Social Media: a no-fluff guide

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Like it or loathe it, social media remains a key part of marketing and having a solid understanding of each channel and what content goes where, is crucial to increasing engagement and getting your startup noticed.

Why? Well with over a billion people worldwide using more than one form of social media, your customer is within easy reach...if you can just nail the content.

So let’s start with the basics.

How do you get followers on each channel?
In terms of followers, you might begin with 0, but getting a few followers on your channel isn’t that difficult. Just start following people that interest you. More importantly, start following relevant people that could be interested in you.

If you’re a food startup and you only follow astronauts, you’re reducing the likelihood of users following you back...why would they? (Unless, they REALLY love food porn).

But if you’re following users that are interested in nutrition, diets, fitness and other health-oriented topics, you’re providing a much higher incentive that they will follow back. It’s all about knowing your audience.

Remember, friends, family and your network, while not your target audience, are a great booster in getting some initial followers.

How do you manage creating content?
Save a bit of time each week to ‘think social’ and maybe create a Slack channel or email thread where your team can share ideas. Apply the 70:30 rule. 70% of the time you share content relevant to your target customer, and 30% you sell.

But that content, doesn’t have to be your own. Share articles, gifs, images and borrow content. Find it and schedule it. Get your team involved in finding the content.

How do you schedule it and save some time?
Get Buffer. It’s a really helpful social media management tool you can easily download for free. The biggest asset with Buffer is that you can schedule posts in advance, across channels, saving you a huge amount of time. As a rule of thumb with scheduling posts, if you’re building a company with an international audience, your social shouldn’t be ‘off’, because someone somewhere will be awake.

Experiment with timings and time analytics, which will show when is a good time to post. If you don’t know where to start, just try between 8-9am, lunch 12-1pm, late afternoon 5-6pm, late evening 10-12am and early morning 4-6am.

Now that you’ve got the basics covered, you should think about which type of posts belong to what channel and when you should be posting. Here are a few pointers we’d like to share!

Twitter

  • Type of Post: Twitter posts should be interesting, funny, topical, strange, novel or anything in between. Make sure to add pictures/gifs/videos to your content in order to attract eyes and make your content stand out.
  • When to Post: Aim for 4-6 times a day (at least) and spread posts out to maximise exposure.
  • Tips: Don’t forget to @ users and use relevant hashtags to jump on trends, but don’t use more than three. Putting a full stop before the @ sign (.@) if you want all your followers to see it. Otherwise it won’t be on your main feed.

Facebook

  • Type of Post: Facebook content should be engaging, informative and interesting. More ‘serious’ than on Twitter. This means less GIFs and more articles.
  • When to Post: 1-2 posts a day, and more than four hours apart. While on Twitter you can post frequently throughout the day, posting frequently on Facebook can mess with its algorithms.
  • Tips: Choose pieces about issues that have a direct impact in your industry. This will keep your audience engaged. If using video, grab their attention in the first 5 seconds and use text, sounds aren’t automatic.

Instagram

  • Type of Post: A lot of Instagram content consists of beautiful, artsy photos that are aesthetically easy on the eye. Follow this route. But Instagram Stories enable you to get super creative and talk to your audience. It's only up for 24 hours, so experiment and see what drives engagement!
  • When to Post: As a rough idea, major brands upload 1-2 posts a day.
  • Tips: Ask yourself, is this the kind of content I like to look at? And... what kind of content would my audience like to look at? Also, #s are your best friend. We recommend going for around 12-20. If you’re feeling extra organised draft your #s in advance to save time.

LinkedIn

  • Type of Post: LinkedIn is the most professional channel and should be taken the most seriously. Funny memes may not be as effective here. Instead, use content that is directly useful to your target audience. Avoid being salesy and start producing content that adds credibility to your business.
  • When to Post: On average, 1 post per day.
  • Tips: Additionally, like all other social media channels, use visual aids such as images and videos to attract eyes and increase user engagement.

We hope this is of use and remember to always experiment and trial and test what works best for you. Sign up to new social media apps early on and have a play! 

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* This post was originally published in our newsletter The Communications Workshop. Sign up to get more free tips about communications and marketing here!