Understanding how to share content properly on social media is not an easy task. But if you are hoping to gain followers and fans, let’s get started!
It’s not as simple as sharing something you think people will like and hoping for the best. Between platform nuances and ever-changing algorithms, nailing your social content strategy can be tricky.
To help keep your strategy on the straight and narrow, here are a few social media do’s and don’ts that you need to know in 2019.
Do: hold your content to high editorial standards
The social media industry and the rest of the world, have been rocked by a series of scandals in recent years. In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election through fake news, consumers are increasingly wary of the social content they consume online.
Exercise caution in what you share on social. Regardless of whether it’s in-house or guest content, ensure everything is double-checked and authoritative. Make sure your content is reliable and, where applicable, backed up by links to dependable sources.
If you’re a small or growing business, it’s worth implementing editorial guidelines. This ensures these standards are adhered to by everyone in your team.
Don’t: go overboard with your hashtags
The more the merrier is great advice for a party, but less so for your hashtag policy. Stuffing your posts and tweets with every hashtag under the sun might seem like a winning policy, but hashtag usage is actually more nuanced than that.
Aside from looking untidy and unprofessional, excessive hashtags can actually diminish engagement with your content. As a rule, your hashtags should be as follows:
Facebook: although not as popular on the platform, hashtags still have their place here. Stick t no more than five hashtags per post.
Instagram: 12 hashtags is the perfect number to drive engagement of the visual platform. Remember to add them as the first comment on your post for extra neatness.
Twitter: Unlike Facebook, hashtags are more popular on Twitter. Hashtag popularity is on the rise, so do your hashtag research. Use four to six trending hashtags.
LinkedIn: Like Twitter, the site promotes the use of hashtags, and LinkedIn will let you know if you post and the hashtag is trending. Use a minimum of six.
When your hashtag allowance is so limited, it pays to do your research to find the hashtags with the best return on engagement and visibility. Find out how to perform hashtag research effectively here.
Do: Be consistent and regular across all platforms
We all appreciate a little stability in our lives, and your customers are no exception. When your social strategy is consistent, your followers will trust and engage with it more.
This goes beyond simply posting content on a regular basis (made easier with a social automation tool). Although this is an important element of sharing content on social media, so too is the type of content you share.
This will vary from platform to platform and spans everything from the type of content to share to the kind of language to use to share it.
For example, LinkedIn lends itself more to professional content, such as industry news, business development updates, staff changes, and so on.
However, Instagram fosters a more light-hearted, informal feel: contests, fun, behind-the-scenes videos, and similar.
Create social guidelines tailored to each different social platform. This will require a little time and effort, but it will build a consistent social strategy that strengthens your customer relationship considerably.
Don’t: forget to respond to your followers
Once you’ve posted a piece of content, it doesn’t end there. Great content receives engagement in the form of likes, comments, and shares, and it’s important to acknowledge that and respond back.
Social media is a two-way street. Just as your followers actively engage with your content, so too should you engage with your followers.
Doing so strengthens your branding and fosters a positive relationship between you and your customers. It creates a community around your brand, a valuable asset for a growing business.
But simply liking a comment is not enough. Answer questions, praise, and thanks to positive replies and respond to negative ones. Yes, this takes time, but it’s a small act that massively benefits your brand.
It is possible to automate this with an auto-reply tool, but this strategy feels insincere and your customers will notice.
Instead, set aside a few minutes each day to respond to the top comments on your post. Genuine responses elicit genuine affection for your brand, so it’s worth doing right.
Do: share only original, high-quality content on Instagram
As the world’s most popular visual social platform, Instagram goes to great pains to protect this reputation.
Aside from continually innovating with features such as Stories and IGTV, the platform’s algorithm also favors better, high-quality images.
This means ditching the generic stock photos and actually spending some time crafting original content.
Invest in a few cheap props — products, decorations, board games (Scrabble letters are particularly good), even toys — and set aside some time to stage eye-catching shots that will make your followers stop scrolling and take notice.
Time and cash-poor but hungry for better Insta posts? Find a stock photo site with unique or unusual images that are a far cry from the generic stock shots.
Check out the royalty-free images on Burst for some high-quality distinctive snaps that are perfect for an Insta quick fix. Simply download and add a filter with a free photo editor like Easil to make them your own.
Finally, if you’re really struggling to populate your Insta feed with original content, simply repurpose old posts.
Go back to your oldest content (too recent and your customers will notice) and add a text overlay or filter to give it a new lease of life. This is fine for quick content in a pinch, but don’t overdo it.
Sharing content on social media can be tricky, but it’s a necessity that every brand should embrace in 2020. Follow the tips above and you’ll create a social content strategy that continues to serve your brand well into the future.
Kayleigh Alexandra writes all about the entrepreneurial tips and hacks for Micro Startups, a site dedicated to giving through growth hacking. Stop by to read about the latest developments in the startup world, and take a moment to follow us on Twitter @getmicrostarted.
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Updated on December 21, 2020, by @AudreyDeSisto