81% of Americans had a social media profile in 2017, up from just 24% in 2008.
Social media is here to stay.
Welcome to Social Media 101.
With a proper social media strategy, you can become a leader in communication, spreading your message and building your audience of targeted voters, constituents and consumers.
Social media is one of the most assessable forms of communication, but many find it hard to start.
When should I post?
How often should I post?
What do I say?
Today, we are going to break down the basics.
The Golden Rules of Social Media Content Planning
Each post you create must be:
- Engaging; and
- Relevant to your audience.
Pick a time to post based on research and planning (more on that later) and remain consistent, posting at those set times throughout the day and week.
Make your content purposeful and relevant, meaning, deliver the information your audience wants or risk them ignoring – or unfollowing – you.
PRO TIP: Keep a social media content calendar. While you need to be flexible and ready to adjust to timely news and events, great social media requires a lot of planning and organization. This is where a social media content calendar can come in handy. Planning your content ahead of time – we’re talking weeks in advance – will give you the time each day to engage with your audience and proactively search for and find new followers.
We’ll start where most social media starts – Facebook.
As the world’s leading network, there are countless opportunities to reach your audience. Based on total population, 68% of American adults are on Facebook, with users spending on average 35 to 50 minutes per day on the platform. Approximately three-quarters of Facebook users use the site daily.
1-2 posts a day
On average, you’ll find the best engagement on your post when you post once a day. Posting once to twice a day will receive 40% higher user engagement over accounts that post three times or more a day.
Focus on posting quality content that your audience finds timely, important, and helpful.
Did they learn something from you? Did they laugh or cry? Did they see something they want to buy? News articles, links to your blog or others’ relevant blog posts, images, infographics, video, live video, open-ended questions, surveys, tips, guides, and audience-submitted content are all good options and provide plenty of material to fill your social media content calendar.
Twitter is expected to reach 275 million monthly active users worldwide in 2019. Roughly 42% of Twitter users use the platform daily.
A hub of news, sports, media, and entertainment, Twitter is the place where conversation is constant. People use this social platform to talk, argue, and laugh over topics ranging from political to entertaining. For a place that never stops, it’s important to stay connected.
5-10 posts a day
One single tweet’s overall effectiveness is about two hours on the platform. As your account grows, your frequency should increase as well.
Make good use of hashtags and other sources relevant to your followers.
Aim for approximately half of your tweets to be news articles and retweets (RT) from other Twitter users with information that is interesting to your followers and relevant to your message. Many turn to Twitter for news and updates, including breaking news, so flexibility and timeliness here is key. Hashtags can help amplify a tweet, but only use one or two.
Instagram boasts 500 million monthly active users. Approximately half of Instagram users use the site each day, with 35% saying they use the site several times per day. 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business on the platform, and 60% report using Instagram to learn about a business or product. 65% of Instagram’s top performing posts feature products.
Instagram is incredibly image heavy and image focused. With all of the different updates including Instagram Stories, the way to interact with your audience continues to shift and change.
1-2 posts a day
Instagram is a storytelling platform, so the goal here is to tell fantastic stories and pair them with stunning images to make creative and engaging content. Be consistent with your posting on this platform. If you’re going to post to Instagram, stick to a schedule and be reliable. That’s the best way to build a healthy following.
Photos and videos dominate.
Hashtags are also an important aspect of Instagram. Routinely using 5-8 hashtags in your post copy (or as the first comment) will help you maximize your exposure. Use a mix of both broad and more defined tags that are relevant to the photo or copy.
LinkedIn is the professional’s social media networking platform. The site has grown into one where many professionals find their next career opportunity, share key information, and look to one another for advice. Those who know how to use their network can reap the benefits from what the platform has to offer.
1 post a day
You don’t need to talk about yourself or your brand constantly on LinkedIn to gain traction. If you post 20 times a month, you can reach approximately 60% of your audience.
Images, blog posts, news articles, infographics, and video do well on LinkedIn.
Aim for a 3:1 ratio in posting. For every time you post about your company, you should share or post 3 different pieces of content from other sources that are relevant to your business and audience.
There is no shortage of different social media platforms to navigate and use to spread your message to a larger audience. Take Pinterest or Snapchat for example.
While hosting an event, you can use geotargeting on Snapchat to engage those nearby with a special filter on their app.
The right social media strategy can shape your campaign and the image of your brand.
By following the three most important rules …
- Staying consistent;
- Engaging your audience; and
- Posting relevant information
… you can stay on top of your game and deliver a compelling, memorable and persuasive message via social media.