Social media tips from NACDD
Social media is a great tool when used correctly for a variety of reasons. Platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, can help raise awareness for a cause you may support; you can connect with like-minded people; and you can promote a business, organization or association.
There are a lot of social media platforms available but the most common ones are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Each platform serves a different purpose and when they are utilized correctly, exposure for you or your company will increase.
Below are some social media marketing tips to help you use social media platforms.
Create a content strategy
Creating a social media content strategy before executing it is very important. Creating a plan will allow you to create successful and engaging content for your audience and help reduce mistakes.
Social media engagement
Using social media doesn't automatically mean that you are engaged. Posting pictures, video, status updates and sharing content doesn't mean you're engaged. Make sure your content strategy includes social media engagement. Be proactive and listen to your audience. If someone writes a positive or negative review about your business, answer it. If someone sends you a message or asks a question regarding your services or products, answer it. No matter if it's positive or negative, always answer it in a polite manner. If you are answering any questions, be sure to offer as much information as possible.
Be on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a social media networking site that allows you to connect with other professionals. LinkedIn used to be optional and small businesses usually dominated the site. Now you will see all kinds of businesses and professional on LinkedIn. Why is LinkedIn important for you, your business and your cause? The networking site allows you to brand yourself and your business. Promote an event or showcase what your business offers. To prove that you or your business is credible, enhance your profile by adding media such as videos, presentations and photography. It's also a great way -- and free -- to market your business. LinkedIn will help drive people back to your website, potentially creating new customers and increasing awareness. You can also attract top talent by using LinkedIn. A lot of potential candidates will use LinkedIn to post their resume and search for jobs in their field.
Strategies to Avoid
There are certain social media practices that should be avoided. Otherwise, you will lose some of your audience and could potentially block yourself from gaining future members. Avoid practices such as like-baiting or click-baiting. Both practices use headlines that misinform your audience, has no connection to your business objective and does little for your engagement. These two practices help stir up likes, clicks or shares, but the results are temporary and don't guarantee long-term audience engagement. Posting too much content can tire out your audience and potentially cause them to unfollow you. Use an Analytics system to determine what type of posts do well with your audience, how often you should post and at what times you should post the content. Don't just use social media as a way to advertise your business or products. Use it to engage with your audience, sharing great content and keeping your brand on your audience's minds. Whatever you do, don't delete negative comments. It is very possible that you will receive a negative review or comment involving your product, business or customer service. Even though negative comments seem counterproductive to all the work you have been doing, don't panic. Addressing negative comments or reviews gives you the opportunity to make the audience member happy in a public forum and will help publicly address a problem that you may have not been aware of in the first place.
Use content management scheduling systems
Once you create social media content, you need to create a schedule. Don't let days go by before you realize that nothing has been posted and audience members' questions or concerns have gone unanswered. Take a few hours out of your day to create and schedule content. It's a great way to ensure it gets done and you can focus on other things throughout the week without having to worry about social media content. Platforms such as Hootsuite allow you to manage all and track all of your content for multiple social media platforms all in one place. If you are looking to keep scheduling systems separate, you can use Facebook's scheduling capability for posts and a platform such as Tweetdeck for Twitter.
Use hashtags the right way
The use of hashtags first appeared on Twitter to help users categorize trends and make searches by topic easier. Hashtags can also be used to highlight keywords. For example, you want to find associations that focus on kidney disease. You can search "#kidneydisease" to help find individuals or other associations' accounts who have tweeted with "#kidneydisease." There are some rules on how to use hashtags so before diving in and using them, read up on Hashtags.org's etiquette for hashtags. You don't have to use hashtags on platforms such as Facebook. According to Social Bakers, a social marketing company, hashtag use on Facebook is becoming more popular. In a article published by Social Bakers, the marketing agency found stated the analyzing company wasn't sure how effective Facebook hashtag usage has been. In short, limit each tweet with three to four meaningful hashtags and one to two hashtags on Facebook. You can brand yourself, your company or a company product by using the same hashtags for a specific campaign on both platforms.
If you have any questions regarding social media, please contact NACDD's Communications & Member Services Coordinator Gillan Ritchie at email@example.com.