5 Best practices for social media sharing


Want to light up the social media networks and be top-of-mind? The key is engagement. Let’s get back to basics with these 5 best practice tips

A combination of strategy, quality copy, good imagery, the right platform, timeous posting, careful monitoring and engagement with your audience will help spread your messages far and wide. Here are some best practice guidelines.

1. CONTENT MATTERS

Users want interesting content. Your brand needs relevant content, for it to have value for you. So let’s learn to marry the two: Entertain with interesting/unique content and inform with content relevant to your service/industry for best results.

Content with useful tips (for the user, not you) around your industry and how it affects them and can make their lives easier will attract more response.

Build your product messages in subtly. We always say, for every five posts, four are purely for your followers, and only one focuses on your business.

Give your message some character. Use humour if appropriate or talk to a social issue or cause that’s close to your heart to entice an emotional response or interest in what you’re saying. And, above all, prompt followers to respond or join the conversation.

Here are some general guidelines on the ideal length of posts for the different social media platforms:

  • Twitter: 71–100 characters
  • Facebook: 40–119 characters
  • Google+: 60 characters per headline

To increase your chances of having your posts retweeted, shared, liked and to drive your followers to your other digital properties, such as a blog or website, include a link in every post as well as a strong call to action, like a giveaway, prize, or the chance to subscribe to a regular newsletter.

2. SAY IT WITH PICTURES

Content that’s visual is almost always better. Most of the new and growing social networks are purely visual. Even tweets with images get more engagement. It’s the same on Facebook and even LinkedIn.

Make sure your content has a strong visual element that is attractive and that the image and copy is designed and organised to guide the reader’s eye for easy scanning.

A featured image as well as smaller images to illustrate the key points of your copy will make your post more shareable and attract more views.

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3. THE RIGHT PLATFORM FOR THE MESSAGE

Each social media platform has its own, distinct personality. They attract often a very different audience, and suit different topics. So customise your copy to suit the platform. Write various headlines, change parts of the copy and use different images. Create your posts to suit the user profiles to fully capitalise on the strengths of each medium. For example, look at the different target audiences of these three social media platforms and what resonates with them:

Twitter:

  • Precise and to the point messages
  • Links which they can refer to and share
  • Using Hashtags to target group related discussion

Facebook:

  • Very personal social network
  • Strong and dedicated communities with a highly-developed sense of belonging
  • Emotional messages that tell a story
  • Generates lot of user feedback
  • Videos tend to do better than images
  • Links are fairly important

LinkedIn

  • A network for working professionals searching for new job and career opportunities
  • Posts that help people further their knowledge and skills.
  • Lends itself to topic-specific discussions

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4. KNOW WHEN (AND HOW OFTEN) TO POST

Status updates are not what they used to be. The notion that you can “inundate” your fans or post too often is no longer a factor at all. On Facebook, our feeds are so full of friends, family and the pages we follow – not to mention the sponsored ads – that we don’t even see a tenth of what is aimed as us. Each standard, un-boosted post is only likely to reach about 12% of your followers. That’s nothing, especially if you’re a business trying to build a following.

Similarly, a single tweet’s half-life is considered to be around 18 minutes today. This doesn’t mean you must retweet and repost each post several times a day. But it does mean that posting something only once no longer cuts it.

Take each piece of content and plan a sharing schedule for it. Share content at least 10 times over 7 days, each time with new copy, a new headline, a new image etc. to get the widest spread possible.

But be sure not to share it all at once. Space it out over the course of a week (7 days), because there are still recommended limits to how much you can safely share on each social network:

Facebook

  • Post at least once a day
  • Always include an image or graphic
  • Use hashtags or pose a burning question to encourage engagement
  • Post mainly between 13:00 and 16:00 each day

Twitter

  • Tweet at least 5 times per day (up it to 10–30 for best results)
  • Create your own content (blog) and drive users there
  • Curate other, relevant content too
  • Use 1–2 hashtags per tweet
  • Use images, where possible
  • Tweet Monday–Thursday, 13:00 – 15:00

LinkedIn

  • Post 4–5 times a week
  • Tailor content to professionals and invite them back to your website
  • Set up a branded company page
  • Post Monday–Thursday, 07:00 – 09:00

Pinterest and Instagram

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5. TRY TO START A CONVERSATION

If you are not aiming to engage your fans, you’re doing it wrong. The power of social media is not in getting your posts seen, it’s in getting people to do something with them,

Fostering engagement as a brand is two-fold:

  1. Responding and interacting – respond to any mentions, questions, messages and commentary to show that you are present and active.
  2. Drive engagement – ask conversation-starting questions, invite responses and interactions by building it into your post structure. Then, measure how your followers respond and interact (what types of posts and topics are getting the most interaction) to help build a better content strategy going forward.

Need some help creating or refining social media strategy? Chat to us at Quantum Publishers.

Which social networks work best for your business? Let’s talk in the comments below.







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