first. A simple “like-for-a-like” post can go a long way!
It can seem tedious, and can feel like NO ONE is seeing what you’re posting, but you need to do it. Consistency is one of the biggest problems I see when it comes to new journalists trying to grow their pages.
On Facebook, you should be posting at least twice a day. More if possible! The Facebook algorithm hates inconsistency and “punishes” the page for it. It pushes the page back into the Facebook abyss, so your post likely won’t even show up on your follower’s newsfeed.
But there is such a thing as posting too much. Keep it to 2-5 times a day, any more than that and people usually tend to get annoyed.
This leads to content…. “What should I post?” I get this question a lot, and the answer is simple. Post good, solid, interesting, complete content.
People don’t want to be left hanging. They have other sources they can get information from, so if you want to make sure they get it from you make sure it’s accurate, complete, and engaging.
You can post about several things. Post about the story you’re covering. Take pictures while you’re there.
Snap a few when you get there, when you’re waiting for your interview, after you put away your gear, etc.
I know it can be rushed sometimes, but go into it with this mindset: you can go through your photos and edit them later, but at least you have some. This gives you some content to post later.
If its turns out to be a great interview, and a great story that really tugs at your heartstrings, take a picture with the person you interviewed. Post that with a summary of their story, and plug your newscasts, “See even more of their story tonight at 6 on (insert call letters/tag your station’s page.)”
Once your story is posted to the website, (where I am, each reporter is responsible for posting a web version of their story, and the video, to our station’s website) post the link to your story on your page. This option may seem obvious but it’s often the most overlooked.
Post your station’s content. It’s okay if you didn’t do that story. This will just help build your credibility, and ensure people know which station you work for.
Is your station covering a huge story, or do they have a series going? Post the link to those stories, or share those videos to your page.
Have a pet? Snap a cute picture of your pet dressed in a sweater, or making a cute face. Post those types of “fun” photos on the weekends! Wait, weekends too? Yep! Keep reading…
This option can be your best friend! Remember, you should post at least two times a day, but who has time to sit on social media all day? Not us!
There are easy tutorials out there to learn how to schedule posts on various sites, and, for the most part, it’s a simple process to figure out by yourself. Just make sure to keep timing in mind.
Some experts say that on Facebook, it takes about three hours for posts to show up on people’s timelines. For example, if you want to post about an event starting at noon, then that information should be scheduled to post at 7 or 8 a.m. That means, it’ll start showing up on timelines around 10 or 11 a.m., giving people a couple of hours to see it before the event starts.
Tag, or mention, who you’re doing a story on. If it’s a nonprofit, a public figure or a business, ask them if they have social media. Most likely, they do. Tell them you’ll tag them, and ask them to share your story on their page. This can result in many new likes and follows!
Once you start to grow your audience more and more, analytics breaks down who your audience is. It breaks down age, gender, race, languages spoken, times your audience is most active, etc.
This is a helpful tool, because it can give insight on what content works and what doesn’t, what times work best, and who is “liking” which posts. It sounds like math and graphs and charts….ew….but don’t worry, it’s easy to understand, and once you get the hang of it, you may enjoy looking at all those numbers!
You Will Plateau.
You’re on a roll, getting more and more likes then….nada. It’s okay, that’s normal.
Everyone hits a wall at some point. It may even take a few months to get just one new like. That’s normal too. Just keep posting, keep being consistent, and keep reminding people to find you on social media.
Write to Engage.
Ask a question or invite them to “leave a comment”…but brace yourself for comments you might not want.
Viewers can sometimes be rude, but don’t let that get you down. Feel free to hide their comment, or even delete it if it crosses a line. For other comments, make sure you acknowledge them in some way. Reply or hit the like button. Your audience will be more interactive if they feel like you’re responding and listening to them as well.
Some other tips: Don’t be afraid to post great content twice, especially if you’ve gotten a lot of new followers since you posted it the first time. On Facebook, you can click on who liked your post and invite them if they haven’t liked your page. Don’t be shy, hit that invite button!
BONUS tip: I know that I just told you to post a little about yourself, but keep in mind that key word “little.” Too often I see on-air talent posting *only* about themselves, then wonder why no one “likes” or follows them.
Remember, people know you and found you on social media because they saw you on the news or met you on a shoot. To them, you are a professional in the news business. That is how they first thought of you, and will probably continue to think of you that way.
So why are they coming to your page in the first place? For news. Don’t make it all about you. Yes, post a few tid-bits about you and/or pet pictures every now and then, but overall, post quality news content.
Good luck and happy posting! ❤️