Best Practices for EACH SOCIAL NETWORK
This is part two of a four-part series on social media marketing. In this chapter, you will learn how to post to social networks. We’ll also cover best practices and resources for scheduling posts.
how to post ON FACEBOOK
Facebook is the largest social sharing platform. Women are particularly likely to use Facebook, as are individuals in age groups 18-29 years old and 40-49 years old.
- How to Post
- If you’re setting up a new page, refer to this guide for step-by-step instructions.
- From your home page, you’ll see a list of “Pages” in the left pane. These Pages represent all of the accounts you are an administrator for.
- Select the Page you’d like to post to.
- Once you’ve selected a Page, Facebook will automatically allow you to post as the business.
- Enter your text, photos, video, and/or link and then click the blue “Post” button.
- Best Practices
- Boost (promote) the posts you’re really excited about. You can spend as little as $5.00 to advertise on Facebook. Things worth extra promotion are events, discounts, and time-sensitive material. Refer to Facebook’s boost guide as needed.
- Use visual elements to help your posts stand out. Videos, images, and infographics do particularly well on Facebook. Just be sure to follow sizing guidelines when uploading visuals.
- Post consistently.
- Measure your results in the “Insights” tab of your Facebook business page. Here you will find helpful information about when your audience is most engaged. This will help you determine the best time for your company to post.
- You’ll also be able to see basic demographic information including gender, location, and age. For more information about the insights tab, check out Facebook’s guide.
how to post ON LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a platform designed to connect users with professional resources, job opportunities, and connect them to their colleagues. Companies use LinkedIn to recruit employees and market products.
- How to Post:
- If you’re starting from square one, you’ll need to create a page. Luckily, LinkedIn has made it very easy. Check out their video demo here.
- If you already have a page, you’re ready to post! To access your page, hover over your profile picture in the top right corner. Scroll down to “Manage Page.”
- From there, you will be directed to your company’s page. You’ll now be able to post.
- Best Practices
- Include links. Compared to posts without links, including a link can drive twice the engagement.
- Get visual. Use images to earn a 98% higher comment rate and incorporate YouTube videos to earn a 75% higher share rate. Refer to this guide when uploading images to LinkedIn.
- Engage with members to keep the conversation going. Comment back if someone asks a question, monitor discussions to send back to your sales team, and proactively handle customer-service issues.
- For more of LinkedIn’s best practices, visit their company pages guide.
how to pin on pinterest
Pinterest is a visual platform that is specifically popular for women, wealthy consumers, and “do-it-yourself” types. This is a social network that is particularly well-suited for brands.
- How To Pin:
- For a setup guide, click here.
- After signing up for a page, you’ll be asked to verify your website. You can also choose to embed a “Pin it” button on your website, if you so choose. This allows guests on your site to Pin images directly to their own Pinterest pages.
- I would suggest beginning with creating a few boards. Think of boards as a category, which quickly gives your guest information about what they can expect to see within the board. (Example: If you have an “Outdoor” board, I would expect to see tents, backpacks, and hiking equipment.)
- To create a board, go to your profile page and select “Create a Board.” You will then designate a name, description, and category.
- To add a pin to your board, simply click on the board and select “Add a Pin.” From there, you can choose to add a Pin from the web or you can upload an image from your own device.
- If you see an item on your feed and you’d like to share it with your own followers, hover over the image and click the red “Pin it” button. You will then be able to designate the board you would like to Pin it to.
- For tons of helpful videos from Pinterest, click here.
- Best Practices:
- Keep it simple. Pins using 200-300 characters (as opposed to Pinterest’s maximum 500 characters) perform better and are more likely to be repinned.
- Images matter. Images with the following characteristics are most likely to be repinned: reddish-orange color, medium lightness, smooth texture, and no faces. Learn more here.
- Take advantage of Pinterest’s analytics to find out data about your audience. AdAge reported that most marketers aren’t planning social marketing with ROI in mind. Don’t be that guy!
- Make every image on your site Pinnable with help from the Pinterest Widget Builder.
how to post on instagram
Instagram is another visual platform that allows users to share images. The platform is particularly popular for young people, women, minorities, and suburban and urban dwellers. This platform is particularly powerful for brand engagement.
- How to Post:
- For set-up information, refer to Instagram’s “Getting Started” guide.
- It’s important to note that Instagram content can only be added via a mobile device. First, download the app.
- From there, you’ll be directed to your feed, which shows images from people/companies you follow.
- To post an image, click the blue camera button in the middle of the row at the bottom of your screen.
- From there, you can choose a filter and manipulate the image.
- After finalizing the visual, you will be able to write text to go along with your image. When you’re all done with your masterpiece, click the blue share button at the bottom of your screen.
- Best Practices:
- Be prepared for quick comments. 50% of comments to Instagram posts occur within the first six hours, so be prepared to keep tabs on your audience response immediately after posting something.
- Communicate with other accounts—as long as it’s genuine. Mention other accounts to earn 56% more engagement… but don’t be spammy.
- Add a location. Posts with a location included receive 79% higher engagement.
- Images matter. The following factors contribute positively to engagement: high lightness (24% more likes), high amount of background space (29% more likes), images featuring blue as the dominant color (24% more likes than images which are predominately red) and single dominant-colored images (17% more likes than images with multiple colors). For the full rundown by Curalate, click here.
how to tweet
Twitter is a platform for sharing your thoughts, breaking news, and commentary. All Tweets must be 140 characters or less. This social network is particularly popular for men, those under 50, and the college-educated.
- How to Tweet:
- To create a new account, click here.
- Sign into your company account.
- Click the button at the top right of your home screen to compose a new Tweet.
- From there, you have 140 characters (including visual content) to use.
- When you’re finished editing, click the “Tweet” button at the bottom right of the pop-out to post.
- Best Practices:
- Be conscientious. Twitter seems to be the #1 place for brands to trip over themselves with careless misuse of trending topics. Prior to using any hashtag, research it first to be sure you fully understand the meaning behind the conversation. For examples of what not to do, check out the Twitter fails below.
- Use the 80/20 principle. According to Twitter, 80% of your Tweets should focus on driving interactions with your followers and the remaining 20% can be used for promotions, calls to action, and leads to your website.
- Keep it short. Promoted tweets under 100 characters earn 18% higher engagement.
- Use video content from Vine. Tweets with Vines earn 256% engagement more than tweets with a single picture. For more of this research, download Twitter’s e-book about data-driven effectiveness here.
SHARING CONTENT WITH ADDTHIS
- AddThis is a tool which allows your company to increase conversions and engagement with custom marketing messaging, social sharing buttons, and content recommendations. On our site, we use the custom marketing messaging as a call to action to register for our e-newsletter. Similarly, we use the social sharing buttons on each blog post to allow guests to easily share our content on their own social networks.
social media SCHEDULING RESOURCES
- In my opinion, HootSuite is the most well-rounded social planning platform, as it allows you to schedule while also incorporating your real-time news feeds, so you can see what’s happening with all of your platforms in one window. Just sign up for an account using your social network(s) of choice, and begin scheduling. Here’s the link to sign up.
- Cost: There is a free version available. For HootSuite Pro, plans start at $9.99 per month.
- Buffer is very similar to HootSuite, but it doesn’t integrate a real-time news feed (yet). It simply allows you to schedule. If that’s all you need to do, click here to register.
- Cost: Free 7-day trial, then $50 per month for a small business, $100 per month for a medium business and $250 per month for a large business.
Here are some more resources for managing your social media accounts.
Now that you know how to get started with social media, it’s time to talk about engagement and advertising.