A Marketing Guide for Popular Social Media Channels
By: Nikith Deo
Posting on Social Media can be tough, especially if you don't know how to properly communicate on the platform you are using. Unfortunately, posts across platforms aren't all the same. They require different rules. This blog post aims to serve as a basic guide to let you know more about how to post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
- Users: 1.79 billion daily active users worldwide
- Audience: Gen X and Millenials
- Industry Impact: Business to Consumer (B2C)
- Best for: Brand Awareness, Advertising
- Don't Over-Promote: While your followers may be buying your products, they may not be interested in constant promotion of the company. Don't make every post like an ad! Use "we" instead of "I" when talking about the company. Make sure to use proper grammar and capitalization to maintain an appropriate tone and appear professional.
- Engage Promptly: When followers comment or post on your page, respond ASAP. It is important to engage with your followers promptly so they aren't left waiting and feel valued. Let your customers know you care by responding to any issues they have and attempting to correct the issue. People will be more likely to buy from you if they feel like their voices are being heard.
- Post Regularly: Post regularly on your Facebook page. Make sure to have an appropriate post frequency, one your followers are comfortable with. Posting too frequently may overwhelm audiences but not posting enough may cause people to stop interacting with your page. Finding that perfect balance is important to keep your page running smoothly. Also, if you have an update to share, go ahead and post about it!
- Keep Business Info Up to Date: There's nothing worse than a dead link! Imagine your ideal customer stumbles across your Facebook page, loves what they see, and decides they want to "Learn More". As soon as they click the link, they are sent to your old website. How much would that suck? Check on your Business Info periodically. Make sure links work and all information is up to date so that when a customer shows up and clicks on a link, they are sent to the right place.
- Users: 186 million daily active users worldwide
- Audience: Mostly Millenials
- Industry Impact: Business to Business AND Business to Consumer
- Best For: PR and Customer Service
- Share Interesting Content: Most Twitter Streams are made by real people as opposed to business accounts. So, to be successful, you will need to mimic a personal account's stream. Your content needs to sound like it comes from a real person, someone people would want to have conversations with. If you have something interesting your clients may want to know, share it! It doesn't have to be about your business... If people find your content valuable or interesting, they will be more likely to follow your page.
- Keep Promotion to a Minimum: Self-promotion on Twitter is worse than it is on Facebook. Constant updates about your business and how great it is bore audiences. Talking about your successes occasionally is fine. If you've won an award or received some public recognition, go ahead and share it. Such posts will do better though if you're not tooting your own horn constantly. If you really want to post about your company, try posting testimonials from satisfied clients. That's a great way to promote yourself without sounding overly narcissistic.
- Give Credit When Credit is due: If you've taken an idea or some information from another account, don't forget to @mention them. If you are using their content in any way, give them credit. Including their @tag helps them increase their reach while getting you the content you need. Don't steal! Imagine how you'd feel if someone kept posting your content without giving you credit. The more you credit people, the more likely they will be to follow you, which can benefit you if they have a lot more followers than you do.
- Include Links: Unfortunately, Twitter has a character limit. You won't be able to post your whole blog in one Twitter post. That's why you should link to it. A perfect Tweet with amazing content and appropriate hashtags can be wasted without a link. Link to your website, your blog, a product, or some other call to action you want customers to click on.
- Don't use too many Hashtags: While it's true that hashtags can help you increase organic reach by putting your post in front of people who searched for that hashtag, overusing hashtags can detract from your post. You don't want to dominate people's streams. Stick to 3-4 hashtags max and focus on the ones relevant to your post.
- Users: 1 billion monthly active users
- Audience: Mostly Millenials
- Industry Impact: Business to Consumer
- Best For: Natural-looking media, behind-the-scenes, user-generated content, advertising
- Be Creative: On Instagram, you can only post images with text as an accompaniment. Since images are the star of the show, Instagram is a great way to showcase images of or about your product. It is nonetheless, better to do so in a creative way. For service-oriented businesses that don't have a physical product to showcase, post about the process behind said service. You can also try posting Boomerangs if you have a short video to showcase. This can be a great way to increase engagement. Use Instagram stories for daily things to showcase that isn't permanent post on your page. Use IGTV for longer engaging video content. They can be anywhere from 60 seconds to an hour-long!
- Use Hashtags: Instagram lets you add 30 hashtags per post. Don't! Stick to using about 3-5 hashtags per post, making it easier for people to come across your page. Also, don't forget to set up your company hashtag (#yourcompany'sname). This makes it easier for people to find your page and your posts. Try including holiday hashtags to jack trends. Also, consider where you're placing hashtags. They can be included at the bottom of the post, in the comments section, or included in the post itself.
- Use Collaborations: Instagram is a great platform for influencer marketing. Make sure to @tag your collaborators and share customer success stories. This is a great way to shout them out while increasing your publicity. People don't monitor hashtags on Instagram as frequently and closely as they do on Twitter. That's why tagging accounts you collaborated with is a better way to get noticed.
- Offer Exclusive Promotions: Sometimes, it's great to build a little anticipation. Give followers a date to look forward to for a promotion. Tease it periodically and when the day comes, offer a discount on your product or service. Holiday promotions tend to do well on Instagram, especially those with fascinating graphics. Consider providing your Instagram following with exclusive information about the company, something only they would know. This will keep them coming back for more!
- Users: 675 million monthly active users worldwide
- Audience: Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millenials
- Industry Impact: Business to Business
- Best for B2B relationships, business development, and employment marketing
- Connect with your Employees: Make sure your employees are following you! LinkedIn statistics indicate that your employees have 10x more first-degree connections than your company has followers. By making them follow you, you can tap into their network of connections, and potentially increase your following. Also, if your employees add their position at your company to their profiles, your business page will be linked to their profiles, and their profiles will show up on your business page. Doing this can increase potential organic reach.
- Make your page SEO Friendly: Optimize your page for searches. This will increase visibility through searches on or off LinkedIn. Do three things to optimize your page for a search. Add keywords, link to your business page, and post relevant content. A combination of these three practices will boost your page up the search rankings.
- Post helpful News or Updates: The average LinkedIn user can be described as a "News Junkie". They come to LinkedIn mainly for new updates and news. While you do want to post your own content, try making it something that will help your audience with their jobs, answer any questions they may have, or make their lives easier. LinkedIn recommends posting at least once per weekday. Feel free to share relevant information from external sources in the industry in addition to your own content, to provide a little variety for your audience.
Every social media platform has a different user base. The same post may not work on every platform. Consider tailoring your approach to be platform-specific. Keep in mind the proper etiquette when posting on each platform for optimal post-performance.
About the Author
Nikith Deo is the Digital Marketing intern for Sparrow Marketing. He is a senior marketing student at San Jose State University.
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