As promised in our last blog, today we will examine four of the main, most established social media platforms, and which type of specialized content they offer. But, before we go on, let’s take a quick look back at the helpful tips from last time: 1) know your audience; 2) know which platform works best for your brand; 3) work on the authenticity of your content; and 4) forget about establishing presence.
Facebook: We will start out with Facebook, the largest and most active social network. Passing 1.23 billion monthly active users, 945 million mobile users, and 757 million daily users, it is safe to say that Facebook is an important platform to consider to reach your audience. But what content should your business be sharing? Or better said, how should you be sharing it? Ever heard the phrase “the medium is the message”? It means that whatever medium you use will influence the meaning of the message. For our purposes, this is very important because each network is designed for users to interact with certain type of content. Regardless of your business, Facebook is designed for you to share insightful info, and to use a combination of short but engaging headlines with gravitating content. While sharing authentic and exclusive info, stay away from sharing long articles and lean more towards images and videos. It sounds simple, but many community managers get caught up sharing informative industry articles and product/service information, when the people that are interacting with your brand online really want to see simpler or perhaps more personal information. Your audience on Facebook wants to feel not only like they are getting exclusive information, but also want to be associated with your brand. Facebook users will not like or support a brand on Facebook that they do not want to be associated with, so do not use this platform as a selling point. Instead, use it to establish that connection with your audience.
Twitter: This social networking and microblogging platform allows you to answer the question, “what are you doing” with short 140-character messages. It’s easy, so don’t overcomplicate it. Think of Twitter as your source for news reporting. Use it to inform your audience of relevant company facts and most importantly, associate it with the right (#) hashtag. You may think you have the funniest hashtag in the world, but chances are that your audience is already talking about this subject and there is already an established hashtag to associate with the subject.
LinkedIn: This is the network for business professionals – a mostly closed network that only lets you interact with members who agree to be connected with you. It’s a very powerful tool for professionals to expand their networks and to learn more about the key players in their industry. Think about all the powerful information that you can obtain through LinkedIn. You can learn your competition’s main players, their company structure, employee backgrounds and skills. You can follow industry key players and obtain valuable information. So what content should you share? The answer is: keep it strictly professional. Use this platform as your resume, so don’t use any “party pics” in your profile. Share industry articles and professional accomplishments but do not post your weekend pictures, or tell everybody what your next vacation will be.
Instagram: Have fun, get creative, and make it look good. In social media, Instagram is the top photo sharing platform in the world. Launched in October of 2010, it broke the record for fastest app to reach over 1 million downloads (achieved in just a little over three months.) Recently Instagram added videos to its platform. Filters, photo editing capabilities and the hashtag option is what makes this app so popular. Any person with a decent eye can post a fantastic photo. A helpful rule of thumb when using IG is to always complement your photos with informative text and appropriate hashtags. What type of photos should you be posting? People want to see lifestyle photos and themes when they follow someone on IG, so stick with the theme of your account. Don’t go over the place or gravitate towards content that you see is getting a lot of likes. Instead stay authentic and work on making your own content better.
There are other important and powerful tools to analyze and consider, such as Pinterest, Vimeo and YouTube, and many more that we will investigate later this month. But before that, we will delve deeper into how to keep your content authentic. In our next blog, we’ll highlight interesting case studies of various industries pairing the right messages with the right platforms to build optimum buzz for their companies.