I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about some best practices for social media. Investing in social media can be a daunting task for small business owners. As a public forum, it can be intimidating to throw your hat into the ring and start learning how to participate.
I’ve put together a basic overview of some of the most popular social media sites to help you get started. Keep in mind, a good social media marketing plan involves a lot of testing and tweaking. What works for one business might not work as well for another. These are general guidelines and it is important to keep your particular industry in mind when creating a social media marketing plan. I suggest that you take a look at the below sites and pick 2-3 that best fit your industry.
Overview: Facebook is obviously the biggest player in town. Everyone is on it. It is also the hardest to get any results from. Facebook is all about social. Users are there to socialize, look at photos or just goof off. They often don’t want to think about business or work related things.
Posting Guidelines We suggest no more than 2 posts a day. Any more will be crossing the line into annoying. Statistically, the best times to post are weekday afternoons. The optimal time frame to post really depends on your market. If your target market is a younger crowd, you might also want to consider the early morning time slot as 80% of users check their phones right after waking up. If your clientele is more middle age, after work hours might be better.
Tips Facebook posts with photos get markedly more likes and comments than posts without.
Overview Twitter is best described as a personalized a news feed. Twitter users are most receptive to marketing, news and brands of all the social media sites. It is much less personal or social/
Posting Guidelines The average life of a tweet is about 18 minutes. Because of this, you can post at a much higher frequency, and even repeat some posts, throughout the day. It is generally suggested to post anywhere between 10-30 a day. Posts should be around 120 characters and no more. If you are linking to articles, link to the article direct instead of a post on another social media site.
Tips Twitter has a very high percentage of mobile users. Keep this in mind when you are linking to external sites.
Overview LinkedIn is most used by professionals. The crowd is older, more educated and not looking to goof off or waste time. It works well with business to business markets or networking.
Posting Guidelines LinkedIn users value quality over quantity. Post no more than once a day. Best times to post are 12-5 weekdays only, as LInkedIn users are not likely visiting the site on the weekend.
Overview I like to call Pinterest bookmarking on crack. It is most used for finding inspiration or saving ideas. It does well for design and craft industries, cooking, travel, retail or fashion. It has a very strong focus on the visual and a picture is required for posts. A high percentage of its users are female, and they are 3x more likely to be on the mobile phone.
Posting Guidelines Unlike LinkedIn, weekends and evenings are active times for Pinterest users. Your photo is the most important part of a Pinterest post (or pin as it is called), as this is what users first see. Descriptions can also be searched, so don’t forget to add those.
Well let’s hope this gives you a good start. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when getting started with social media marketing. I suggest starting small with a few posts a day. Try out Hootsuite to help with scheduling your posts. It often helps to set it up once a week and then you can sit back and watch it go…