Social Media Best Practices

Tips!Ever wish a social media company like Facebook or Twitter would tell you the best way to post on their site?

Well – you’re in luck! Most social media companies want to embrace the business user (that’s you), and have some sort of best practices that they share.

Here’s a listing of current Best Practices for popular social media sites:

Now you have no excuse – read up, and make those posts ROCK!

Tips image by Rachael Voorhees

Engaging People via Twitter

Twitter recently created a new best practices site – check it out at media.twitter.com. There’s some really useful info there, but you have to wade through it a bit to find the good tidbits.

I did the wading for you – here’s the good stuff!

Best Practices on Engaging people via Twitter:

  • Use @mentions. This makes it more likely that people will find your conversation and join in.
  • Include photos and videos. Inserting media into tweets makes them more likely to get favorited and retweeted. Tweets with photos get 1.5x the number of Retweets compared to the average Tweet, and 2.3x the number of favorites.
  • Tweet regularly. Twitter users like to see conversations. Set a schedule if you need a reminder to Tweet.
  • Hold a Q & A live tweet session. This can be a fun way to involve other Twitter users.
  • Find conversations. Listen for people talking about you, and join in if it makes sense.
  • Use Hashtags. Picking the right hashtag is a great way to reach more readers and make your Tweet a part of a larger conversation. Including a hashtag can double engagement for individual journalists and boost it 1.5x for news organizations, for example. So in our industry, it can’t hurt either, right?
  • Show what happens “behind the scenes.” A fun way to connect with followers is to show them what happens behind the scenes.
  • Use a call to action and a hashtag together. specially for things like live tweeting, events, or a Q&A session
  • Vine videos are useful, too. Vine videos drive high engagement (Retweets and favorites).

And an interesting tip. Are you familiar with this command – .@ (a @reply command with a period?)? I wasn’t. Here’s what it does: Tweets that have a period (.) before the @reply are meant to be seen by all of a user’s followers, not just those who follow both the sender and receiver. Twitter calls a normal @reply narrowcasting, and a .@reply broadcasting. Interesting!

Are you successfully connecting with customers through Twitter? I’d love to hear about it! Share in the comments. Thanks! Oh, and feel free to follow me on Twitter too, while you’re at it :-)

Photo by Maryland GovPics

Facebook Page Best Practices

FacebookLast Saturday, I gave a Facebook Page session at Podcamp Topeka 2012. Part of that presentation included current best practices for posting content to a Facebook Page. Here are those best practices in bullet points:

  • Call to action – you need to tell people to do things like comment, like, and share. Include the call to action in the first 90 characters of your post.
  • Get to the point – 250 characters or less is best. Shorter posts get 60% more interaction than longer posts.
  • Ask for short responses, fill-in-the-blank responses, etc – i.e., “Who’s your favorite author?” This type of question post gets 90% more interaction than other types of text-based posts.
  • Pin important posts, so it stays at the top of your Page longer
  • Be casual (and appropriate). A conversational tone will attract more interaction.
  • Use images. More people comment, Like, and Share posts with images.
  • Post consistently. At least five times a week to stay on top-of-mind for fans.
  • Post the same types of content on the same day of the week. Example – book review Mondays. This helps fans know what to expect from you.
  • Give fans access to exclusive information or content. Yet another way to drive interest and engagement to a Facebook Page.
  • Find your optimal time to post. This will vary by organization.

Want to know more about current Facebook best practices? Check out Best Practices for your Page and Media Strategy by Facebook.

photo by Simon Q

Marketing on Facebook

I just finished reading Best Practice Guide: Marketing on Facebook. You might find it interesting, too – the guide has some great ideas for using Facebook as a marketing campaign tool. In fact, many of the suggestions would also work for other online social tools (think Twitter, Foursquare, Flickr, etc).

Here’s what you’ll find in the guide:

  • For starters, they describe what they call The Facebook Ecosystem, which includes three parts: Build, Engage, and Amplify:
    • Build – duh. Building your presence in that tool. creating a Facebook Page. Creating a Twitter account. Etc. Gotta start here.
    • Engage – use touch points, like the Facebook like button to start connecting with your fans. Also use the status update box to directly connect through conversations
    • Amplify – on Facebook, you need to be in your fans news feed. You can use Facebook ads and sponsored stories to help you do that.

After that, the Guide discusses what they call Facebook by Objective –  basically seven ways to use Facebook for your business. Each objective includes some interesting ideas on how to connect to your customers and grow your organization. The Objectives include:

  • Foster product development and innovation
  • Generate awareness
  • Drive preference and differentiation
  • Increase traffic and sales
  • Build loyalty and deepen relationships
  • Amplify recommendation and word of mouth
  • Gain insights

And guess what? With just a bit of tweaking, each of these ideas can work for libraries! So go read it, download it, etc … and share any cool ideas or library campaigns you create!

The F image … found at the ReadWrite Web