To start social media marketing successfully, you have to understand how social media is influencing corporate culture of today. The term Social Media needs no explanation, as we are quite sure that by now everyone, young and old alike, has heard of it, knows of it and is utilising it in some form or another. But for those who do not, “social media is any media or platform that allows one to be social, or get social online by creating/sharing content, news, photos, videos etc. with other people.” Social Media has become an inevitable part of our daily life, and like it or not, it is here to stay. In fact, the number of mentions in social media is quoted nowadays to highlight the importance of the issues and the public support or otherwise to the issue. All organisations/institutions of all types now have a social media presence since they have become aware of the enormous power, reach and potential of this medium.
If we separate the two terms: the term “social” refers to interacting with other people and sharing or receiving information, while the term “media” refers to the main means of mass communication, which in the traditional sense includes TV, Radio and Newspapers collectively. But, in the term “social media” the media refers to “web-based” communication tools that are used to enable people to share content or converse with each other. Thus, “All web-based applications which allow for creation / exchange of user- generated content and enable interaction between the users can be classified as “Social Media”. These could be in the form of Social Networking Sites (Facebook, Twitter, Google+), Blogs, Internet forums, Bookmarking sites, Online community sites, Q & A sites and Mobile messaging, Chat apps etc.”
Here are a List of Top 20 social media sites around the world:
4. FB Messenger
11. Baidu Tieba
13. Sina Weibo
Social media has impacted us in more ways than one, not just on an individual level, but also the society, the way we do business and politics. The way we connect to each other, have conversations online, conduct business, maintain relationships, or simply gather information and interact with others has changed drastically, thus affecting our social behavioural patterns. Social media can have a strong influence on a person/group/or community through the dissemination of information via social networking channels, thereby having the power to influence the way people think or act or react to a stimulus.
Kaplan and Haenlein classified the social media into six different types based on their media research and published it in an article in Business Horizons (2010). They classified the social media as:
a) Collaborative projects (e.g. Wikipedia)
b) Blogs and Microblogs (e.g. Twitter)
c) Content Communities (e.g. Youtube)
d) Social Networking Sites (e.g. Facebook)
e) Virtual Game Worlds (e.g. World of Warcraft)
f) Virtual Social Worlds (e.g. Second Life)
Honeycomb Framework of Social Media Functionality includes the following:
1. Identity: The extent to which users reveal themselves
2. Presence: The extent to which users know if others are available
3. Relationships: The extent to which users relate to each other
4. Reputation: The extent to which users know the social standing of others and content
5. Groups: The extent to which users are ordered or form communities
6. Conversations: The extent to which users communicate with each other
7. Sharing: The extent to which users exchange, distribute and receive content
Using this honeycomb framework, they have tried to explain the implications that each block can have for how firms should engage with the social media. The figure shows how different social media activities are defined by the extent to which they focus on some or all of these blocks. For example – LinkedIn focuses primarily on Identity, Reputation and Relationships, whereas YouTube focuses primarily on Sharing, Conversations, Groups and Reputation.
The Conversation Prism 4.0 (TCP) by Brian Solis is as follows:
Halo 1: You: That is the centre of all conversations, with Brand You. The idea here is that you should explore all the social networks and opportunities that would work best for you (your brand) so that you can gain or introduce value. Here, Value could be defined in terms of not just traditional ROI, but in terms of the brand resonance or equity, relationships, leadership, intelligence etc.
Halo 2: Vision. Purpose. Value. Commitment. Transparency: What is your vision for social media, the purpose or reason for being social and if it can be justified logically against other investment opportunities? What is the value you intend to deliver and how will you access and communicate this value towards the social interactions and relationships that are involved here? However, it is also imperative to understand the level of commitment that would be necessary to provide and gain value as you scale, so you need to be careful before investing in social media. With the advance in technology, the networks, and nodes of doing business are becoming more human and information is readily available at our fingertips thereby bringing in more transparency in all that we do or say.
