Engaging with other people’s Instagram/Facebook posts or tweets is about networking. When you comment, you’re putting your handle not just in front of the person who’s posted but also anyone who reads the comments and responses. If someone has written something that really strikes a chord, DM them. I love receiving direct messages from women telling me their stories. What I don’t love, though, is DMs asking me for something. If I don’t know the person, I’m not going to promote their competition or new product. The relationship has to be built first.
As well as putting out your own content, share other people’s. Share people’s Instagram posts in your Stories – or on the grid – retweet their tweets, share their Facebook posts. This will make the person whose content you’re sharing happy – and perhaps reciprocate at some stage – but will also show your followers that you support other freelancers/business owners.
I love how Nicola Washington (@toomuchmotheringinformation) shares a series of posts by other people in her Stories, often following a theme or response to a news story or big issue. And Emma Paton (@finlay_fox) does this too – she reposts women wearing outfits she likes who’ve used the #fashtagfriday hashtag. It’s a great way of supporting other women and their accounts but also creating content for your Stories.
On the subject of ‘hashtags’, there are different views on whether they are worth using. Some people think hashtags are basically dead but others still use them to find certain content, so it may be worth experimenting. A hashtag is literally like a ‘tag’ for your post. So if you’re writing a review of an event you’ve been to, you can add the name of the event, preceded by a hashtag – eg. #bbcproms – and anyone who is looking for posts about the BBC proms will be able to find your post/tweet. If you do use them, keep them relevant and only use a few; 25 hashtags after an Instagram post can a bit desperate.