Do it Right: Leverage the Right Social Network

By Pete Hall     |     July 21, 2017

Too many brands invest a lot of time and effort, only to fail at making the most of their social media presence. To really do social right takes a lot of work, but there are some easy things you can do to upgrade your presence right off the bat.

Make your content platform specific
The worst thing you can do is post the same content across multiple social channels, because that gives your audience zero incentive to follow you on more than one platform. Also, each platform has very specific strengths and weaknesses that your content should leverage in order to give you posts the best chance to succeed.

Below we break out each platform to discuss their individual strengths and weaknesses.

Facebook
Thanks to some favorable algorithm tweaks, video is king on Facebook. Videos get exponentially higher reach than static images, or (god forbid) text-only posts. But there’s a catch: be sure to upload videos natively instead of copying a YouTube link. Your videos can still live on YouTube, but upload them natively when posting to Facebook.

You should also have a robust customer service presence on Facebook. Fans expect you to be there to answer their questions, and if you’re not doing it privately (i.e. the right way), they will take the conversation public. It also has a lot of benefit for the brand: threaded conversations let you stay on top of all incoming messages, and rapid response times earn brands a badge.

Another great feature of Facebook is that you can natively geo-target posts, which means you can get a really specific audience for event promotions, even down to the street level. Or global brands can push relevant, region-specific content to audiences across the globe.

Plan for at least one post per day, but no need to overdo it.

Twitter
Twitter is the firehose of social networks. The amount of accounts a user follows can mean they’re served an enormous amount of tweets. So each tweet has to accomplish a lot in a little bit of space. It also means that you need to post much more often in order to be seen. This is what makes Twitter such a powerful real-time platform: tweets can be relevant and timely in order to garner meaningful engagement and conversation.

Unlike Facebook, Twitter is not a soapbox or a place for longer, storytelling posts. Instead, it’s great for short bursts of conversation and engaging with followers one on one. Images and animated GIFs are great in this sense. This sort of personalized engagement makes Twitter great for customer service, and more important, it’s meaningful to fans, who can become full-blown brand advocates after receiving such individual interaction.

One aspect that can be daunting is the posting cadence. Posting three-to-five times per day is recommended, but before you get too overwhelmed, note that many, if not most, of those posts can be retweets. You can even make lists around your various content buckets, and pick a variety of tweets from each to share with your followers. If this sounds very hands on, it’s because it is. But if you do the work you can reap the rewards of engaged, loyal fans and brand advocates.

Instagram
This is where your best content should live: your premium channel, both for photos and videos. But there’s a difficult balance to strike as well, because overly polished, corporate-looking photos often don’t perform as well on Instagram. Rather, users reward authenticity and spontaneity, as long as it looks good. This also means you don’t have to post as often: once or twice per day is plenty.

Community is another important aspect of Instagram: user generated content (UGC) performs very well because it feels relatable, accessible and empowering to fans. Brands with decent awareness and visibility often have fans tagging them in posts, which makes Instagram a great resource for pulling UGC content (just make sure to always give photo credit!)

With the release of Stories, Instagram has taken a page out of the Snapchat playbook and given users a way to share spontaneous, short-lived content that can be unpolished and a little silly. When publishing a Story, don’t overthink it– that defeats the purpose. Instead, let your hair down a little and show your brand’s personality and playfulness.

About Pete Hall

Pete Hall is a seasoned digital marketer with over 8 years experience across owned, earned and paid channels. He has worked with some of the biggest brands in the world, including Nike, adidas, Vail Resorts, Forever 21, Under Armour, LucasArts, Pixar and more. His favorite thing to do when not working is to play soccer, injure himself, play Overwatch or participate in cult-like activities like Crossfit.

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