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Digital opinion

How to strut your social media content like a pro

This is the last of a two-part "How To" series on social media.
Content is a key driver on social media. Whether you create it yourself, or simply share it, your content needs to be relevant and useful, for it to stand out in the barrage of online information flying at users by the second.

So, how do you make sure that your content gets more than just a second glance? By approaching it simply. You don't need convoluted messages to get people's attention. If your message is short but 'powerful', it'll gradually pique the interest of the 'right people'.

How to strut your social media content like a pro
Come clean [to yourself], or be found out

In order to 'hit' the right audience, first examine your motives for posting. Authenticity is a non-negotiable.

It's common knowledge that businesses use social media to ultimately 'hook' new clients. However, it's those whose content answers audiences' (WIIFM) WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME question most satisfactorily that succeed! PLUS, they earn themselves major points when it comes to social etiquette.

Create/share content that is going to HELP people. Become their source of useful information, though, the odd joke can't harm.

No time for hit-and-miss

Following your introspective session above, is deciding who you are going to be sharing information with.

To answer this question conclusively, you need to be clear on why you're targeting a particular group. Do your offering and area(s) of expertise match their perceived preferences? Tick.

Now, figure out how you can best optimise your knowledge/experience to bring value to your target audience.

Ta-da!

What you're going to be sharing is just as important as the preceding points.

As with a gourmet meal, this one will require careful planning, fine-tuning and skilful plating, for it to 'hit the spot'. You won't always get it right, therefore it's important that you vary your posts in accordance with your audience's response (e.g. posts with pictures tend to engage better than, say, text-only ones).

Timing is important

Monitor your social media reports to see when your audience is most likely to access that particular platform.

Facebook's 'Page Update', e.g., indicates the most popular time(s) of the day when your audience reads your posts. This is a great guide for you to make sure that your posts don't miss that critical peak time.

© kbuntu - za.Fotolia.com
© kbuntu - za.Fotolia.com
It happens to the best of us

Like with anything we tackle, there WILL be the occasional blooper.

Rather than fret about this dreaded prospect, proactively pour your energies into figuring out how you will fix it, when it happens (note, I didn't say 'if').

Triggers could include misinformation, unanswered queries or bad service. Depending on the size and popularity of your brand, and the gravity of the 'offence', the repercussions could range from mild to catastrophic.

Here, the important thing to remember is NOT TO delete negative feedback that appears in your 'feed'. Rather respond to complainants sincerely and professionally; always ready with an apology.

Deciding which social media platforms to use as a business is largely dictated by the above mentioned points. For the purposes of this article, we'll look at Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook

Like most social media platforms, Facebook's options for sharing content leave huge potential for your own creativity.

1. Link posts
If you have a link to share, simply paste it into your Facebook update. You can then edit the headline, link description and preview image, as you wish. Yep, you don't have to keep the text and pic that come with the link, if you don't particularly like them. The goal here is for GREAT IMPACT.

2. Posts that have images
Since images engage a lot better than just text, these posts work well on Facebook. Coupled with some creative copy, you'll soon have your fans eating out of your virtual hands.

Recommended dimensions for Facebook images:
  • Regular post image: 403 x 504 pixels
  • Highlighted post image: 843 x 403 pixels
3. Videos
This is yet another effective way to engage on Facebook, provided it has great media within the content. Note that when clicked on, the media plays inside Facebook.

Remember to include a link in your post text, to 'guide' people back to your content.

Promote your Facebook content by:
  • Being 'human'
  • Asking the occasional evocative question
  • Making an impactful statement
  • Capitalising on the influencers you mention in the post: @mention them, why don't you?.
Twitter

Probably the most dynamic social media platform, Twitter is a great way to stay up to date on just about everything. Therefore, regular Tweets (roughly four per day) are essential.

From choosing your Twitter handle to DMing (Direct Messaging) with discernment, Twitter demands as much adherence to etiquette as any other social media platform.

Like your Twitter handle, your Tweets reveal more about you than you realise.

Understanding your Twitter community will help you 'keep on top', so optimise your Twitter reports [and resources like @tweetreach and @fllwrs].

Some more Twitter pointers:
  • Be authentic
  • Tweet regularly (anything from four Tweets p/day, to four Tweets p/hour)
  • Use hashtags sparingly
  • Don't DM (Direct Message) to thank followers EVERY TIME they Retweet (RT) your Tweets
  • Follow the RIGHT PEOPLE: ones who share your interests; will enrich your knowledge, and spread your message
  • If you create useful content, your follower numbers will gradually increase (so don't transfix on numbers).
So, there you have it. Strutting your social media content like a pro is easier than you think. Just get the basics right, and the rest follows.
    
 

About Catherine Milward-Bridges

Catherine Milward-Bridges is a passionate communication specialist and founder of simplyput.co.za. Catherine guides her clients in taking their engagement efforts from good to great; and helps them optimise social media with strategic know-how.
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Lucy Adio
Lucy Adio
Hello Catherine,

Trust you are well!

Please i need your help to know how social media works and how i can manage my brand on social media

Thanks
Posted on 28 Aug 2014 18:37

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