Halo 3: Brand, Lines of business and Corporate Functions: Social is a way of conducting business functions today, be it HR, Sales and Marketing, Communications, Brand Development, Service or Community. All these functions are essential to mature business perspective from a command and control mentality to that of engagement and openness.
Halo 4: Always Be Improving (ABI) – Listen. Learn. Adapt: The last of the four concentric circles in the Conversation Prism reminds us of the importance of listening in a conversation, and in doing so being able to learn and adapt so as to improve all that we do inside or outside the company, thus, being in the “Always Be Improving” (ABI) mode. Therefore, each of the concentric circles is designed to work together, to help you improve strategies and results to improve the way you work, how you build relationships with employees and customers, the ability to create and improve better products, services and experiences, and overall, the role you play and the stature you earn as a result.
Social Media Landscape 2016 by Fred Cavazza is as follows:
1. Publishing – with blog platforms (WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, Medium, PostHaven, Live Journal, Svbtle, Over-Blog, SquareSpace), wikis (Wikipedia, Wikia) and hybrid publishing / sharing services like Tumblr on MySpace.
2. Sharing – with video platforms (YouTube, Vevo, Vimeo, Vine, Dailymotion, China’s YouKu and new live streaming services like Twitch and Periscope), document platforms (SlideShare, Scribd), photo platforms (Instagram, Flickr, Imgur, 500px), picture platforms (Pinterest, Fancy, Lyst, Ello, Behance), music platforms (Spotify, Deezer, SoundCloud), links platforms (Delicious, Scoop.it) and places platforms (Foursquare, Swarm)
3. Messaging Platforms – from western companies (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, iMessage, Hangouts, Telegram, Skype, SnapChat, Kik, Viber, Tango) and asian ones (WeChat, Line, KakaoTalk, Nimbuzz)
4. Conversation platforms – (Github, Quora, Reddit, 4chan, Disqus, Muut), and there asian equivalents (Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo, Tieba Baidu)
5. Professional Communcation Tools – (Slack, HipChat, Chime, TalkSpirit, Caliber) and collaboration ones (Yammer, Chatter)
6. Professional social networks – (LinkedIn, Viadeo, Xing, Plaxo), niche social networks (Ning, Nextdoor, Houzz), western and eastern mainstream social networks (Tagged, StudiVZ, VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, Facenama) as well as asian one (Qzone, RenRen, Mixi, Kaixin001, Douban, Pengyou), and last but not least, dating services (Badoo, OKcupid, Tinder, Bumble, Happn).
Now once you have understood this let us move further. These are 12 points that will help you not only to start in social media but also achieve success:
Step 1 – Have a plan: Start with why. There are plenty of people having a go at social media. Some of them are doing it because they think they should or because everyone else is doing it. But without a clearly defined ‘why’ then it will be difficult for you to maximise its benefits and focus your efforts. Neither will it be easy to measure results and adapt your approach accordingly. For some people, using social media is about establishing or building a personal brand. For others it is about learning or supporting continuing professional development. For others still, it is about developing a company brand, supporting other sales and marketing efforts, or simply finding new customers. Some users just want to join or build a professional community for networking purposes. It can even be about job hunting. Whatever your reason for using social media it’s a good idea to have some aims and desired outcomes. Everything else flows from there. So first of all, decide why you are doing it at all and what you want to achieve from it. We suggest you write them down somewhere. This does not need to be a huge piece of work or a series of particularly big, hairy or audacious goals. A few small goals at first are just fine. The next thing to think about is what success would look like for you. You can measure social media through likes, shares, comments and reach. You can measure it too in the sense of sales, referrals or brand recognition. There are some things that can’t easily be measured – the value of connections, learning or long-term relationships. It’s a matter for you as to whether you feel the need to measure your efforts or determine a return on your investment. If it’s right for you, then identify the most appropriate measures for you and build it into your plan. Review it accordingly on a regular basis and change your strategy depending on what those measures are telling you.
