As a social media intern this summer, I discover new ways to better use various social media platforms on a daily basis. Below is a list that I’ve compiled that can be used for brands wanting to further their online engagement, individuals who want a stronger digital presence, or anyone interested in encouraging a more discussion-oriented environment on popular social media platforms. These tips guarantee to strengthen the experience for you and your fans.

10. Don’t simply re-post something interesting.

This makes it seem as if you just read the post and said “hmph” and kept going. Add your own opinion or question; that way people can interact with you and spark discussion. Social media platforms are supposed to be about sharing and engaging in opinionated conversation!

9. Don’t just post about a success.

Add why this success means something to you and others. Mention how this accomplishment was made through an interesting journey and included help from certain people. Simple success isn’t impressing people anymore. To stand out in the vast social media world, you have to have meaning to your posts.

8. Respond with more than a ‘thank you’.

When someone posts about you or your brand, they are most likely looking for an engaging response rather than two common words. Add a personalized response, whether it is a compliment or an inquiry about that topic, or even a suggestion for something else that they might be interested in.

7. Post different content on each platform.

No one, I repeat no one, wants to read the same message from you on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. It is not only obnoxiously redundant, it shows a lack of creativity and an over-confidence in your posts.

6. Be consistent with topics.

If you post about an issue, stay updated on it. If a certain post gained a lot of attention that means that people want to hear or see more. Make a second post asking your fans for their opinion on that topic to encourage feedback, or if a certain picture you posted gained significant popularity, post more of those types of pictures.

5. Write as a peer rather than as an authority.

No one knows everything about anything. If you’re well informed about a topic, that doesn’t give you the right to act as an authority figure on it in your posts. Don’t talk down to your fans. This will certainly either come off as intimidating or unappealing.

4. Use LinkedIn at least once a day.

This is especially important for younger individuals. With a mostly-business tone, this site can represent your professional and serious side. Realistically, almost everyone has posted incriminating content on some platform, but building a strong LinkedIn presence can outshine that other side of you. LinkedIn is a great place to connect with old colleagues, classmates, or professors so they can see your qualifications and achievements to potentially help you with future work opportunities.

3. Have a real sense of humor.

To be humorous is parallel to being real. Say something no one has said before to encourage a laugh. Show the real people working for your brand, or when posting as an individual, the people that are in your life. The content that occasionally breaks the boundary can give you a surprising reward.

2.  Asking for followers or likes will guarantee the opposite.

Instead, if you’re desperate for fans, post interesting stuff.  It’s realistically the only way people will retweet or share your content for others that don’t follow you. Then, they’ll jump on your creative bandwagon, and you can follow back similar users. Sure, it’s a lot of pressure, but it comes with rewards. If you have a distinct voice and opinion, fans will be drawn to you.

1. The golden rule: Do NOT use tragedy for promotion.

It’s not simply disrespectful and shines a horrible light on your brand and/or personality, its exploitation to a new level. It’s a level of clueless insensitivity that no form of apology can fix.

Have any tips you’d like to add to this list? Comment below or tweet to @brittanyander!