Hi everyone. Teri from A Cupcake for the Teacher here! I am SO HAPPY and truly honored to be writing a guest post for the TpT blog. *heart eyes*
Let’s talk social media. It’s everywhere — on our TVs, our computers, our tablets, and especially our phones! And if you’re anything like me, you totally give into it every chance you get. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is check my email, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest accounts. (Okay, it’s the second thing I do — I have a baby to cuddle!). And then I’ll check again at least a hundred times a day.
These networks are great for staying in touch with old friends and staying up-to-date with the world around us, but they also come with other perks. Being in tune with the various social networking sites can lead to the growth and success of our businesses, too. The KEY? Knowing how to work it right.
And so, I bring you my Top 10 Tips for Being Social Media Savvy. Whether you’re a veteran or just starting out, a social media butterfly or a newbie, hopefully you’ll learn something new or take away something useful after reading this post. OK, let’s jump right in.
Tip #1 Use High-Resolution Photos
We all work hard to make high-quality products for our students and fellow teachers. These products are exciting to post about and share, and they should be captured in high resolution. Smartphone cameras take great photos these days, and there are tons of photo apps to help brighten and sharpen your pictures. Of course, DSLR cameras are an amazing option, too. One trick I’ve learned: do not use your phone to save pictures from your blog. Instead, email the pictures to yourself and save them that way. Otherwise, they may end up blurry.
Tip #2 Use Action Shots
Show your work in action, and avoid always using pictures of product covers. I know — we all spend a lot of time making pretty covers for our products, because they’re often the first thing people see on TpT. But we spend even longer filling up those products with high-quality stuff. Show it off! Take pictures of your work being used. During the school year, snap a picture of a craft completed by a student. During the summer, work on a printable yourself (like I did below). Or if you have children of your own, test your products out on them. Viewers like to see what our products are made of.
Tip #3 Watermark Your Images
You should always watermark your images. To watermark means to “stamp” a signature on your images so that you can be identified as the owner. You can make your own, purchase one from your blog designer, or just use your blog button. Once you have a watermark, you can stick it on your image using your computer or even your phone (I like the app eZy Watermark). With your signature, viewers will always know where ideas come from and who photos belong to. It helps prevent stealing, too.
Tip #4 Balance Personal & Business Posts
Find a happy balance between personal and business posts. Viewers like to know there’s a real person behind the brand, so mixing in a little of both is definitely OK. I try to share a good mix of teacher-related pictures and photos of my family and me. I just can’t resist sharing photos of my little girl, if that isn’t obvious!
Tip #5 Share the Love
While social media networks are useful for promoting our brands, they’re also wonderful places to just share. Share tips and tricks, organizational ideas, great finds… and these shares don’t always have to be yours. Share awesome ideas from others as well (but be sure to give credit where credit is due).
Tip #6 Use Hashtags & Keywords
Social media users love hashtags, so use them when you post. Just in case: hashtags are basically keywords squished together (no spaces) and are preceded by the # sign. Hashtags make photos and ideas easy to search. It’s kind of like an organizational tool (and teachers LOVE to organize). I like to hashtag my store/website name #acupcakefortheteacher when I post my own ideas. Some popular teaching hashtags to use on Instagram include #teacherspayteachers #iteachtoo #teachergram and #teachersfollowteachers. You can pretty much turn anything into a hashtag!
Tip #7 Post 1-2 Times a Day
It’s a good idea to post at least once a day, but usually no more than two times a day (Pinterest is a little different. See our recent blog post for more info.). You don’t want to overwhelm your viewers with too much information. At the same time, you don’t want viewers wondering where you went, so be sure to get in the habit of posting daily. It helps to set an alarm on your phone as a reminder. You can create a schedule to follow, and even schedule your posts on some social networks with tools like Hootsuite and Tailwind. Remember that with social networking sites like Facebook, posting a couple times a day will help your posts be seen. Because of the Facebook algorithm, if you post sporadically (say, once a week), your posts are less likely to get views, even if you have a lot of followers.
Tip #8 Be Engaging
Reach out to your peers. Create your own hops, linky parties, and hashtags, and invite others to play along. These are all fun and exciting ways to get other teachers (even non-Sellers/bloggers) involved. I recently hosted a giveaway hop with some teachers that I hadn’t “hopped” with before. It was so much fun, and super successful. Each year I co-host a summer bucket list linky party; anyone can participate, and it’s always a blast. And not only is it fun to host, it’s fun to participate, too! I love chiming in with my own #teachershare and joining linkies.
Tip #9 Be a Social Media Butterfly
Flap those wings and interact. It *is* called SOCIAL media, after all! Think of your social media accounts like big parties with a lot of guests. You wouldn’t hide in the corner at a party, would you? Be kind, be fun, be real. Thank people who give you a shout-out. Chime in on conversations. Follow, like, share, and comment.
Tip #10 Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the numbers game. Instead of focusing on how many followers or likes someone has, focus on you and your brand. Learn the ins and outs of each social network, follow the tips in this post, and keep creating high-quality products. You’ll reach your goals in no time!
And there you have it. Now sign into your various social media accounts, have some fun, and most important of all — believe in yourself(ie)!
Teri is a 1st grade teacher in New Jersey and has been with TpT since 2011. She blogs at A Cupcake for the Teacher and has won multiple blogger awards. When she’s not teaching, here’s where you can find her: “…snuggling with my beautiful baby girl, relaxing with my hubby, creating something new, sleeping, or even sneaking a cupcake!”