Step 2 – Create your personal policy: We have now got a ‘why’ so it’s time for a ‘how’. This will help you to best plan your use of social media – and create your personal policy. Go back to your ‘why’ from Step 1 to help you think through how you want to use social media. Here is an example. We use social media to engage with other people in our profession, learn from others, share, and collaborate. We also use it to chat and share with friends. These two vastly different uses for social media take place on different platforms. For professional activities we mainly use LinkedIn, personal blogs, Slack and Twitter. There, we are very open about our work and our views. For personal photographs and updates, or just keeping in touch with old friends, we mostly use Facebook and Instagram. There is a little cross-over on Twitter because that is one of the platforms that bridges the personal and professional, and that is an accepted part of the platform. Our professional activity is open and accessible without barriers. Our personal use of social media is private and behind privacy settings. We never share pictures of the children on any platform or allow anyone else to do so. This isn’t meant to say that you shouldn’t, or that we are judging anyone who does, it’s simply what we have chosen to do: it’s part of our personal policy. There are options about what you share and to whom on every social media platform.
Here are a few things to think about:
1. Is your social media use personal or professional? If it’s exclusively for professional purposes, we would suggest you don’t have protected or private accounts. Generally speaking, if you want people to connect with your or your ideas, you want to make it easy for them to do so.
2. If you want to use social media for personal use as well as professional, where will you draw the line? For example, will you accept friend requests on Facebook from colleagues?
3. How much personal material will you share? It is absolutely fine if the answer is none. But there are at least a few personal items you might want to share. Firstly, it is a good idea to include a photograph – this will help you to connect with other people. You will want to say a little about who you are and what you do (we will talk about social media biographies – also known as ‘bios’ - later).
4. You may also want to share a (broad) location so that people know where you are based. This doesn’t have to be too specific; you can just refer to a city or an area.
Step 3 – Decide on your message and audience: We have considered the overarching need to have a plan and some of the first elements that it should contain. Now it is necessary to take that idea to a deeper level – not just your overall professional aim for social media, but what is it that you want to share – and with whom? What is your message and purpose? This step is about deciding what content you want to create – your central message. You might want to tweet and post about all sorts of things, but it helps to have a focus when using social media in a professional context. This is all linked back to Step 1 – your why.
Let us begin with an example.
We both work in Human Resources. Gemma writes a popular HR blog. The subjects on the blog range across all aspects of work, people, and organisations, but many of the posts reflect her key interests, wellbeing, flexible working, and social media. The aim of her blog is to provide challenge and useful content to others who work in similar fields. As a freelance writer, there is also a secondary aim of generating more work, increasing her online profile and therefore income. There is a defined aim and direction. It is unlikely that she would use her blog to talk about, for example, football. If it did, those regular readers who are signed up to receive updates would be confused and might just stop reading. From time to time Gemma gets request to either advertise on her blog, or to write content for it on her behalf. She’s very clear that the blog is for her words only, and isn’t to be monetarised in itself, so never accepts these requests. We know people who use social media for a whole range of reasons relating to their professional life. They have a variety of aims and objectives.
Here are just a few:
1. An academic who uses social media to advocate for a particular type of academic publishing practice, and blogs extensively about it. Their target audience is other academics. They want to raise awareness and challenge existing practice.
2. An artist who shares examples of their work on social media – his target audience is extremely wide as his work may be enjoyed by almost anyone. He expressly encourages others to share with others if they like his content.
3. An author who shares some of their thinking on a fairly niche topic with an aim of increasing awareness and engaging interest with this subject area – and also sell her books.
4. A fitness instructor who shares her methodology and beliefs around exercise and nutrition – her central message is about making exercise practical and realistic for busy people. Her target audience is potential customers.
5. A sales and marketing leader who has driving sales and brand awareness as his sole focus. He employs a vast range of methods for doing so, but for him it is all about brand.
