If you are regularly engaged in Social Media from a business perspective, like myself you may be somewhat confused by the differing viewpoints on what are considered best posting practices. Everyone has their own ideas about how to achieve “success” on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, and I compare this to determining who has the “correct” political opinions or the most successful economic theory. Everyone is right and no-one is wrong—and vice versa!
As a Social Media Manager, I try to establish the methods I have found to be best practices to follow, and I’d like to share some of them with you. These views are based on actual results and a no small amount of trial and error.
This is without a doubt the most difficult of the social media platforms to be successful on. I liken Facebook to “playing a game of chess on the deck of a boat in a raging storm!” The endless changes to the Newsfeed Algorithm force you to constantly review your strategy and results.
- DON’T worry about page likes, but DO be concerned about post likes, shares, and comments. These three functions drive reach, and at the end of the day that is what your client wants—their products/services in front of as many eyes as possible.
- Post types with the most engagement potential are:
- Videos (original content and NOT YouTube—Facebook hates YouTube)
- Text updates
- DON’T repeat the same post type continuously. Varying your type of content will help increase engagement.
- DO allow at least 3 hours between posts in order to let content “percolate” and establish the most reach. Post “trampling” can ruin potentially engaging content.
This is definitely the most time-consuming of the three networks. If you are managing several accounts, disciplined time-management is a must in order to be efficient and effective on Twitter.
- DO make good use of relevant hashtags, and tag other users on every Tweet. Irrelevant hashtags can be damaging, as your content will be deemed to be of little value.
- DO Retweet content that you find relevant and interesting, ESPECIALLY from local businesses and users. If you are seen to be engaging regularly with other Twitter accounts, they will act likewise.
- DO create advanced search terms based on the client’s business profile. For example, a Honda dealership in Boston would want to know if someone 35 miles away was in the market for a new Civic. Several well-placed searches can create valuable sales leads.
- DON’T “over-Tweet.” Putting out 4-7 tweets per day is sufficient. Tweet too little and you will become “invisible,” while tweeting too much will cause unnecessary unfollows.
This is the most misunderstood and yet potentially the most valuable network of all. Google+ is able to increase search rankings for your client’s website if used correctly. Usage is increasing, and for a business Google+ represents a valuable opportunity to increase relevance.
- DO set your subject matter clearly in approximately 250-300 characters. Short and sweet.
- DO include a link back to the client’s website, and ensure it points to a relevant page.
- DO include hashtags that are relevant to the content in the post.
- DO use location hashtags at the end of the post to establish local relevance in rankings.
- DO engage with other users who are relevant to your client locally.
Obviously there is much more to a successful social media strategy than these few brief points, but I’ve found that these basic principles help me to be as successful as possible in what I have found has become a challenging environment.