When you first begin your social media campaign, it’s easy to get hung up on creating the best content possible. But as important as content is, your strategy can’t begin and end there if you want to be successful. How you post is just as important as what you post, so take the time to learn how to properly use various aspects of social media.
Know when to post. All the great content in the world won’t really help you if no one actually sees it. While there are some variations in user habits according to demographics and type of platform, research has shown that there are certain times during which you should post your content in order to get more views.*
- Avoid posting in the middle of the night – your audience is asleep! This is true for all social media sites.
- LinkedIn is best used right before and directly after work hours.
- LinkedIn sees more traffic on Tuesdays and Thursdays, probably because Mondays and Fridays are hectic work days.
- Facebook users commonly check their news feeds first thing in the morning.
- Many workplaces ban the use of Facebook during work hours, so avoid posting during those times.
- Facebook users often use the site as a supplement to their social lives, so they’re less likely to be online during weekends when they’re out socializing in real life.
- Twitter, on the other hand, actually sees more engagement on weekends.
- The ideal time to post your blog is once per week, on the same day each week.
- It’s okay to experiment with posting times. Use your analytics program to figure out the best times to post for your unique audience.
- Research your audience demographic, as they may vary from the norm. Older people, for example, might go to bed relatively early in the evening, whereas college students are probably online much later.
Increase engagement. Creating valuable content and posting it at the right times, in the right places, will get you off to a good start. But in order to really succeed at social media marketing, you need to increase the rate at which your audience actually engages with your posts.
- On Twitter, outright asking for retweets actually works. You will receive more retweets this way.
- For best results, use two hashtags on each tweet.
- Short tweets receive more engagement than tweets with more than 100 characters.
- 751 million people use the Facebook Mobile app. Make sure when posting links to your blog or videos, that your content is mobile-friendly.
- On all social media sites, use a real picture of you, rather than a company logo.
- Be sure to thank people who retweet or share your posts, and thank those who offer positive comments or feedback.
- Encourage employees to use social media, but educate them on proper use and provide them with tools for success.
- Make your social media campaign a priority. Include it on your work schedule rather than doing it whenever the urge strikes.
Remember etiquette. You wouldn’t go to a party, display poor manners, and expect to walk away with a lot of new business or personal contacts. The same goes for online interactions via social media. Take the time to learn proper social media etiquette before venturing out there, or you risk turning off your audience before your campaign even gets started.
- Remember that what works on one social media platform may not be acceptable on another. Take the time to observe and learn proper posting behavior.
- Twitter moves much more quickly than other social media sites. Four tweets per day is acceptable on Twitter, but four posts per day on Facebook is not.
- Cross posting (posting the same content on both Twitter and LinkedIn, for example) is okay, but not at the same time of day. This annoys users who follow you on both sites.
- Posting in all caps is the equivalent of yelling. Don’t yell at your audience!
- It’s great to include employees in your social media strategy. Remember, however, to educate them on the importance of a respectable public appearance.
- Don’t argue with negative comments or feedback on your business. This is an opportunity to show prospective clientele how you will handle disagreements; demonstrate class and grace.
- Never send out sales pitches on social media.
- Share or retweet content by others, to show that you aren’t there only to promote yourself.
A note about Pinterest: The average Pinterest visit is over 16 minutes, longer most other social media site. And it isn’t just for bored homemakers! While Pinterest wouldn’t be the ideal social media platform for many businesses, it could be a great choice for those which are visually oriented. Interior decorators, hair stylists, party or wedding planners, home improvement specialists, and other professionals who might benefit from sharing photos of their work could find success on Pinterest.