6. A leader of a large public-sector organisation who uses social media to listen to his employees and service users, to respond to them in a timely fashion in a place where they interact and to share key messages from the organisation itself. His audience is potentially everyone living and working in a particular city.
If you are still not totally sure what your key messages or focus should be, here’s a couple of things to think about:
• How can you add value to your professional online network?
• What do you stand for?
• What do you want to promote?
• If you are still not totally sure what your key messages or focus should be, here’s a couple of things to think about:
• How can you add value to your professional online network?
• What do you stand for?
• What do you want to promote?
Step 4 – Get your image right: Images are mostly going to be photographs of you (probably doing whatever it is you do too add value) and also the images that you chose to share across social media. Choosing good quality and relevant images can add value to your social media activity in many ways. To being with, let us look at images of you, particularly in your social media profiles. There are some real dos and don’ts here. Firstly, you need a photograph on each platform you are using. Some people do not bother but it looks unprofessional and will limit your interactions and therefore the number of people that will choose to connect with you. People like to see who they are connecting with. Social media images need to be tailored to the platform. If you are using a platform entirely for professional use, your chosen image needs to reflect that. Avoid pictures that aren’t of you such as brand logos (unless it is a branded account), or - and this actually happens - your car. Also avoid pictures that are of you but are a wedding photograph, your children, or friends, or are clearly a cropped social photo. For a professional networking site use a simple headshot with a clear background. If you do not have a professional headshot, that’s no problem: just ask a friend to take a simple picture of you on their (or your) phone against a plain wall. For consistency, especially if you intend to use social media exclusively for professional reasons, you may wish to use the same image on all social media platforms. This will make your efforts look clear and uniform. However, for slightly fewer formal platforms, or one (like Twitter) that crosses over the professional and personal, you can be a little more flexible on your preferred image. We still recommend a clear headshot presenting you in a way that aligns with how you want to be viewed by your followers or connections. This will of course vary from person to person. Your image will appear next to all the things you post and therefore it influences how people “hear” what you say. Sharing images is a key part of interacting on social media, and there are other ways that it can benefit your profile. Some professions and businesses lend themselves well to sharing images. Consider a party planner, florist, fitness instructor or cake decorator. All these professionals can benefit from visually sharing their products or services on the right social media platform (an image-based platform such as Instagram or Pinterest would be particularly suited for static images, YouTube is best for video content). It’s often useful to share images from conferences or events to enhance your content. Some general rules apply here. Where you are sharing images of others, make sure that they are aware and are happy to be included. Images can be informal, but still need to be professional and present you appropriately. Images can also enhance blog posts or articles. If you do not have an appropriate image of your own to use, consider using one from an image site – just always be mindful of copyright or use copyright-free images. It’s also worth taking the time to think about what you don’t want people to see. If you have used social media for personal reasons either in the past or present, you might not want professional contacts to see this content. This is especially important for young professionals. Is there anything from your teenage or student years on social media? Now is the time to check and remove what you would not want a prospective employer or professional contact to see.
