The reason I put these top 10 tips for social media 2017 is that I’ve realised, talking with friends, family and clients that social media means different things for everyone. People are confused as there are so many opportunities that people don’t know where to start. I hope this guide helps to clarify this for you or your business.
Tip no. 1 – Use Images
Use quality images, sized correctly, on each and every post. A pictures, especially a good one, tells a thousand words, so when your text is limited in characters, your image can speak volumes. See the inforgraphic below which is a cheat sheet for social media image sizing:
Any easy way I have found to remember this is to remember Instragram, opimally is square (it doesn’t have to be, but I am a purist), Twitter is a horizontal rectangle, Facebook is just off square and horizontal and Pinterest is tall.
The other important this to remember, if you use someone’s image, get permission or, if you can’t find them, credit the image. Always credit images. If it is a Shutterstock or iStock image, and you haven’t bought it, don’t use it. You may get a bill. It’s cheap to purchase a stock, royalty free image and is far better than most people’s iphone photos. Just avoid cheesy cliches and obviously staged images (except if you are being ironic or making a joke).
Tools like Pablo are great to get you started building your social media image resource library.
Tip no. 2 – Opt for Quality Over Quantity
You don’t have to post 50 times a day. a single well researched, typo-free, hashtag and tags post, that packs a punch for content, is better that 50 crappy posts. Create content people need or want, and that is interesting to follow. Whether it is clever, beautiful or both, engage with your followers and start a conversation.
Creating original content means your have something no one else has – your own content.
Tip no. 3 – How to Use Hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to categorise your content so people looking for posts on a particular subject can find and view your posts.
Utlising hashtags is a great way to share content but don’t overdo it as you will be penalised by the algorithms of the various channels, such as Instagram.
Below is a rough guide to the optimal number of hashtags to use on a single post:
Twitter: 1-3 hashtags per post.
Facebook: 1-2 hashtags per post.
Google+: 1-3 hashtags per post.
Instagram: More than 10 hashtags per image.
To discover the most searched for hashtags related to your own content, head to Hashtagify.me
Tip no. 4 – Be Consistent and Post At Smart Times
Once followers get used to your posts, they will expect posts at a similar time and frequency. The importance of consistency cannot be stressed enough, as that’s how to build a strong following of people who like what you are doing. I have a particularlook and post one or 2 posts per day morning and night.
Ifyour postsdrop off for a bit, you will lose momentum and followers, meaning your engagement levels and reach will drop. If you can post new content consistently, you will maintain engagement.
If you are going away try a scheduling tool, such as Buffer. You can add one social profile per platform and schedule up to 10 posts per social network for free.
When you post is also really important. Obviously you want to post when more people are actively engaging.
What are the best times to post?
Below are my preferred times to post based upon my experience and common sense:
Best days: Thursday and Friday.
Best time: 1 – 3 pm or 7 – 8 pm
Best days: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Best time: 12 – 1 pm or 5 – 6 pm
Best days: Weekdays. Wednesday is the best.
Best time: 9 pm – 1 pm
Best days: Weekdays. Mondays and Fridays are the best.
Best time: 12 – 3 pm or 7 – 8 pm
Tip no. 5 – Don’t spread yourself too thin
You don’t have to use all social media channels. Choose 1 – 3 channels that you can manage effectively and consistently, without putting too much stress on you, and focus on quality content.
Find out what your niche market or “tribe” use and stick to those. Build up your community and engagement on less channels with more quality.
Tip no. 6 – Share infographics
If you are a designer, great, but if not, there are plenty of examples on Pinterest or search under Google images, and credit the creator, to illustrate your point. Infographics are liked and shared 3 times more than normal images or videos according to mass planner.
steps to social media success (credit: Maine New Media)
Tip no. 7 – Be authentic and real
Social media is just that, social. It is not a one way advertisement. Try to interest with your followers. Social Media is about three things:
Share, ask questions, post hypothetical situation, ask opinions, for feedback.
“Convert your followers to friends.” – I literally have people I consider friends and yet have never even spoken them on the phone or in person.
Tip no. 8 – Answer questions, ask quetions, comment and like.
Goes without saying in my book. Give and give till it hurts. Make friends but engaging. Build rapport with followers. I have Insta-friends, people I always like on Instragram and they always like and comment on my posts. That’s how it builds momentum. Ask people to share your content. Ask people what they think of a post.
Feedback good and bad, can be a brilliant way to tweak your content to suit your tribe. The more your give online, the more you get back.
Tip no. 9 – Don’t send auto-DMs to all new followers.
This is so 2015. In 2017 we are being authentic. When you get a new follower, welcome them warmly, and truly. You might want to have some welcomes written out in text edit so you can tailor, and copy and paste, but nothing is more unpleasant that a canned response that feels like one. Use their name, check out their content, comment. That will help you keep that follower.
Tip no. 10 – Who are your 100 Top Engagers?
Go to the top 100 accounts in each channel and look at who they follow. Chances are they will have a very well edited list of people they follow, so follow them and engage with them.
Try to engage with the content that the followers of the top 100 accounts in your niche, nd generally the rule of reciprocity applies. Give, give, give and it will come back, eventually.
Go to the top 100 social media accounts in your niche and follow their top followers. Regularly engage with the content of those fans. Many of these followers will enjoy your content cand you will get regular shares, likes, re-tweets, etc. It is a win-win situation for both you and the engagers.
Note: try not to be obvious about this, as if you do it in a shameless and brazen way people will see though it and it will come across as stalky.
The most important this with social media is that it is not design as just an advertising tool. That’s right. Social media is for making conections, sharing content, sharing ideas, meeting people and having fun. The moment you start to “sell” or advertise in a greater percentage of posts that you are social, is the moment people will switch off. Be real, be kind, be thoughtful. Use people handles or names, use flatterly, compliments and positive feedback. Remember anything you say on social media is forever. Never use social media to be mean, hurt or discredit anyone, or air dirty laundry. There are too many people who a brave behind the keyboard but would never dream of speaking like that in person. Don’t be a troll or a stalker. The goal is to make friends, share your content, share other’s content and grow your tribe.