Some people just get social media, for others it’s a steep learning curve. If the thought of even attempting social media terrifies you, hand it all over to an experienced social media manager 😏. If you’re game for trying it out, it takes time to adjust to each platform and learn its intricacies and advantages. The bottom line is that every business needs social media of some form, so here are my six absolute social media basics that every business must abide by.
So important to your business, the number one social media must is: display your basic information and contact details. You have your online channels, use them for their very basic reason – to get people to notice you and support you! It might be a digital marketing age and thoughts may turn to campaigns, click-rates and analytics, but get the fundamentals in place first, please. I’ve elaborated on this point in this post, too.
Don’t Cross Me
Cross-posting on your social media can be done in a subtle way, and is useful sometimes to coax followers from one platform to also join you on another (i.e. Instagram images sent to Twitter) but don’t get in the habit of cross-posting everything everywhere. No one wants to read every tweet, retweet or like from Twitter on your Facebook page. Likewise, don’t ALWAYS link off to Facebook or Instagram from Twitter. Use each platform for its purpose and watch it grow organically if you listen to it and fine tune your approach.
Have a standard across your social media. Branding is its own beast but you can do very small steps to ensure you are delivering consistency across your channels. Same usernames, same style of images, same tone of voice etc. Make it easy for people to spot you along the digital highway. Bonus points if you manage to get your username into your logo!
Hashtags have a very important use. They loop you into conversations online that maybe you wouldn’t ordinarily find yourself in to widen the pool you connect with; but do not abuse the hashtag. More than three in a tweet screams spam to me, likewise on Instagram (read here about how to hide them!) Overusing the hash key should be a criminal offence and it instantly screams ‘amateur’ to your online audience. Use them like swear words – when peppered into certain situations they can really add value and punctuation to a sentence, but no one likes a constant potty mouth either.
Also, hashtags are designed to make it easy to find content about a specific subject online #so #don’t #hashtag #every #single #word. How many people are going to search ‘#don’t’, ‘#so’ or ‘#every’? Be realistic and specific in each hashtag you use.
Give Good Credit
Attribute your images. Everyone loves to double tap a gorgeous scenic scene on Instagram or share a hilariously relatable illustrator’s image on Facebook but be wary of copyright. Artists, creatives and creators won’t mind you using for your own gain (you’re giving them good free exposure) but always credit as a thank you and shout-out to their work. Otherwise, you will appear to steal and pawn off that pun-ny graphic, stunning snapshot or graphic as your own (even if it’s unintentional, it looks that way). You don’t want threats of legal action arriving in your inbox, play ball and play fairly.
So you’re just throwing content out into the ether for the sake of it, are you? For bloggers and online personalities it’s fine to just post willy nilly and have less of an idea of social media performance, but for brands and businesses you need to know what works and what doesn’t. One of Ireland’s top social media managers Ciamh McCrory lives and dies by this one phrase: ‘Measure Feckin’ Everything!‘
What types of tweet perform best? What time of the day do you get the most Instagram likes? How many people shared your last FB post? Who has unfollowed you on Snapchat? Measure, set goals, reach targets. Be analytical, but that doesn’t have to mean spreadsheets and formulas, even for very small businesses this just means being more mindful of analytics and performance and keeping a close eye on what your audience responds best to. BTW, just because this is the last of my social media musts doesn’t mean that it’s not the most important!
Now, make ’em sing!
If none of this is making sense, don’t worry – let’s have a chat and see if I can help you on a more one-to-one basis.