Step 5 – Write your elevator pitch: Most social media platforms provide an opportunity to have a headline summary saying something about who you are, although these vary in terms of length and style. On Twitter it’s known as your ‘bio’ and you have 160 characters to play with. On LinkedIn, you have the opportunity of both a headline and profile. On Instagram it’s your profile and over on Facebook and WhatsApp it’s a bio again. On blogging sites like WordPress you have the option to say much more – even having an ‘about you’ page. For the purposes of this chapter we’ll use the term ‘bio’ for ease. Your bio tells people about you. It should give people an idea about who you are and – importantly – what sort of content you will share. Your bio will encourage people to connect with you on social media – or not. This is your first opportunity to connect – so make it count. It’s important to tailor your bio to the platform in question; what works on Twitter won’t work for LinkedIn for example. On LinkedIn, your headline will automatically default to your job title unless you change it. You can do this in your profile settings. You can change this to anything you like, although we would encourage you not to use gimmicky language (no ‘ninjas’ or ‘gurus’ please, unless this is your actual job role). Keep this brief and make it stand out. You can use your profile to go into more detail – think of this like your summary paragraph on a CV, explaining briefly who you are and describing your key skills, knowledge and experience. You can even include hyperlinks to other online content that refers to you or your work. Don’t be afraid to sell yourself and highlight your successes – this is the very purpose of LinkedIn. Some platforms will allow for more informality. Twitter is a good example of this. Here it’s considered acceptable to say something about the work that you do – but also a little more about what you are interested in or passionate about. Don’t forget to include a link to your website, blog or other social media profiles. If your social media accounts are primarily promoting your business or services, make sure that your bio includes a succinct summary of what you do and give clear instructions – or better still, direct links – on how to contact you. If you aren’t sure quite what to say in your bio, check out bios written by others in similar roles or professions. This will help you understand the etiquette for each particular platform. There are a couple of things to note. It really isn’t necessary to include a statement to the effect of ‘all views are mine’. This really goes without saying – who else’s would they be? Whether you choose to identify yourself as working for a particular employer is normally also a matter of personal choice – but it’s always worth checking if your company has a policy on this first. Some professions or professional organisations (for example, medical professions) have specific guidance around social media use, so it is worth considering whether this could also apply to you and your work. Finally, do not forget to update your bio if things change, or just to keep it fresh or current.
Step 6 – Play to your strengths: This is a fairly simple step and should form part of your overall plan – as well as influence your platform choice. When it comes to using social media professionally, make it as easy to fit into your life as possible. You can do this through using the tools we will discuss in a later chapter but also by using the skills and strengths that you already have. Here are some examples: If you enjoy chatting to people and think you come across well verbally, why not try recording a podcast? Podcasts are simple to record and publish and there are low cost options for publication through sites such as Podbean. If you are handy with the video camera on your phone, then create a YouTube video channel. There are cheap (and free) apps which even enable video editing on your phone, such as KineMaster. If you are good at written communication and think you can get a point across in 400-500 words, then consider writing a blog. WordPress is the most popular site to host blogs and can be used for free. If you have products or services to showcase that look great and you can take a good photograph (or perhaps you already have a bank of images) then look for platforms that suit image sharing and make the most of them. The popularity of the auction site eBay means that equipment such as photo light boxes are readily available to make your products look as good as possible online. There are good options for editing photos built into most smartphones, with many more apps available for the more creative (for example, PicStitch to put more than one image together, or Over which lets you add text to images, amongst other things). Bring your existing strengths to your social media usage for maximum effect.
Step 7 – Pick your platforms: You can’t do every platform and do them well – and often enough - to gain maximum benefits from their use. Whatever it is you are considering using social media for, our advice is to pick two platforms (three at most) and focus on using them to best effect, rather than trying to be everywhere. If necessary, start with just one platform until you build your experience and confidence, and whilst you refine your message and content. So, which platform do you choose from the multitude available? To a large extent, this goes back to your Step 1 ‘why’ – just what is it you are trying to get out of your social media use? The second element that it is important to consider is where the people are that you want to connect with. Where are your customers, stakeholders, or employees? There is plenty of data, freely available, that will tell you more about who is using which platform, particularly around user demographics. You can also find information about the best times to post for maximum reach on a platform by platform basis. Different platforms come and go, and popularity levels fluctuate too. For example, Facebook started out on a University campus for students, but as we write this book, its fastest growing demographic is grandparents. The students have gone elsewhere.
Here is some advice on platforms that doesn’t depend too much on changing demographics or trends:
1. If you are looking for work or to make professional connections, you should consider having a LinkedIn profile. As a platform, LinkedIn has its limitations: it is unfortunately a place that is subject to sales spam and it isn’t quite as easy to build personal relationships in the same way that you can on other platforms (more on that later). However, it is a default place to be. Many recruiters will check out your profile on LinkedIn. The platform also makes it easy to showcase your work and skills, through customisable headlines, its own blogging platform and space for links to your work and publications.
