These tipsheets can be helpful for social strategists and community managers who need helpful reminders for how to approach each social network, or they can be useful for organizations to keep on hand as their social media staff evolves and grows. I can't stress how important it is for organizations and freelancers to have a document on hand that provides solid guidelines for where to start with social strategy on each network, especially as networks pop up and fall off, and as mainstream social business needs change. To that end, I've gathered some baseline tips to keep in mind for the major social networks.
Here are some guidelines to keep on your desktop, but please let me know in the comments if I've left anything off!
Twitter: 5 Ways to Add Value
- Have a personality! Well, you have one, of course, but show it! Understanding how to communicate your personality on Twitter can be tricky, so take some time and observe your feed first, then consistently tweet with the same voice. Followers like to know who you are and what you're about, and if your tweets are generic, they'll soon lose interest.
- Speaking of consistency, be consistent. No one follows the occasional tweeter, especially the out-of-date occasional tweeter. Tweet at least once a weekday, aim for four times per weekday, and if you can't handle more, schedule it out with HootSuite.
- Twitter is your place for timeliness. Follow trending topics and if you have something to say that authentically relates to that trending topic, tweet it. Don't, however, jump in on a 9/11 trending topic to promote your brand.
- Hashtags sometimes get a bad rap, but they're still super useful. If you want to get found on a tweetchat or you want your product or service to show up in searches, you gotta use hashtags. Just don't go overboard with them, ok?
- Retweets are your friend. Retweet content that fits with your community and your voice, and your audience might just grow. Aim for a 20% retweet rate on your own tweets.
Facebook: 4 Steps to Better Content
- Facebook has evolved a lot over the years, but right now it's really great for things that are visual. Embed videos directly into the platform, and enhance your long (think 1000-word) text with interesting visuals.
- Followers love the chance to win something free, so use Facebook to run contents that can amp up your exposure. Facebook contests are easy
- Respond to followers. Be present on Facebook at least once a day to attend to customer care in the comments. A positive, helpful response to a negative comment can go a long way on Facebook.
- One of the best things about marketing on Facebook is the easy targeting options, so go ahead, get local. If you're doing an event in a city, find your followers there. If you
Blogs: 5 Ideas for Cultivating Loyal Blog Readers
- Some might say we reached peak blog saturation, but blogs are still raking in the views, andthere's no better place for long form content and beautiful, curated images.
- Have at least 3 series you can drop posts into. Think "Friday roundups" like Cup of Jo's [right] or "Monday Must-Haves," or a behind-the-scenes, featured-employee series. That kind of regular, consistent content will have readers coming back for more.
- Put your FAQ here and use it as a place where your new readers can get to know your history. It canbe a snapshot of what your brand is about, a mission statement relayed in a conversational way, and a way to answer questions that can put you in context for newbies.
- Link your blog posts with other social posts, i.e. push traffic from your Instagram or your Twitter to your blog for "more information" or "more photos." Make your blog a place people go to find out more about an event or a product.
- Use your best writers for your blog. Writing is a skill, and if readers are going to spend time on your blog, you'd better meet their expectations with posts that are well-written, well-edited, and well-concepted.
LinkedIn: 3 Non-Networky Networking Tips
- There's not really a right way to do LinkedIn, but there is a wrong way, and that's being too generic and network-y in an impersonal way. The #1 tip here is to be personal. If you want to connect with someone, make sure you know who you're connecting with, and approach them with language as you would in person.
- Use your company page wisely. Post any company updates there as well as job openings. This is the most public professional face your company has,and consistent and responsible use can go a long way.
- Consider the LinkedIn publishing platform, but also share any appropriate long-form posts from your blog here. LinkedIn users like to read content that is industry-appropriate and adds professional value.
Instagram: 5 Hacks for the Visual Platform
- What separates the civilian Instagram user from the professional Instagram user is theme. Think of a content theme and a color palette, and stick to it (like influencer Amanda Steele, left.)
- Here, too, hashtags are your friend. Don't overload your caption with hashtags, though; instead, add them to a comment below so your post is findable.
- Use all the Instagram tools available. That means tag people and geo-locate your posts.
- Instagram is a place for careful curation, not for photo dumps. Use Afterlight or VSCO Cam apps to thoughtfully augment your photos so they look as professional as possible, and then post. Also, whereas with Twitter, the more tweets the merrier (sometimes), here you won't want to annoy your followers by posting a bunch of photos at once. One post per day, max.
- Instagram is another great platform for contests. Incentivize your followers with giveaways and ask them to share visual content that either you've created or they create themselves with a unique hashtag. It's a great way to get followers involved and aid brand exposure.
YouTube: 3 Fun Ideas for Video Content
- Got a skill? Go to YouTube to share a tutorial. Use one of your products or services and show it off with a well-edited (consider Final Cut Pro) and short (3-4 minutes) tutorial from one of your staffers. Think like Birchbox, below.
- Speaking staffers, use YouTube to show of your employees. Viewers love that kind of behind-the-scenes access and it can really personalize your branding efforts to present your staff as valued members of the family. Augment a blog post with a video featuring an employee.
- Make brand trailers. Don't feel like you have to stick to one, either. Make a new trailer every quarter, showing what you've done in the past and what's coming up that might be new. Use videos to tease new products or services. Nothing racks up the views more than a well-edited, slick video offering teasers about what's to come.