So at this point I have no doubt that you’ve been told again and again that your organisation need to be ‘doing social media’ because it is ‘here to stay’. Well I’m here to tell you that…it’s all still true!
Social media is becoming an increasingly influential part of modern business with every day that passes. If your organisation is not currently active on social media then your absence will soon be noticed, if it hasn’t already.
On top of the risk of your absence being noticed, you are also missing out on a huge opportunity to engage with your customers/ service users. This will allow them the chance to develop trust and familiarity with your brand and find out what they think of you.
If you are still nervous or unsure about embarking on your social media journey, then we are here to help. Over the next month, we will be posting a series of articles designed to help you create an effective social media presence, one that accurately represents you, will boost your profile and that your followers will find genuine value in.
So where do we begin…?
The big 3
First things first, you need to decide which platforms you are going to adopt into your social media presence. With so many to choose from, this can be where the stress becomes too much for many and the prospect is ditched all together.
We would recommend these 3 platforms as a minimum:
Beginning with these 3 will create a solid foundation from which you can later build on, if you wish.
Whilst these 3 platforms have some significant differences they share some similarities in the way they should be initially approached.
It is important that your profiles look the part. Your social media accounts should be an extension of your website and branded accordingly. To do so, each will require a profile picture and a ‘cover image’ which vary in size depending on the platform.
Recommended sizes are:
• Facebook – Profile = 180×180 minimum, Cover = 399×150 minimum
• Twitter – Profile = 400×400, Cover = 1500×500
• LinkedIn – Profile = 400×400, Cover = 1400×425
Profile pictures will often be your logo, especially if it is particularly visual. Avoid using your logo if it is predominantly text and instead use another image that represents you as an organisation.
Your cover image offers the opportunity to be a little different. This could include a photo of your team, offices or something from a recent event. Just make sure that any imagery is clear and preferably matches your branding.
Ensuring your profiles look the part can be a hugely influential factor when encouraging followers, people are significantly more inclined to follow an account which looks professional.
Whilst it may seem pointless posting content before you have any followers, look at it from the other side; would you follow an account that never posted anything?
People will only follow accounts that offer value of some form. Value on social media can be found in a number of different forms including:
• Advice and Guidance
• Attractive imagery
Place yourself in the shoes of your potential and existing customers, what will they be looking for from your social media platforms? Where will they find value?
In order to do this effectively, it is important to think about what the aim of your page is, what business objectives does it support? What are you hoping to achieve?
Before launching your accounts, take the time to plan 2 weeks of content that you feel will be of value to your followers. Make sure this is varied and relevant as well diverse in the use of pictures, links and videos.
The regularity of posts varies from platform to platform, you should aim to post:
• At least once a day on Facebook
• 2 – 3 times a day on Twitter
• 3-4 times a week on LinkedIn
Regular and relevant posts are an excellent way to demonstrate genuine value for followers.
Primarily used on Twitter, hashtags are an effective way to get your posts noticed by people who aren’t following you.
The use of a hashtag will create a link and add your post to any discussion with others posts using the same hashtag. This then provides the opportunity for users following that hashtag to see your posts and potentially follow your account as a result.
Important things to consider when using hashtags are:
• Try to use hashtags that other people will be using, obscure hashtags that no one else is using will have no benefit to you.
• Don’t use too many, posts filled with hashtags are frustrating, difficult to read and will likely be ignored. Recent studies have shown that 2 hashtags in a tweet is the optimum number.
• Don’t be afraid to look at your competitors and use hashtags that they are using. Their followers are likely to be ones you want and this is a good way to reach out to them.
• Avoid punctuation in the middle of a hashtag as this will break the link.
Social media needn’t be the enigma that it can sometime seem. If approached strategically and with genuine thought and consideration it is an extremely powerful tool for your organisation.
Over the coming weeks we will be running through a variety of ways in which you can be using social media more effectively. This will include ways that you can use social media personally to promote your organisation. Stay tuned!