2. Blogging can be a powerful way of generating traffic to your website and can be used to demonstrate your areas of professional expertise. It gives you content to share on the other social media platforms and is more in-depth than the fast interactions of somewhere like Twitter (although that is an excellent place to link to your blog). There are many blogging platforms and are mostly free (although some have some paid for options such as bespoke URLs that are worth considering).
3. Whatever platform you choose, ensure that you have a method for monitoring people interacting with you in this space – and respond accordingly. This shows that you are listening and engaging. For example, check comments on your posts, blogs or videos. Check your notifications on Twitter – who has mentioned your Twitter handle and why? If you find that you are being criticised via a social media platform, then we recommend acknowledging the comments and offering a way of discussing the situation in more detail away from the platform (privately – through direct message – provide an email address or a phone number to facilitate this).
4. If you have multiple accounts on the same social media platform (for example, you have a more than one Twitter account, or you have both personal and business Facebook accounts, make sure you are sharing from the correct one every time!
5. Don’t overshare and keep your content suitable for the platform. Each social media site is different – the best way to learn what works where is to be guided by other users.
Step 8 – Connect and engage: So, now you know who what your key message and audience is. It’s time to connect with them in your chosen space. Most social media platforms are designed so that people can follow your content easily. On Facebook, a simple ‘like’ of your business page will ensure that future content appears in that individual’s timeline. The same applies to following a business page on LinkedIn. An important principle to remember here is that at its heart, social media is about dialogue – not broadcasting. Too many people using social media professionally just talk about themselves, or their products and services. We recommend avoiding the hard sell. There is little we dislike more than accepting a LinkedIn connection request and a few minutes later getting an email from them to ‘introduce themselves’ – along with a handy link to their website or product. If your focus for social media is about promoting your business, you should aim not to mention your products or services more than once in every five social shares, as a maximum. It’s important to strike a balance – and that balance needs to be weighted heavily in favour of being an interesting and useful member of your professional community as opposed to telling people about yourself – and there are plenty of people using social media for just that. If you put the connection and engagement first, then the professional benefits will come in time. A good starting point on Twitter is joining in on a Twitter chat. Many professions have them. We both work in the field of Human Resources, and often join in on HR and Learning and Development specific chats. These typically happen at the same time each week, have a moderator, use a dedicated hashtag and will feature a nominated topic or a question for discussion each time. It’s worth searching for chats in your profession as they can be a great way to get to know others and expand your network. Some sites have their own etiquette about connecting. LinkedIn is one such site. It’s possible on LinkedIn to send someone a ‘blank’ connection request. This is a request to connect but without an accompanying note or introduction to yourself. This is generally considered okay when you know someone, but if you don’t it is polite to include a comment with you request. Think about the equivalent in real life – how would you behave at a face-to-face networking event? Once a social media platform gets to know you are your interests, it will suggest people or accounts with which you might want to engage. Over on LinkedIn check out ‘people you might know’. It’s often (but not always) uncanny. Facebook and Instagram will put these suggestions into your timeline for ease. Twitter will also recommend accounts to follow and tailor your trends to topics that are relevant to your interests. When it comes to engaging with others on social media, we are advocates of joining in with conversations – as well as starting them. Another good way to increase engagement with your content is to make an express request for feedback. For example, if you write a blog, consider posing a question in your post and inviting people to comment. Share a post on your chosen social media platform and ask others what they think about it. Consider creating a poll or even a competition. If you are conducting research, then it is fine to say you would be obliged if others would share the content. If you are polite and do not do it too often, many of your followers or connections will be happy to comment or join in. Finally, don’t forget to take your connections offline. Social media can lead to effective professional relationships. We have known people who first engaged through a social media network to have formed effective collaborations as well as great friendships. So, take opportunities to meet your online connections too – where that is safe and sensible.
