Social Media Basics

A year from now, you will wish you had started today.

Social Media Platforms

You’re a new organization and know that you need to be on Social Media but which platform do you choose?

digitalYou recommends choosing fewer platforms and providing a better focus rather than spreading your resources too thin and only having a cursory presence on any.

Facebook – This is the most common of the platforms with the widest audience and the greatest variety of post types supported.  It is the most open to advertising options.  Most of your followers and potential clients will assume that you have a Facebook presence if nothing else.

Twitter – While Twitter is the next platform that people think of when deciding on a social community, it is not for everyone. If you are an organization that brings “new” things to the forefront, it is a good place for broadcasting news or novel pieces of information. We can help you determine if your industry is having an active conversation here.

Instagram – Instagram is currently owned by Facebook and has an easy interface for sharing material between the two.  Instagram is for you if your brand is very visual and has strong imagery that is unique to you.

Pinterest – Pinterest can be a valuable platform if you have a brand that has material that people will want to share and that can be categorized into easily identifiable buckets.  Examples would be household products, recipes, unique ideas, stand-out clothing…

Linked In – If you are a Business to Business organization or if you write a lot of relevant blog posts, Linked In can be a valuable platform to cultivate.  We recommend, at the very least, creating a presence there.  You can use this platform to advertise jobs, new releases, branding changes.

Chat Boards and Commenting  – While this is not a single platform per se, if you have a brand that is often referred to out in the world, it is important to monitor comments and mentions so that you stay relevant and in the conversation.  We can set up alerts so that you are able to log in and be represented wherever you are mentioned on the internet.

Social Media is ever changing.  The above list is not exhaustive by any means. If you believe that there is a platform that your industry is actively present on, we can help you set up and engage in that space.

Social Media Goals

Increase following.

A goal of a social media plan moving forward would be to expand that reach and connection to potential followers who might be working for target organizations.  An increased posting strategy with the goal of more shareable content should increase your social media audience with engaged and relevant followers.  Sponsored posts are an inexpensive way to increase following.

Vary post intensity.

Posts on social media should follow an 80/20 ratio.  80% of your posts should be interactional.  They should ask nothing of your followers but to connect.  20% of the time you can provide them with invitations to read, follow, register, demo.

Dream a new dreamIncrease engagement.

The goal of a successful social media plan is not simply to put the content out there but to inspire your followers to share, comment, post their own photos, and like your posts.  The more your followers interact with the soft edges of your brand, the greater the organic reach your posts will have. We want your followers feel good about following you and to help them feel good about wanting their friends and colleagues to follow you too. Viral marketing is not always about the single post that goes aggressively viral.  Sometimes it’s about many smaller posts that pointedly connect with your target market.

Provide customer service.

Social media strategies should be prepared for a customer service component.  Even companies with the best website customer service portal will invariably get questions, complaints and hopefully even compliments through their social media platforms.  It is important to be prepared for these with brand consistent answers and an escalation plan against the possibility of negative response.

Pay attention to analytics.

Analytics are the game changers.  It is important to consider any social plan to be fluid. Platforms change as do the types of posts that are popular.  With the help of solid analytics (how posts are performing, what times of day works for each platform and what the demographics are of your listeners), you can alter the course of the plan to fit what works for your company and industry.  While social marketers (including digitalYou) can, and do, cite best practices, these are not iron clad rules.

Social Media Tools

Posting dashboard.

digitalYou recommends, as a part of any digital strategy, enrollment in a social media posting dashboard such as Hootsuite.  A dashboard offers the following benefits:

  • Calendar of posts sits at the fingertips of both you and the digitalYou team.
  • Easy access to analytics for all supported platforms.
  • Ensures that posting history and expanded analytics remain with you in the event that social media moves in-house or to a different vendor.
  • Ensures brand cohesion, as similar posts can be scheduled and planned simultaneously.

digitalYou utilizes the Hootsuite platform and recommends the following enrollment for your organization –

Library of images.

digitalYou can tie in to existing brand guidelines or help you to put one together. We would require access to either an in-house or stock photography library of approved images to utilize for memes and targeted posts on social media platforms.  Some limited photographic work can be contracted independently through Kim Gorga, photographer.

GratitudeAbove all, kudos to you for realizing that the conversation is on social media and that your organization can and should be a part of that conversation.  Please let us know how we can help.  We are happy to answer your basic questions in the comments below.

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