One of the pitfalls of being active on social media as a business is getting too good at the act of posting. Yes, you read that right. Sure, getting into the habit of posting original content and sharing other people’s content is absolutely right and just what is needed. However, when it becomes a ‘rote’ daily task to check off a list, it’s time to ask yourself what exactly you’re trying to achieve.
Too often, a cursory browse of corporate social media accounts will induce a need to lie down for a nap. You’ve probably seen the signs: the same three to five blog posts being posted every few hours, the same corporate stock imagery, and a complete lack of engagement from bored-to-tears followers. While these companies obviously see the need to be active in the social space, they’ve missed one of the biggest rules of the game: it’s supposed to be fun!
Fun? Wait what? Fun, in business?
The trap these companies (and if you reacted as above, you) may have fallen into is failing to see the difference between passive posting and active engagement. The latter is a lot more fun, as it turns out. The way to achieve this is to try to have a conversation rather than a one-way, political broadcast style monologue.
If you’re worried your company’s social media strategy might have fallen into passive mode, here’s checklist of social media posting tips to jolt you back into engagement.
- Who’s posting on your behalf?
If you’ve relegated social media to an intern or low-level staffer, that’s a sure sign that you’re not prioritising it in the right way. Social media requires not only an inherent understanding of and competency in language, storytelling, and communications nuance—but also in your company or brand’s ethos, identity, and mission. If you’re asking someone you hired two weeks ago to possess all that at once, that might be too tall an order. Worse, if you’re outsourcing social media to someone that doesn’t even work in your company, it’s highly likely your output is going to be less than authentic.
- Are you getting engagement—and responding to it?
For every tweet, post, and blog you put online, how much feedback are you getting? While it’s unrealistic to expect you’re going to achieve Buzzfeed viral video status with everything you post, you should take it as a bad sign if you’re never hearing back in the form of likes, comments, retweets, and reposts. Additionally as we explored in our last post, looking out for and responding to every positive or negative mention of your brand and your postings online is key—and you might even get some content you can amplify out of it.
- Is your social strategy responsive or scheduled?
Scheduling social posts is a great way to stay on top of the week with a large time investment up-front. But if all of your social posting is scheduled ahead of time, it’s going to read as formulaic and too strategic. Be nimble enough to respond and weigh in on trending topics as they’re happening online—especially if it’s a news story or trend that’s relevant or tangential to your industry. This real-time, spontaneous nature is, after all, the great appeal of social media. So take advantage of it!
- How often are you posting the same tweet/article/post?
Repurposing one piece of content and posting it across several networks is a great way to maximise its impact and lifespan. But over-posting a single piece of content makes you look lazy and uninteresting. If you’re trying to stay active throughout the day by posting at regular set hours, don’t do it by posting the same thing over and over. Instead, limit your sharing of a single piece of content to three times throughout a given week. To keep your feed active, share other people’s content that’s relevant to your followers and engage with other players in your sphere.
- Is your copy adding value?
While click-through rates are important, it’s also important to be interesting on the platform you’re posting on too. As they say in journalism, “don’t bury the lead.” In other words: prove why your article or blog post is interesting and enticing in the Tweet or Facebook post’s copy, rather than promising intrigue once a follower has clicked through. (The typical example of this bad practice is “Check out this cool article!” To which I say: “Why should I?”). You can prevent burying the lead by writing an interesting statistic, quote, or eye opening fact in the social copy itself. After you format a post, ask yourself: “Does this add value even if a follower doesn’t click through?” If not, reconsider how it might do it.
Tip #7: Keep up your social posting, but keep it real - you are not a bot - you are a person and people will engage with you if it’s fun, cool, interesting or off-the-wall. Don't be dreary and remember to be sociable!
If you want to read more about managing your social media strategy, retaining your followers, avoiding social media gaffes and building your following, please see these informative blogs:
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