Step 9 – Share often: Sharing content will help you build a network and make connections. Everyone likes someone who shares their content. Sharing interesting content that you have found makes you a useful member of your professional community. When it comes to sharing, you need to think about what, when and where. Hopefully by now you have made your platform choices so your decision about ‘where’ to share has been addressed: it’s time to turn to what and when. Some people find it hard to know exactly what to share when they first start using social media. As we said earlier, it’s important to avoid only sharing your own content. What you share should also ideally align with your bio: for example, if you state in your bio that you work in marketing but spend all your time tweeting about football, there’s a disconnect there that might mean you lose followers. There are a few ways that you can collate good information to share with your network. When you have connections within your profession, you will find that articles and things of interest will land naturally in your timeline because of the people you follow on each platform. Depending on how many and what kind of people or accounts you follow, you may find the vast majority – or even all – of the content you share there. On Twitter you can check out ‘moments’ to see what is trending or what others are talking about. You can also search relevant industry or profession hashtags to see what people are currently talking about as a way of finding good content. It’s also worth checking out bloggers in your specific field as they will be sharing their own work. Follow relevant news outlets or publications for your professional field. And of course, share your own content and talk about your own work – just make sure that it isn’t your entire timeline. Content that you share should be interesting, relevant, thought-provoking – and it should be something you would be happy for your boss to see. When and how often to share varies depending on the platform itself and who it is you are trying to reach. On slower-moving platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook, you might only need to share something once a day – if that. Over on Twitter a single tweet has a very short shelf life as most people just don’t scroll back that far in their timeline. More regular sharing is required on Twitter to maintain a steady presence. Data is available online about when is the best time to post content on what social media platform. As these analytics will change over time, your best source of up to date information is to do a search for the platform you want to know more about in real time. Once you start typing “best time to post on…” into Google, you will see there are a lot of options! It is also important to experiment by engaging at different times and different days to see what works for you and your network. The broad data is useful, but it is also about what the particular crowd you are trying to reach are doing – and your use of social media might be more niche. When you get established on social media, you can get data about your own efforts. Blogging platforms will give you data on who is visiting your site and when, along with how long they spend there. You can find out your most popular posts, days and times. Twitter has an analytics menu that you can find in your settings which will also show you your reach, most interacted shares and top followers. LinkedIn can tell you who has visited you profile and how many people have seen your posts – additional features are available for a fee. Another sharing option is the conference or event share. Most conferences these days will have a social media backchannel – official or otherwise. There is usually a hashtag, and often a number of people tasked with getting content on that hashtag (sometimes known as a “blogsquad”) to give a virtual element to the event for people who can’t be there in person. If you are at an event, a great way of sharing is to tweet, live blog or take photos in real time and share them with your network. Tell your followers where you are and share what you are learning. Make sure whatever you share uses the event hashtag for maximum exposure.
Step 10 – Use tools:
Hootsuite / TweetDeck: These are platforms that can help you organise your social media accounts (especially useful if you are trying to manage more than one account on the same platform). They allow for scheduling of tweets so that you can plan social media content to be shared on an ongoing basis, without the need to action each time. Just be careful about it. For example, if there is a serious news incident or national disaster, make sure you turn them off, quickly. Also recognise that there are limitations to too much scheduling as it limits your ability to interact with responses.
Lists: A useful way to organise your Twitter timeline is a list. This simply means that you create lists of people and accounts, in order to organise or categorise. This means that when you want to catch up, you do not have to check back through a busy timeline but can just select a few key areas to view. You can set up multiple lists or follow those set up by other people.
Apps: There are specific apps (such as ‘If That Then This’) that allow for simple sharing. You set the rules on the app. For example, you can engage a setting to ensure that when you post content on your business Facebook page, it will automatically also post it on Twitter or LinkedIn (sometimes called ‘cross-posting’). Also make use of quick tools built into the site you are using. For example, if you use WordPress to blog, you can activate settings that will automatically share the blog on social media platforms of your choice rather than doing this task manually. If you want to invest financially in your social media activity, there are even more tools that you can use. For example, there are social media listening services that monitor every mention of your name (or the name of your business) and send detailed reports.
