When it comes to social media marketing, there’s a lot of balls that you have to keep juggling to keep all of your followers engaged across all of your different platforms. Indeed, this is very much because the users of each generally expect very different things from their different social networks, and understanding what’s appropriate for one and not for another is key to continuing to reach as many of them as possible.
Social media marketing is essential these days, not just an option. But all of your platforms work in very different ways, and attract very different types of audiences all with very various expectations. So let’s take a look 3 of the top social networks, and start to consider what works best for each.
We’ll begin with the biggest – Facebook.
Facebook is the biggest social network going with well over a billion users now worldwide. In fact, it’s pretty much safe to assume that no matter what other social networks your fans have found you on, they’ll almost certainly be watching you on Facebook as well.
One of the beauties of Facebook is that it offers a variety of ways to share content with your followers, and indeed, utilizing all of these different methods is key to keeping your Facebook followers interested. Facebook users don’t want to see the same posts over and over and over again, they want variety – visuals, videos, links, articles, graphs and infographics. On Facebook you must be posting all of these things and more.
One of the main reasons for this, in fact, is that Facebook has recently made some changes that affect which of your fans will see which specific content you post. According to Facebook Marketing Expert Mari Smith, “The way Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm works is that each piece of content – whether posted via a personal profile or fan page – passes through a three-part filter and has a different score for each user or fan. In other words, we all see content from fan pages differently.”
This means that, according to how your fans behave generally on Facebook, i.e. what sort of content they most usually ‘like’ or click on, those fans will be more likely to be presented with those specific types of posts in their news feeds. If they like watching videos, then Facebook will give them yours to watch, and if they don’t like infographics then, no matter how many you produce and post on the network, the likelihood is that they won’t appear in those particular fans’ feeds. So, for Facebook, it’s certainly variety that holds the key if you want to reach and appeal to as many of your fans as possible.
Quick tips for Facebook:
- Mix it up as much as possible, use plenty of images and don’t be afraid to use your sense of humour. Facebook users enjoy sharing ‘funny’ memes so give them what they want.
- Make use of Facebook Insights to see what your audience is engaging with the most.
- Ask questions to prompt engagement.
- Run competitions and special offers and ensure that they’re just for that audience.
- Use Web Custom Audiences to target certain users with special offers.
LinkedIn promotes itself as a professional social network, and that’s exactly what it is. This means you must consider your tone carefully when posting content on the site – it’s inhabited by professionals, and so an expert, authoritative and informative tone is always in order.
LinkedIn is the place to try and attract the interests of key influencers in your industry. Indeed, this can in fact be one of the main benefits of the site – rather than targeting your own fans and followers, LinkedIn can often be the gateway to alert key authority figures in your field to your work, who will then pass on what you’re doing to their own dedicated following.
As such, generally speaking, it is more towards the written word that LinkedIn posts should lean. Video advertisements and ‘cool’ company snaps aren’t really what is appreciated by the users of the site. Rather, links to informative blog posts and articles that can be discussed by users in a professional manner is what is most likely to work best for your business here. LinkedIn is the perfect place in fact to promote yourself as a thought leader and authority in your field, so always ensure that you engage with any discussions over your content enthusiastically and intelligently whenever you can.
Quick tips for LinkedIn:
- On your LinkedIn profile use a good head and shoulders shot, no photos of your wedding or kids, keep it strictly professional.
- Get involved with discussion groups on the site for your industry to get your name out there.
- Use your logo and company colours to construct the company page and ensure that all employees use it and discussion groups to further raise the company profile.
- Use LinkedIn to publish your thoughts on current happenings in the industry to encourage discussion.
Twitter is the fast-action social network where you will want to be posting perhaps as many as 10 or even 20 original tweets a day. A lot of companies use the platform as a place to post links to their other content around the web – blog posts, for example, or product pages being one of the most usual.
However, though you must certainly use Twitter to these ends, you should nonetheless not shy away from composing original tweets that in essence will become the running commentary and ‘voice’ of your company on the platform. The beauty of a tweet is in its brevity – but that can also make it quite a challenge to hit the right note every time you post something. You’ll want to use Twitter, and particularly hashtags, to post your comments and opinions on current industry events that relate to your business.
Indeed, it’s even a good idea to try and be one of the first that brings any breaking industry news to your followers, even if it is just a link and you’re not providing the content yourself. This puts you in position as an industry authority, as a company who’s interested in what is happening elsewhere in your field, and not solely interested in your own ends. Tweeters like this. They want to be able to engage with you and your tweets, so make sure that you are using the platform in a way that enables this and stirs discussion.
Quick tips for Twitter:
- Engage with your audience personally. Whilst you can use scheduling software to put out your tweets at certain times, there’s no substitution for a personal thank you when your followers retweet you.
- Use a URL shortener to give you more room when it comes to the character count.
- Use images that give context to your tweet when sharing blog posts and articles.
- Get a great header made up with your company logo and details on.
No matter which social media you’re most active on, it’s always important that you tailor your content posts to each, and consider carefully your audience in all areas. Facebook allows for a certain amount of informality, though you must be prolific in the types of content that you post in order to reach as many different types of user as possible.
LinkedIn is the serious professional of the bunch, and Twitter the witty one with the provocative one-liners. They each have their specific uses and all must be utilised, however, to ensure that you are engaging as widely and as thoroughly as you can.