Social media isn’t new anymore, but the world of social media is always changing. With the year 2015 quickly approaching, I offer you these 15 tips to remember when managing your social media accounts.
1. Choose the right social media channels to share your messages.
Facebook has become a popular social media site for older adults, while the average Twitter user is between 18 and 29 years old. YouTube has become popular among all ages, and many people use LinkedIn for professional networking and job searches. When deciding on which channel to use, keep your target audience in mind.
2. Understand social analytics and insights.
Keep track of what’s going on behind the scenes on your social media accounts. Are your shared Facebook posts reaching a higher number of people than your original content? Do you have better engagement on a certain day of the week or during a certain time of day? If so, start posting what your trends reflect, and see if that increases your engagement.
3. Be timely.
No one wants to see a post from your outdoor Hawaiian luau in the summer, when there’s snow on the ground the day you post it. Make a concentrated effort to post in a timely matter, when activities are actually happening.
4. Use images and visuals.
People love visuals, especially when they tell a story. If your post has photos to accompany it, be sure to post them. But remember, don’t always post just one photo. Rather, try creating an album on Facebook, or uploading three photos per tweet on Twitter.
5. Be personable and professional.
Social media is fun, so make your posts reflect that! If your community has parties every month, let your followers know. But don’t get too personal…it’s still a company page.
6. Be relevant.
This may seem obvious, but someone in Florida isn’t going to care that it’s Independent Living Day in California or that the Senior Olympics are being held in Texas when your community is in Nebraska. Keep posts relevant to your audience and location.
7. Share the love.
If a TV station or newspaper posts your story on their website, be sure to acknowledge it. You can do so by liking and sharing the post. That way, you show your appreciation, while reaching a larger audience.
8. Ask questions.
Sure, likes and retweets are great, but what you want even more is a more personal interaction. Ask a question and see who responds. If your question garners responses, be sure to reply and continue the conversation.
9. Grammar matters.
Although social media can be considered laid-back, professionalism is important. You lose credibility when you misspell words and use poor grammar, so always reread your posts before you publish. Did you make a mistake? The beauty of social media is that you can always go back and edit your posts.
10. Don’t overshare.
Remember, people can unfriend and unfollow your social media accounts at any time, and your insights will reflect that. Twitter is a more appropriate place to post a number of posts in one day, but try to limit your posts to one a day (or every other day) on your community’s Facebook page. Facebook is now offering a feature that allows users to ignore posts, so it’s increasingly important to make your content relevant so followers don’t opt to block your page.
11. Social media is not a sales tool.
Of course, having social media accounts can help lead to sales, and is an excellent way to foster relationships with prospects and influencers. But as a rule of thumb, keep your posts entertaining and/or informative. No one wants to feel pressure from a sales pitch via a community’s Facebook or Twitter page.
12. Link your social media sites to each other.
If you have a number of social media sites, determine a strategy for them to work together. Make a post on Facebook inviting your friends to follow your Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube accounts and vice versa. You can also share the same content on each social media site, to show consistency and daily engagement.
13. Plan ahead.
Develop an editorial calendar of your posts so that sharing on social media doesn’t become a hassle. By creating your posts ahead of time, you can simply copy and paste your post, hit Publish and be done.
14. Schedule posts in advance.
Twitter and Facebook allow you to schedule posts days in advance. After you make an editorial calendar, go ahead and post a week’s worth of content at once. Keep in mind you can always reschedule and change posts if something more timely and relevant comes up.
15. Be mindful.
Just because you schedule posts doesn’t mean you’re home free. You still need to monitor your posts and be aware of holidays, observances and what’s going on in the world around you, especially if it pertains to a crisis or issue in your greater community.