Step 11 – Dive in – and be authentically you: It has been said that to get social media, you have to do social media. It is fine to ‘lurk’ a little to begin with (by which we mean just watching and consuming content, without engaging too much). But you will get the most out of social media when you fully engage. This does not mean spending hours on it every day – social media is continuous, so you could never consume or keep up with everything. It is however important to make it a habit – and commit to it. If you need to, until using social media becomes more natural to you, consider scheduling yourself a little time each day. You could also consider setting yourself a manageable target, such as publishing one blog post each week. If you want to build connections and join online communities, you will not fully realise the benefit unless you dive right in. No one wants to see an abandoned (or apparently so) account. It is not difficult to fit social media into your daily life as you can dip in and out to suit you. Whether you are waiting for a train, in the back of a taxi, standing in a queue for a coffee, you can just drop into your feed, see what is occurring, and make a quick contribution. It is easy to tell when someone is not being authentic. Being yourself is not the same as sharing everything about yourself. Some people on social media use it to boast or exclusively present their best (and highly polished) version of themselves. You will find people who talk often about what a great person they are. In our experience, these people are not much different when you meet them in real life (‘IRL’). Remember that you can be authentic without sharing your every thought or moment. If you are focused on building a professional personal brand on social media, consider carefully what discussions to engage in or what content to share. Some issues will always be divisive – politics and religion being just a couple of obvious examples.
Step 12 – Stay safe:
1. Do not put your full date of birth or even just the specific day of the year on a publicly available social media platform. If a fraudster can determine your birth year, they have your full date of birth – a critical piece of identify information. For the same reason, don’t put your year of birth in your handle (we have seen people with handles like @Gem78 – maybe she’s the 78th Gem to sign up, or maybe it’s the year of her birth).
2. If you have decided that some of your content is private and just for friends (such as on a closed Instagram profile) then don’t accept friends or follow requests from people you don’t know.
3. Many smartphone apps have location settings within them, which, when you use your phone to upload photos for example, will show where they were taken. This could therefore give people a good idea where you live or work. If you don’t want to share this information, go into your phone settings and turn off location settings.
4. Check the privacy settings on each social media platform that you are using to check what you are sharing with whom. Check these every once in a while, as from time to time the app or platform may update these.
5. Use strong passwords for all your social media platforms to reduce the risk of them being compromised – whatever you do, do not use Password1 or the like! It is good practice to ensure you do not use any recognisable words because programmes exist to help hackers identify dictionary words. The best advice we have seen is to use mnemonics for a memorable phrase e.g. IaaaTui2019 – “I am an awesome Twitter user in 2019”, obviously. Use different passwords for each of the platforms you are using. Where they are an option, set additional security measures such as security questions.
6. Work on the basis that nothing you ever post on social media can ever be truly, 100% private. Even when a conversation or profile is private, they can still be copied and distributed without your knowledge. Consider keeping your really personal stuff personal.
7. Be careful ‘checking in’ to places such as hotels on certain sites such as Facebook if you have a public profile. Do you really want people to know where you are?
8. Be cautious about what links you click. If something does not look right, do not engage with it.
9. Think before you post
This is a small glimpse of what happens on the Internet every minute during these Covid-19 times:
1. Zoom hosts 208,333 participants in meetings
2. Netflix users stream 404,444 hours of video
3. Instagram users post 347,222 stories
4. YouTube users upload 500 hours of video
5. Twitter gains 319 new users
6. Facebook users share 150,000 messages
7. LinkedIn users apply 69,444 jobs
8. Amazon ships 6,659 packages
9. WhatsApp users share 41,666,667 messages
10. Consumers spend $1,000,000 online
. Besides if you do have any questions give me a call: https://clarity.fm/joy-brotonath